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18 January 2010

THE CONNOISSEUR

THE CONNOISSEUR

- Nergis Dalal

Nergis Dalal is a versatile writer. she is known for natural talent and deep sensitivity. Her language is very clear and transparent. she narrates a spell binding stories with ease. She has been writing for over fifty years.She authored four novels, a cookery book, a yoga book. Her collection of riddles appeared for three decades in noted English newspapers, the Times of India, The Statesman and The Hindustan times.

THE CONNOISSEUR

1.How Ms Krishna spent a few days with writer?

One day the author permits Ms Krishna to stay in her house while her own cottage is being painted and distempered. Ms Krishna was delighted and accepted at once, moving in with an astonishing array of black tin trucks. She arranged all the trunks neatly against the wall in the author’ room. All the trunks were firmly locked. The author is much worried of making her room with too many untidy trucks. The author feels that ageing spinsters have such strange, unusual tendencies. Ms. Krishna was an irritating guest, enquiring about the house picking up things and asking endless questions. She was very much particular about food and insisting on brown sugar for coffee and fresh butter on all her vegetables. With this the author feels that it is very impossible to exist even one more day with her under the same roof. She starts enquiring all the personal matters like the author’s family and financial matters. The author feels much disgusted with her behavior.

THE CONNOISSEUR


2.What was the story of Miss Krishna’s past?

Miss Krishna is a spinster, aged woman above sixty five. She had spent her life looking after her ailing mother. She has become alone after her mother passed away. She had been left a small annuity and a tiny cottage. She spent all her life without any comfort and luxury. She had spent her days on think rough sheets on the bad, uncarpeted floors, pottery cups, plates and ugly, discarded furniture. In all her life she had been longing for beautiful things.
Miss Krishna first meets the author at an art exhibition, and shares his pitiable story with the author. From then Miss Krishna keeps visiting the authors house, were as the author feels much disturbed.

THE CONNOISSEUR


3.Did Miss Krishna make a good guest? Give reasons for your answer.

One day the author permits Ms Krishna to stay in her house while her own cottage is being painted and distempered. Ms Krishna was delighted and accepted at once, moving in with an astonishing array of black tin trucks. She arranged all the trunks neatly against the wall in the author’s room. All the trunks were firmly locked. The author is much worried of making her room with too many untidy trucks. The author feels that ageing spinsters have such strange, unusual tendencies. Ms. Krishna was an irritating guest, enquiring about the house picking up things and asking endless questions. She was very much particular about food and insisting on brown sugar for coffee and fresh butter on all her vegetables. With this the author feels that its very impossible to exist even one more day with her under the same roof. She starts enquiring all the personal matters like the author’s family and financial matters. The author feels much disgusted with her behavior.

She could not make a good guest. At last Miss Krishna had become very troublesome to the writer. It had come to such an extent that it became impossible to stay under the single roof.

THE CONNOISSEUR

4. How was the writer developed pessimistic opinion on Miss Krishna?

Nergis Dalal is a widow and often busy in writing. She is spending her days writing books and articles.

Miss Krishna is a spinster, aged woman above sixty five. She had spent her life looking after her ailing mother. She has become alone after her mother passed away. She had been left a small annuity and a tiny cottage. She spent all her life without any comfort and luxury. She had spent her days on think rough sheets on the bad, uncarpeted floors, pottery cups, plates and ugly, discarded furniture. In all her life she had been longing for beautiful things.

Miss Krishna first meets the author at an art exhibition, and shares her pitiable story with the author. From then Ms Krishna keeps visiting the authors house, were as the author feels much disturbed.
One day Ms Krishna knocks the author’s door in the morning. Where, the author is busy in writing. And the author is forced to invite her and offers a cup of tea to her. Then Ms Krishna observed the beauty of the cup. How it was framed, designed and the beauty of the cup. She feels that she had been longing for such beautiful things in her life. Ms. Krishna observes while she was in sitting room, Chinese carpet, blue as storm-dark seas, at the crystal ashtrays, the red ceramic bowls filled with roses n carnation and single-point footstool and the chair covers.

One day the author permits Ms Krishna to stay in her house while her own cottage is being painted and distempered. Ms Krishna was delighted and accepted at once, moving in with an astonishing array of black tin trucks. She arranged all the trunks neatly against the wall in the author room. All the trunks were firmly locked. The author is much worried of making her room with too many untidy trucks. The author feels that ageing spinsters have such strange, unusual tendencies. Ms. Krishna was an irritating guest, enquiring about the house picking up things and asking endless questions. She was very much particular about food and insisting on brown sugar for coffee and fresh butter on all her vegetables. With this the author feels that it’s very impossible to exist even one more day with her under the same roof. She starts enquiring all the personal matters like the author’s family and financial matters. The author feels much disgusted with her behavior.

