Sunday, October 3, 2010

On a wave of wonder

‘I wanted it to be a book for opening the mind'. Visual thinker Dashrath Patel talks about why it took 42 years for Why the Sky is Blue, a compilation of his photographs and Dr. C.V. Raman's speeches, to be published.

If the year 1968 is any indication, then December 22 should be designated as the day of Curiosity. That day, an energetic 80-year-old scientist urged his audience, seated under a canopy of neem trees, to wake up from their stupor and marvel at the world around them. Speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the Community Science Centre in Ahmedabad, Dr C.V. Raman, Nobel Laureate in physics, proved that the kernel of life's mysteries lay not in laboratories or textbooks, but in the simplest of questions such as: why is the sky blue?

Sharing in the magic of the moment were two celebrated ‘visual thinkers', Chandralekha and Dashrath Patel, intuitively and playfully participating in this process of learning. This unusual choreography of wonder resulted in the first manuscript of Why the Sky is Blue, a compilation of Dashrath Patel's photographs and parts of the speech selected by Chandralekha.

But perhaps this vision of science, and indeed life, as a celebration of the unknown, unbound by formal rules and theories, was too ‘simplistic/ idealistic' for the time. After 42 years, the book has finally found a nurturing publisher in Tulika, Chennai, which will soon release the manuscript in eight languages across the country.

Full report here Hindu

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