Professor Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao has achieved a phenomenal scientific research output: 1,400 research papers, over 40 books written or edited, over 100 PhDs supervised and over 160 other collaborations built up. He is among the world’s most decorated scientists: fellowships of all Indian Science Academies, the Royal Society (London), the National Academy of Sciences (USA), the Royal Society of Canada as well as French, Spanish, Brazilian, Japan and Pontifical Academies, the first India Science Prize and several other Indian and international prizes. Space does not allow listing of all his accomplishments and honours. He is the premier Indian scientist, the unparalleled doyen of modern Indian science.
How did one individual achieve so much? Nor does he seem finished yet! Why does he not rest on his laurels? What is the secret of his unstoppable drive? Can any young Indian scientist working in India again achieve what Rao proved can be achieved?
We can glean some answers to such questions from his recent autobiography, fondly dedicated to his wife Indumati, a pillar of support at home and beyond, and collaborator in his projects to interest children in science. A natural narration, written in simple prose, it makes compelling reading. Several other personalities from family and professional circles also find appropriate mention in the autobiography. And it carries instances reflecting his guileless sense of humour. There is not one jarring note in it.
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