One morning Ms Krishna was away for shopping. The author took her car and visited Ms Krishna’s house. There she finds no signs of workmen anywhere. No ladders, no cans of paint of distemper. Everything was tidy and clean. She walked around the house and at the back of the house, found the mali potting geranium in the garden shed. Mali showed the house and showed the place, clean and dry and smelling very faintly of paint. Even the windowpanes were cleaned and shine up to match the rest of the house.

When the author returned her house and found that Ms Krishna was reading her latest manuscript. Ms Krishna overturned her chair in her haste to get up. The author tells to Ms Krishna that, she had just come from cottage and everything is finished and Ms Krishna can be moved right away. The distempering and painting was completed a week ago. Ms Krishna went right back with all her trunks. Ms Krishna visited her time to time. She told the author that she had a sister, got married and staying with her husband. She always carried with her a large old, leather purse. She opened her handbag and took out a tiny nice coffee cup and saucer, glazed red and gold, delicately translucent. And she said that whenever she feels disappointed, she goes out buy something beautiful. And this cup got her a low price. She puts the cup and saucer back into the bag and her bag was completely packed. The author suspects Ms Krishna’s bag. Same night the author dined with Lalls. Rina was an old friend. When coffee was served, the author was fascinated at the red and gold cups. Rina said that she bought a dozen cups from Paris, and one of them either lost or broken.

The author enquires whether Ms Krishna knows the Lalls. Ms. Krishna says that they are her sister’s friend. She dined with the Lalls last evening. The author says that she saw the exactly the same cup as Ms Krishna has. Ms Krishna’s face showed nothing but pretending as if she really bought.

Since then the author was very careful to keep a sharp watch on my cups and spoons when Ms Krishna was around. From time to time Ms Krishna showed her latest acquisition – a beautiful crystal candle holder made in the shape of a star, a polished wooden statue, a delicately embossed Silver base to hold a single flower, a tiny jade Buddha, and once a jeweled watch with a fine gold mesh strap. One day she produced from her bag a small Burmese lacquered box in black and gold. She was offering it to the author and said that ‘to put your paper clips n things in’. The author thanked her politely and refused and started suspecting of her “little shop” which she had so fortunately discovered.

THE CONNOISSEUR

5.How did the writer happen to make a shocking discovery about Miss Krishna?

One day mali came running and tells to the author that Ms Krishna was lying on her bed and had not woken for her morning tea. Doctor said that Ms Krishna was dead from a heart attack. She had suffered at one time from a very mild attack of angina, but that had been years ago, and she was taking her pills regularly. Ms Krishna’s sister made arrangement for the funeral.

Ms Krishna made a will on a sheet of ordinary letter-paper it was perfectly legal, and has been duly witnessed. Ms Krishna’s belonging goes to the writer. They both see what is there in those trunks. All these days the author had suspicion about the trunks. At last the suspense was uncovered. They found that every single trunk was filled over with glass, silver statues, carved figurine, watches, jewelery, monogrammed ice-tongs an spoons, silver trivets, egg-cups made from polished wood, cigarette lighters and fountain pens.

The author wondered how Ms Krishna might have accumulated all these materials. There is no pair of anything. One cup, one glass, one spoon and so on. And everything is small ‘to fit into her bag’. Among all those things the author found her a little nine inch clock half-hidden by a chiffon scarf. She had lot it almost 3 months ago.

THE CONNOISSEUR

6. Write a brief account of the beautiful things that Miss Krishna’s black trunks and large purse contain.

Miss. Krishna has a weakness or passion for beautiful things. They constitute the panacea for all her ills. Since she is not very rich, she cannot buy these things. Therefore she pilfers single and small items from the houses of people known to her. She keeps these items in black trunks. She also carries a large purse to take away tiny things from different houses. She calls them precious things which include a coffee cup and saucer, a crystal candle- holder, a wooden statue, a silver vase, a tiny jade Buddha, a jeweled watch and a Burmese box. The boxes were opened after Miss Krishna’s death. They contain glass, silver, carved figuarines, watches, jewellery, monogrammed ice-tongs and spoons, silver trivets, egg-cups, cigarette lighters and fountain pens. There are no sets but only single pieces and everything is small to go into the large purse. There is also the cordless transistorized nine-inch clock of the narrator. It has been missing for three months. Miss Krishna acquired these articles only to look at them with a sense of beauty. The narrator attributes Miss Krishna’s mania for pilfering to a mild eccentricity common to ageing spinsters.

THE CONNOISSEUR

7. Look up a dictionary to find out the meaning of ‘connoisseur’. Why do you think the title is appropriate for the story.

The meaning of Connoisseur /ˌkɒnəˈsɜr, -ˈsʊər/ is a person who is especially competent to pass critical judgments in an art, particularly one of the fine arts, or in matters of taste and beauty. This meaning suits to the character of Miss Krishna, because most of the belongings were taken away from somebody and the way she manages to carry the only old bag, always packed, only single sets.

8. How did Maya’s sister first behave with the writer and what could have been the reason for the change in her attitude later?

