Saturday, April 21, 2007

Book release: "Vikram Sarbhai-a life"

It’s a long time since I became a irregular to Centre for Contemporary Studies (CCS), mostly because the talks are more technical in their respective fields, but last week when I saw this notice, i was immediately interested in attending it. It was a book release function. Not an usual event to occur there. This book was on Vikram Sarabhai a name know to many of us. It is a rare event in India that people write biographies of someone whose name is not Gandhi, but Amrita Shah did a formidable job in writing her book called "Vikram Sarbhai- a life", this book is published by Penguin and costs around Rs. 425 ($10). Book release function was very much unlike an iisc event, media thronged the premises with flash bulb and high profile guests like Dr. Kasturirangan and Prof. Balram, it appeared a bigger event than the once i expected. after the release Prof. Kasturirangan talked a bit about his association with Prof. Sarabhai, the early flights of their dream to reach the space in RPL, in Ahmadabad. The Amrita Shah read out couple of chapter from her book. First one is about his association with IISc. How he fared in the institute and how his dreams were unfurled and how he became the pioneer for Indian Space dream. There was a question answer session which followed her book reading event as usual it was very amusing as someone Asked "How indigenous is our space program" well Prof. Kasturirangan came as a savior. There was some light hearted humours, Prof. Sarabhai came from a wealthy background, So someday when somebody raised the question "Why are you wasting 4 crores of taxpayers money behind the space program,?" Sarabhai answered politely "Please don't worry i was not wasting tax payers money, its me paying more tax that 4 crore".
There has been reviews on this book already, and its a talked bout book inside media too,but somebody rightly pointed out the book is slightly costly for us: the PhD students :)

Photo courtsey: CCS webpage