It was indeed a charming autobiographical essay in two parts (April 8 and 9). Though it is true that Nobel Laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan has “inadvertently” become an inspiration for home-bred Indian academics to make a mark internationally, it is the values he represents that should make him a role model. These values are most tellingly evoked in the sentence — which is to become a memorable quote — “after the celebration, Vera and I walked my bicycle home in the rain.” These simple words so aptly capture the ancient Indian values of domestic felicity, communion with Nature, simple living and high thinking. Let us forgive him for his lack of proficiency in Tamil, Gujarati and Hindi as he is abundantly proficient in Indian values.
B. Sasisekhar, Kottayam
There is an important lesson for the Indian education system in the essay — the lack of a multidisciplinary approach in our curriculum. Venki was able to switch from physics to biology after his Ph.D. and could go on to win the Nobel in chemistry — something unthinkable in India. The fate of the Indian student is decided the moment he passes his tenth class. Our IITs, the TIFR and the IISc should look into this deficiency at undergraduate and graduate levels.
Suresh Nandigam, Hanuman Junction
A few lines on what the discovery meant to the scientific community would have satiated the curiosity of many an interested reader.
K. Raghavan, New Delhi
The highly inspirational memoir of Venki started off as a nostalgic account of his boyhood days and proceeded to throw light on his brilliant scientific endeavour of unravelling the ribosome subunit. The potential of the innovation in developing new medicines is phenomenal.
G. Balasubramanian, Bangalore
Venki came across as a true example of a person who scaled mountains even after growing up on the plains. Indeed an inspiration to technocrats, scientists, engineers and professors worldwide who are willing to explore new horizons or cross new boundaries. Hats off to such men of valour.
Sudharm Baxi, Jodhpur