One day mali came running and told to the author that Ms Krishna was lying on her bed and had not woken for her morning tea. Doctor said that Ms Krishna was dead from a heart attack. She had suffered at one time from a very mild attack of angina, but that had been years ago, and she was taking her pills regularly. Ms Krishna’s sister made arrangement for the funeral.

Ms Krishna made a will on a sheet of ordinary letter-paper it was perfectly legal, and has been duly witnessed. Ms Krishna’s belonging goes to her sister. They both see what is there in those trunks. All these days the author had suspicion about the trunks. At last the suspense was uncovered. They found that every single trunk was filled over with glass, silver statues, carved figurine, watches, jewelry, monogrammed ice-tongs, spoons, and silver trivets, egg-cups made from polished wood, cigarette lighters and fountain pens.

The writer took her a little nine inch clock. But Ms. Krishna’s sister is worried of taking more valuable. She is more willing to take all the belongings of Ms Krishna.

THE CONNOISSEUR

9. What is the opinion of Miss Krishna’s mother? Had she built any negative thought about her mother?

Miss Krishna spent all her life looking after her ailing mother. But the mother, while alive, lavished all her love and affection on Miss Krishna’s younger sister leaving the elder sister very helplessly. Miss Krishna looked her mother very lovely, but she always preferred the younger daughter. And her sister is living with her husband comfortably. The mother died leaving a small annuity and a tiny cottage for Miss Krishna. Miss Krishna had a curious love-hate relationship with her. Miss Krishna was always asked to give up things in favour of the younger sister so that she could have a new dress, new shoes and outings with other girls. For ten years after the younger sister’s marriage, the mother was thinking and talking about her. For these ten years Miss Krishna and her mother lived a poor life.

THE CONNOISSEUR

10. Sketch the character of Miss Krishna?

Miss Krishna is aged spinster living along in her tiny cottage. She is a tactical woman. She knows how to impress people and get the benefits she wants. She also makes people sympathize with her miserable situation. She spent all her life without any luxury. She spent her life on coarse bed sheets, uncarpeted floor, pottery cups and plates, and ugly and discarded furniture. She feels much envious of the narrator’s house and articles in it. She declares that she is starved of beautiful things. She claims that beauty is the remedy for all her illness.

During her stay with the narrator, she enquires all personal matters of the narrator and in her absence she reads her latest manuscripts, which is unethical. On the pretext that a thing of beauty is joy forever, Miss Krishna pilfers precious little things from the houses of her hosts. Her black trunks are filled with them. Even her large purse contains pilfered things belonging to others. She shows all her newly pilfered things to the narrator and claims that she bought them very cheaply. The narrator understands that Miss Krishna wants beautiful things only to look at them but not to adorn her house with them or sell them for money. One day she offers to give the narrator a small Burmese box as a gift, but the latter rejects it because she does not accept gifts from anyone, being a self-respecting woman.

After her death she keeps her will in the name of the narrator. When the black trunks are opened, the narrator finds her missing clock among scores of small things. She takes only her clock and leaves the rest to Miss Krishna’s sister. Miss Krishna is a very strange character is common to ageing spinster.

THE CONNOISSEUR

SAM PITRODA

SAM PITRODA 


1.Where did he start is career in digital technology? OR 2.What are the efforts did Pitroda invested in the advancement of Telecommunication and Rural Automatic Exchanges?

Sam Pitroda was born in Titlagarh, Orissa on 4th May 1942 in a large family of seven brothers and sisters. His father had studied just fourth grade, but he believed in educating his children. Pitroda did his Masters in Physics and Electronics from Baroda. He moved to the United States of America to study Electrical Engineering. He was always fascinated to connect, spread telecommunication in small, remote and rural cities. Sooner, he had an opportunity to work on digital switching technology at GTE Inc., Chicago, USA that connected him in digital technology. After working in GTE for ten years, he started a telephone exchange company called Wescom switching in 1974. Later he sold Wescom switching to Rockwell for 10 million dollars.

In 1984 Sam Pitroda visited Saudi American Bank in Jeddah and introduced himself as a venture capitalist. At that time a few understood what this term meant. He had vision to set up cheap rural exchanges. Now his dream had become into reality. When the then Indian Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi made him his Chief Scientific Advisor and requested him to start a new public sector venture called centre for the Development of Telematics (C-Dot). It started exporting the telephonic equipments in bulk to countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Uganda. It sold its design licences to about 20 different Indian equipment manufacturers. He successfully implemented the creation and launch of Rural Automatic Telephone Exchanges (RAX) designed and manufactured by him and his team of Indian engineers. As a result about 40,000 exchanges totaling about 20 million telephones equipped with SS7 Intelligent Networking Signaling systems - the systems which are used to find out if a number is busy or available and to check up the database of telephone numbers. These exchanges also provide toll free information services and see to it that the main telephone network does not get overloaded. All these systems could also interconnect mobile and landline telephone numbers and many changes had taken place in business, administration, education, information, media etc.

