A Welcome, an Adieu and the Precious Seed
We welcome Nirupama Vaidhyanathan as the new managing editor. We bid fare-well and the best of luck to Jaya Padma-nabhan, who relinquished the position for greener pastures. It was always a pleasure to work with her.
In her first editorial, “Life is Good,” Nirupama talks about how the precious seed sprouts and grows during her short vacation. In our front yard, we have a cherry tomato plant. It was not planted, but sprouted out of a crevice and steals water from the lawn sprinklers. I estimate that it has provided at least three hundred little fruits and continues to do so.
In a different field, I wanted to recall the detection, recently at CERN, Switzerland, of a tiny seed, a particle named Higgs Boson. Profs. Higgs and Englert won the Nobel prize for predicting this entity in 2013. Incidentally, the boson, an atom sized particle with very strange properties, was predicted by and named after Prof. Satyendranath Bose in the late 1930s. Satyan, as he is respectfully remembered did not receive any awards for this stupendous theoretical work,.except of course the name. Remember, there were no computers at that time. Satyan worked from scratch on first principles to create the concept of a fourth state of matter: the condensates. That claim was validated experimentally decades later with the award of another Nobel prize for Bose’s original theoretical prediction, shared by Wieman and Cornell of the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2001. Satyan has passed on, unhonored and unsung.
Scanning a wide horizon from sub-atomic particles to photons, plants, animals and humans, Nirupama is right: life, as we learn time and again, sprouts with vitality and vigor in ways that are exciting and hopeful. The beauty of nature and the nature of beauty are unfathomable.
P. Mahadevan, email
Pamban Bridge View
The September 2016 issue was a plea-sure to read covering the lady who drives the Lotus, the thugs amongst us and the travel article on Dhanushkodi. As a
septuagenarian, I fondly remember the days when Dhanushkodi was a port. The Boat Mail, later called as the IndoCeylon Express, started from Madras-Egmore sta-tion and traveled through the main line to stop on the pier in Dhanushkodi. Passengers could walk to the ship through a small drawbridge. If I remember right, the ships were also owned partly by the South Indian Railways. The Boat Mail train used to slow down going through the Pamban Bridge and it was a beautiful sight to see sunsets and sunrises from Pamban.
We received many comments regarding Shi-kha Tandon’s piece, “An Olympian’s Journey.” Check out the online article for her video. A sample letter is included below.
Interest in Indian Sports Rises
I would like those who indulge in India-bashing to understand that taking sports as a career is very risky.
Blaming the government for infra-structure, corruption and dishonesty is passé. Primarily due to the improvement in our economy, our capacity to take risks is gradually on the rise. In due course, I am certain that India’s performance in sports will improve considerably.
A period of 70 years in the history of a nation that was enslaved for centuries is negligible. Sports is featuring now after ‘roti, kapada, makan’, health care and edu-cation issues have been partially addressed.
Instead of blaming, please ask yourself about your contribution towards sports. Change; Act now.
Sidharth Seth, email
Limitations Are Drawn By Us
Great article,Gayatri! Everyone featured in the article, “UnDesis: Unconventional Choices,” showed that limitations and boundaries are drawn by us. When you are determined, your true grit shines through.
Your interview with Jatinder showed me what an amazing trailblazer woman she is. Also, we hope you keep writing more often and bring to the forefront many such hidden gems.
Deepta Avantsa, email
Send us an original letter of up to 300 words to email@example.com Letters are edited for brevity and clarity.