The important feature of this new communication network system is that all the switches operate without air-conditioning even in warm environments. Sam Pirtoda became the chairman of National Technology Mission during Rajiv Gandhi’s government and thus became the first chairman of India’s Telecom commission.

Sam Pitroda wished that nation has to provide basic amenities like clean water, adequate shelter, communication food, sanitation, literacy and health, for this IT and advanced methods had to be exploited to make our nation as a self-reliant. He also focused that universities, colleges has to train students to create jobs but not job seekers, but our present system doesn’t meet the challenging aspects. Sam Pitroda thoughts, mission, and approaches are high. He always wanted to see our nation to be a self-sufficient.

Pitroda’s determination helped to create the concept and technology behind the network of STD/PCO, phone booths in every nook and corner of the villages. This idea generated self employment opportunities to many physically challenged people. The basic technology used to this network is simple and cheap, was created by Pitroda and his team at the Centre for Development of Telematics, which is found in 1984. He designed a simple device which displays phone number, call costs and duration of the call and generates an instant bill at the user’s end. Along the way he notched up over 50 patents, for digital switching, synchronization, tone generation, tone receiving and conferencing. He was also largely responsible for shaping India’s telecom policy and for all aspects of telecom legislation and development in the country. The fiber optic mechanism worked out by Pitroda made high-speed connectivity possible in telecommunications. Without Pitroda’s and his team efforts, we couldn’t have seen such progress in telecommunication.

Pitroda says that – India has a large pool of highly talented people, software talent, mathematicians, all this manpower has to be used in a best possible way to make our nation a self-reliant. Unfortunately, most of the talents are used for the progress of the other nations.

SAM PITRODA

4.How according to Pitroda can IT impact the nation?

Pitroda was focusing much stress on the enhancement of IT to speed up the process of progress and to use the resources to solving people’s problems in order to advance the Nation. Pitroda’s vision could be grasped in his own words, “IT solutions can help us tackle problems in core areas of governance, commerce, finance, education, health, agriculture, environment, legal issues and employment. From opening a bank account to getting admission to a university, we are forced to fill innumerable forms and this puts bureaucratic hurdles in the way of people. Information Technology is used to simplify life and enable people to get things done with less hassles. He believed that IT is the best solution to realize the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi’s to see India as a self-sufficient village community. Through IT application by connecting every village in India with every other part of the country and the world. Our national agenda must reflect the multiple dreams and cultural diversity of India and every citizen must work towards this common agenda. We need to create a sense of urgency, hasten the process of development, build consensus by public debate, create a climate for a new order and new ideas, and set priorities. We must encourage innovation and encourage people to think differently and give wild ideas a hearing”.
Internet will be a key tool in shaping many of these changes in the country. Through the backbones and the Internet Community Centres (ICC) the vision of developed India will be within the gasp of many more people than it is now and hopefully can become like the STD/ISD booths that have now become, an integral part of the Indian landscape following the telecom mission. With ICC, the access to computers will be available for public use, which will pave way for e-governance. “We do not need experts to tell us what the problems are. We need experts who will come up with solutions and will to make them work. And IT can provide us with solutions. Indians are highly talented in mathematics and we have large pool of software talent. Let’s cash in on these”.

SAM PITRODA

5. What are the best outstanding associations in Sam Pitroda’s life?

Sam Pitroda associated with the international forums and was an advisor. In 1995, Pitroda founded World Tel – global organization to develop telecom infrastructure in third world countries and became the CEO and subsequently the Chairman. He was also an advisor to Kofi Annan, the United Nations General Secretary Citizen’s Award for his tremendous innovations and contributions in telecom. In 1993, he was awarded the IIT Alumni Medal, and in 1995 the international Distinguished Leadership Award. Apart from providing phone access to a billion people, he built a foundation for a wired India’s future as an information industry powerhouse. For this, Dataquest has presented the IT Lifetime Achievement Award for 2002 to Sam Pitroda.

SAM PITRODA

6. What was his idea of an electronic wallet?

The Electronic Wallet that Sam Pitroda is working on is like a magic box. It is designed to contain all kinds of cards - credit card, debit card, health care, insurance card, even the driving license. These cards facilitate electronic payment. This would be the latest mode of payment over the existing systems of payments. “The future lies in electronic payment system. The payment systems that exist are outdated. It would make such good sense for the Indian government to deposit the salaries of its employees in a bank straight away, cutting out the long process of writing out cheques and waiting in queues to deposit them. The same goes for the payment of electricity and telephone bills” said Pitroda. All the payments would take its roll to speed up the work process and use our intellectual to the betterment of human life instead of wasting our time in unwanted delays.

SAM PITRODA

7.Give an account of Sam Pitroda’s innovations and contributions in telecom.

Sam Pitroda moved to the United States of America to study Electrical Engineering. He was always fascinated to connect, spread telecommunication in small, remote and rural cities. Sooner, he had an opportunity to work on digital switching technology at GTE Inc., Chicago, USA that connected him in digital technology. After working in GTE for ten years, he started a telephone exchange company called Wescom switching in 1974. Later he sold Wescom switching to Rockwell for 10 million dollars. Now he entered the dream of wiring up India and making it a self-sufficient modern nation. An opportunity came his way to make his dream a reality when Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi appointed him the Chief Scientific Advisor and asked him to start a Centre for the Development of Telematics (C-DOT).

The centre for Development of Telematics (1984) started exporting telephonic equipments to different countries of the world Pitroda designed and manufactured 40,000 Rural Automatic Telephone exchanges (REX) and equipped them with SS7 Intelligent Networking Signalling Systems. These systems are used to find out if a number is busy or available and to check up the database of telephone numbers. As these systems could also interconnect mobile and landline telephone numbers, significant changes have taken place in administration, business, education, information, media and other fields.
As Chairman of National Technology Mission and India’s Telecom Commission, Pitroda brought the telephone to some of the world’s most isolated region through small rural exchanges. He visualized thousands of public telephone booths to provide easy access to people. He created 6, 00,000 STD/PCO phone booths in every nook and corner of the country. He designed simple devices which display phone numbers, call costs, and duration of the call, and generate instant bill. He secured over 50 patents for digital switching, synchronization, tone generation tone receiving and conferencing. He shaped India’s telecom policy, telecom legislation and development in the country. The fiber optic mechanism worked out by Pitroda made high speed connectivity possible. He hoped that internet centres should reach nook and corker of the cities. And IT is the only way to explore the things. He is presently working on an Electronic Wallet which will have all kinds of cards. This will pave the way for electronic payment system.

Hence, Pitroda’s vision and achievement is noteworthy and it will surely pave the way to lead towards advanced nations.

SAM PITRODA

Some points to remember



1.      1. Sam Pitroda was born in Titlagarh, Orissa, on 4th May, 1942.
2.        Pitroda was born in a large family of seven brothers and sisters.
3.        Pitroda completed his Masters in Physics and Electronics from Baroda.
4.        Pitroda is regarded as ‘father of the Indian Telecom Revolution’.
5.        Pitroda dream was to set up small, rural exchanges ever since he made his first call.
6.        After his first call, Pitroda got an opportunity to work on digital switching technology at GTE Inc., Chicago, USA.
7.        GTE Inc., Chicago, USA, launched Pitroda in a successful career in digital technology.
8.        After working for ten years in GTE, Pitroda started a telephone exchange company called Wescon Switching in 1974.
9.       Pitroda’s successful experience with digital technology inspired him to wire up India.
10.    In1984, Sam Pitroda visited Saudi American Bank in Jeddah and introduced himself as a venture capitalist.
11.   Mr. Rajiv Gandhi made him his Chief Scientific Advisor.
12.   Then prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi requested Pitroda to start a new public sector venture called Center for the Development of Telematics (C-Dot).
13.    Pitroda successfully embarked upon the creation and launch of the Rural Automatic Telephone     exchanges (RAX) which is also designed and manufactured by him.
14.    Pitroda was the first chairman of India’s Telecom Commission in Rajiv Gandhi’s Govt.
15.    Pitroda believed that substantial food, clean water, adequate shelter and communication are the fundamentals components in the process of modernization.
16.    Pitroda’s tenacity helped create the concept and technology behind the network of STD/PCO phone calls in every nook and corner of the country.
17.    Pitroda founded Center for Development of Telematics (C-Dot) in 1984.
18.    “Let’s tap the developments in information technology and expedite the process of nation-building using these tools” was the call given by Pitroda when he took over the National Technology Mission in 1987.
19.    TEL- GLOBAL Organization was founded by Pitroda in 1995 to develop Telecom Infrastructure in third world countries.
20.    Through the backbones and the Internet Community Centres (ICC) the vision of developed India.
21.    Pitroda was also a advisor of Kofi Annan, the United Nations General Secretary on the ICT Advisory Committee.
22.    Pitroda received India’s National Citizen’s award for his tremendous innovations and contributions in Telecom.
23.    Pitroda was awarded the IIT Alumni Medal in 1993.
24.    Pitroda was also recipient of International Distinguished Leadership in 1995.
25.    Sam Pitroda was given the IT Lifetime achievement award for 2002 by Dataquest.

SIR C. V . RAMAN

SIR C. V . RAMAN
- Shubashree Desikan
 
Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman,(8 November 1888 – 21 November 1970)



















 1.How were the great men who Raman read about as a child reflection in the work he did later in life?

C. V. Raman was born on 8th November 1888, the second child of R. Chandrasekara Iyer and Parvathi Ammal. When he was four years old, Raman’s family moved to Vishakapatnam. His father worked as a lecturer in Mrs. A.V. Narasimha Rao College, there he taught physics, mathematics and physical geography. Raman’s father took active interest in sports, and was physically well built. But Raman didn’t take his father’s features but was very intelligent and preferred to read books and work at his studies.

Since at his young age Raman was associated with great books. He was fond of reading and read three books which were original writings of great scientists. These books were to him like old friends never to be forgotten. This scholarly thought made him to raise heights in his life. These three books were Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia, which is the story of Gautama Buddha, The Element of Euclid, a treatise on classical geometry, and The Sensations of Tone, by German scientist Helmholtz, on the properties of sound waves. These books were the base for the rest of his study.
Raman topped the University in Bachelor’s degree, seeing his brilliance his teachers advised him to go for Civil Services. It was very prestigious exams and hardly a few non-britishers got a chance to do. But he was proved to be medically unfit for this exam. After this he directly chooses to pursue Science, which was his passion since beginning.
SIR C. V . RAMAN
2.What understanding made Raman to scale greater heights in life


C. V. Raman was born on 8th November 1888, the second child of R. Chandrasekara Iyer and Parvathi Ammal. When he was four years old, Raman’s family moved to vishakapatnam. His father worked as a lecturer in Mrs. A.V. Narasimha Rao College, there he taught physics, mathematics and physical geography. Raman’s father took active interest in sports, and was physically well built. But Raman didn’t take his father’s features but was very intelligent and preferred to read books and work at his studies.

Since at his young age Raman was associated with great books. He was fond of reading and read three books which were original writings of great scientists. These books were to him like old friends never to be forgotten. This scholarly thought made him to raise heights in his life. These three books were Edwin Arnold’s Light of Asia, which is the story of Gautama Buddha, The Element of Euclid, a treatise on classical geometry, and The Sensations of Tone, by German scientist Helmholtz, on the properties of sound waves. These books were the base for the rest of his study.

Raman finished school when he was just eleven years old and spent two years studying at his father’s college. Immediately after his intermediate study he joined B.A course at Presidency college in Madras (Chennai). Besides being young for his class, he failed to impress the teachers because of his unimpressive in appearance and poor recalls, by this his English teacher doubts his presence whether he belongs to Bachelor degree or not but unfortunately he had give affirmative answer. At the end, Raman surprises everyone by topping the University B.A examinations.

Seeing his brilliance his teachers advised him to appear for Indian Civil Services Examinations. It was very prestigious exam in those days hardly non-britishers get through it. Raman had to undergo a medical examination before he could qualify the ICS test. Civil Surgeon declared medically unfit to travel to England. This is the only exam he failed. He keeps the ICS test apart and went on to study Physics. He states that ‘I shall ever by grateful to this man’.

Raman soon joined the M.A. Physics in Presidency college, Madras. He made a good use of his post-graduation study and made a lively experiments with light waves. He displayed his original thinking on matters such as the diffraction or deflection of light when entering a narrow silt. Raman wondered what would happen if the light shone straight, not from an angle, on an intervening screen. Though a student still in his teens he published to results of this study in the British Journal, “Philosophical Magazine”. His work clearly speaks of his original thinking and practical perceptions of his study.

Raman passed the M.A. examination in January 1907, coming first in the University. Soon after this, he married Lokasundari. He was ambitious to pursue research, but there were no labs in India, and he could not travel to England. So he decided to take up the Financial Services Examination, he topped the examination and moved with his wife to Calcutta to work as an Assistant Accountant General. His being married entitled him to an allowance of what was fabulous amount in those days – Rs.400.

One day Raman incidentally spotted a signboard with the words ‘Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science’. That roused his curiosity and became the laboratory where along with his team performed the legendary experiments on light. From then Raman worked hard intensely, in the day time he used to work as financial officer, in the evening he would immerse himself in research until night. Such work speaks about Sir C.V. Raman, how close he was attached to pursue research in Physics. During these days his papers appeared in international journals such as Nature and the Philosophical Magazine, published in England, and the Physical Review, published in the USA, and Raman began spreading his experiments, his latest inventories in Physics had spread across the world. Altogether, he started presenting popular lectures, live demonstrations that made even non-specialists understand his work. But sadly, such practices lost its way after Sir C.V. Raman.

3.Write a short note on Sir C.V. Raman’s work on waves and sound.

Raman was fascinated by waves and sound, this interest he had been carrying out since he read Helmholtz’s book in his schooldays. Basing this book, he explained the working of the ektara, which is a simple instrument made of a resonant box and a string stretched to lie across the cavity. With this simple object, he developed several ideas that he called – ‘remarkable resonances’. This was the fist time scientific understanding was made. Raman’s studies on the violin were extensive and were later published as a book entitled - On the Mechanical Theory of Musical Instruments of the Violin Family with Experimental Results: Part 1.

How does a scientific understanding a violin? Raman made a violin with all the other odds and ends found in the lab. It didn’t exactly look like the instrument that we know, but it had all the features of the violin - the stretched string, the resonant box, the bow which can be moved at a desired speed and stroke – length by adjusting the mechanical wheel. That was the first time a mechanical violin player was designed for violin research, but it is a concept used even today. Raman furthered his study to other instruments like tambura, mridangam, tabla and others. Then he turned his attention to optics.

4.Give a brief account of Sir C.V.Raman’s work the University of Calcutta.

Around 1917, Raman was offered a very prestigious position of Palit Professor of Physics at the University of Calcutta. That position needs foreign experience, seeing his inventory research in Physics, and above this he was much qualified to train foreign students. This rule was waived. Raman without having a second thought of leaving fabulous income, he willfully accepted the university’s offer as a Palit Professor. He was only required to manage the laboratory and guide research, but he preferred to teach courses. Because of his presence at the University, a number of students from all over India were attracted to Calcutta and rose to great heights. In 1921 the University of Calcutta conferred an honorary doctorate on him. As the representative of the University, he attended the University Congress at Oxford. On his way back, he sat on the ship’s deck for hours observing the blue colour of the sea through his optical tools. He discovered that water molecules could scatter light just like air molecules. This discovery initiated the famous Raman Effect. In 1922 he published an essay, “The Molecular Diffraction of Light” in which Raman thought that light could exist in massless particles of energy. Finally in 1927, Raman and his team proved that light can undergo scattering through a liquid resulting in a change in its frequency. This is the famous Raman Effect for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1930. Subsequently, 28th February is annually observed as National Science Day.


5.What discovery did Raman made during his voyage across the Mediterranean and how did it prove to the important?

Sir C.V. Raman made an extensive contribution in the field of Physics. The book ‘The Sensation of Tone, by German scientist Helmholtz, on the properties of sound waves had made very provoking thought of doing study in Physics. In rest of his academic life when the chance had come for opting subjects he chose Physics. When he was in post-graduation and was associated in ‘Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science’ had made an extensive study in Physics and made a new theories, inventions etc.

In 1921, the University of Calcutta conferred on him a honorary doctorate. He also went overseas for the first time. He represented to the University Congress of Oxford. During his voyage back to India, Raman spent hours watching sea from the deck of his ship and was stuck by its colour. The dark blue is nothing but the reflection of sky. His paper explained his observations on the Mediterranean Sea was on its way to the journal Nature.

6.How was Sir C.V.Raman’s late life.

From the University of Calcutta, Raman took up the directorship of Indian Institute of Science, in Bangalore. He retire in 1948. He gave equal time to both research and organizational work there. He tenure this time was very controversial but never thought of leaving the country for a better life. He devoted his final years, from 1946 to 1970 looking after the Raman Research Institute and Indian Academy of Science. He also edited the journals Current Science and the Proceedings of the Academy. He died on 21st November 1970. By a special arrangement his body was cremated in the Institute camp only without religious ceremonies. Now only a solitary tree marks the spot where he was cremated in the campus of the Raman Research Institute. Raman would be remembered for his contributions to science and for winning the Nobel Prize for Physics as an Indian Scientist.

7. What made Raman say of the Civil Surgeon of Madras, ‘I shall ever be grateful to this man’?

Raman was greatly influenced by the books he read from his father’s collection. They made a extensive impact in rest of his life. He finished school when he was just eleven years old and spent two years studying at his father’s college. Immediately after his intermediate study he joined B.A course at Presidency college in Madras (Chennai). Besides being young for his class, he failed to impress the teachers because of his unimpressive in appearance and poor recalls, by this his English teacher doubts his presence whether he belongs to Bachelor degree or not but unfortunately he had give affirmative answer. At the end, Raman surprises everyone by topping the University B.A examinations.

Seeing his brilliance his teachers advised him to appear for Indian Civil Services Examinations. It was very prestigious exam in those days hardly non-britishers get through it. Raman had to undergo a medical examination before he could qualify the ICS test. Civil Surgeon declared medically unfit to travel to England. This is the only exam he failed. He keeps the ICS test apart and went on to study Physics. He states that ‘I shall ever by grateful to this man’.

Because Civil Surgeon declared him medically unfit, he choose to study Physics, his defined area where he made his life in later years. He was a recipient of Nobel prize and veteran scientist of Physics.

8.Why was the day when Raman walked into the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science a historic moment?

After Raman passed MA examination in January 1907, coming first in the University. Then, he married Lokasundary, who belonged to Madurai. Raman wanted to further his studies in research, but unfortunately there were no labs in India, and he couldn’t afford to travel to England. Then, he choose to take up the Financial Civil Services examination – a forerunner of the Indian Administration and Audit Services (IAAS). He topped the examination and moved with his wife to Calcutta to work as an Assistant Accountant General. One day, when Raman was riding to work on a tram, he spotted a signboard with the words ‘Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science’. Because, he was deeply associated with research in science, his curiosity aroused. He got off the tram and, in what was a historic moment, walked into the building that was to become the laboratory. There he and his team performed the legendary experiments on light. From the day Raman was given the keys to the IACS. As he had already associated with his service and he had a long passion to pursue research in science. His passion led him to work hard. In the day time he used to work as an Assistant Accountant General and in the evening he would immerse himself in research until night.

In Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, he had legendary experiments of light, sound and musical instruments.

SIR C. V . RAMAN

To remember 

1.        C.V.Raman was born in Tiruchurapalli (known as Trichinopoly) on 8th Nov,  1888.
2.        Raman was the second child of R.Chandrashekara Iyer and Parvathi Ammal.
3.        Raman’s father worked as a Lecturer in Mrs. A.V.Narsimha Rao College, where he taught Physics, Mathematics, and Physical Geography.
4.        Three significant books moulded Raman’s mental and spiritual outlook.
5.        Edwin Arnold wrote Light of Asia, which is the story of Guatham Buddha.
6.        The book The Elements of Euclid, is a treatise on classical geometry.
7.        The book The Sensations of Tone was written by German scientist Helmholtz on the properties of sound waves.
8.        Raman was the first student of Presidency College to publish a research paper in the Philosophical Magazine, a British Journal.
9.        Raman was declared medically unfit to travel to England by Civil Surgeon of Madras.
10.    Raman passed his M.A Exam from Presidency College, Chennai, in Jan, 1907 and stood first in the University.
11.    Raman married Lokasundari, who belonged to Madurai.
12.    He took up the Financial Service Examination, a forerunner of the Indian Administrative and Audit Services (IACS) and topped the exam and joined as an Assistant Accounts Officer.
13.    During his stay with Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), he published his papers in international journals such as Philosophic Magazine, England and Physical Review, USA.
14.    Raman introduced the practice of giving live demonstrations.
15.    Raman was fascinated by waves and sounds and seems to carried in his mind the memory of reading Helmoholtz’s book ‘The Sensations of Tone’
16.    Raman’s studies on Violin were extensive and were later published as a book ‘On the Mechanical Theory of Vibrations of the Musical Instruments of the Violin Family with Experimental Results: Part I’.
17.    After publishing book on Violin, he got interested in Acoustics until 1920 and later he became interested in Optics.
18.    Ashutosh Mookerjee, the newly appointed V.C of University of Calcutta offered Raman the post of Palit Professor of Physics around 1917.
19.    Some well-known and brilliant students of Raman were K.R.Ramanthan, K.S. Krisnan and Suri Bhagavantham.
20.    In 1921, the University of Calcutta conferred on Raman an honorary doctorate and it was his first overseas trip.
21.    He represented University of Calcutta when he attended University congress in Oxford in 1921.
22.    When Raman’s ship finally docked at Bombay, his paper on observation on Mediterrenean sea was on its way to journal Nature.
23.    Lord Rayleigh said about the blue colour of the sky ‘ the dark blue colour of the deep blue sea has nothing to do with the colour of water but is simply the blue of the sky seen in reflection’.
24.    Raman discovered that water molecules could scatter just like air molecules.
25.    In 1922, Raman wrote a brilliant essay titled ‘The Molecular Diffraction of Light’, in which he speculated the light may exist in quanta, that is, as massless particles of energy.
26.    With the discovery of Compton Effect in 1923, the existence of light quanta was established beyond doubt.
27.    In 1927, Raman’s students were able to say confidently that the new effect was not ‘a type of fluorescence’ but a modified scattering and it led to the discovery made on 28, February, 1927.
28.    The fact that the light can undergo a scattering through a liquid resulting in a change in its frequency – the famous Raman Effect – and the date is celebrated as National Science Day till date.
29.    Raman was awarded Nobel Prize for Physics in 1930.
30.    Raman took up chairmanship of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and stayed there until he retired in 1948.
31.    Raman devoted his final years from 1946 to 1970 in setting up Raman Research Center in Bangalore besides running Indian Academy of Science.
32.    He died on 21 November, 1970.
33.    This piece of prose on C.V.Raman adapted from Vignettes in Physics, University Press.

Meanings
a.       voracious - having a very strong desire to do a lot of something
b.       pore over - to read something very carefully for a long time
c.        welter - a large and confusing number of something
d.       fabulous - extremely good, wonderful
e.       legendry - very famous and admired
f.         fascinated - extremely interested in something
g.        resonant - a sound that id deep, clear and loud, continues for some time
h.       full-fledged - completely established
i.          brusquely - using very few words in a way that seems rude
j.         waive - to state officially that a rule can be ignored
k.        confer - to officially give someone a title, etc, especially for an achievement
l.          intently - giving all your attention to something
m.     radical - very new or different
n.       speculate - to guess
o.       hunch - a feeling that something true and will happen
p.       historic - very important, that is recorded for future
q.       accolade - praise or prize given for someone’s work
r.         tenure - the period of time when someone has an important position
s.        consigned to flames – cremated
t.         improvise - to do something without any preparation because you are forced to do so by an unexpected situation

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