Our inquisitive child Rene remembers Satyendra Nath Bose on the 1st of January and what followed was a discussion with her Papa on the great scientist.
By Somashis Gupta
“Papa – Rene Series”
Starring: Triparni Das as Rene and Chayanchit Das as Papa
I was sipping my cup of tea on the morning of the 1st of January. The night before was new year’s eve and the party lasted till late in the morning. So a fresh cup of tea in the late morning was necessary. It was then when Rene approached me…
“Papa, do you know what is special about today?”
“Well it is the first day of New Year and I was planning to take you all out for lunch,” I replied.
“No Papa, besides that”
“What could be more interesting to you than food, I wonder”
“Oh Ho! Papa, I do other things as well besides eating” Rene laughed “do you remember Bose-Einstein Condensate?”
“Ah! Yes, Why?”
“Well, today is Satyendra Nath Bose’s birthday.”
“Oh! Yes, great that you are following” I appreciated her.
“Of course Papa” Rene was happy that I appreciated “I had been studying his life and found it fascinating.”
“So what have you learned about him?” I asked.
“To begin with, he was a polymath who had interest not only in physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and mineralogy but also in subjects like philosophy, arts, literature, and music.”
“Not only that” I added, “he was fluent in many languages besides Bengali and English, he spoke German, French, and Sanskrit as well.”
“Papa, did he not know Hindi?”
“No, Hindi as a language is not of academic importance at that time,” I explained.
“So what did he study Papa?”
“He started his schooling from New Indian School when he was five years old, and later in the year 1909 he completed his 10th from the Hindu School.” I continued “do you know he stood fifth in the order of merit?”
“Oh I see, I read that he was trained by Jagadish Chandra Bose in the Presidency College. Is it true papa?
“Not one Jagadish Chandra Bose,” I informed “he was trained under other great scholars like Sarada Prasanna Das and Prafulla Chandra Roy”
“Papa see what it says in Wikipedia,” Rene forwarded her laptop to me and said, “his marks in the MSC examination created a new record in the annals of the University of Calcutta, which is yet to be surpassed.”
“I was unaware of this, good Rene” and then I asked her “did you know he played the esraj?”
“What is esraj Papa?
“It is an Indian musical instrument which is similar to the violin”
“Papa I heard that he was the Head of the Department of Physics at Dhaka University?” Rene wanted to know.
“Yes, would you like to see it now?” I surprised her.
“Now? But How?”
“Check out this video” and I showed her this…
“Wow, so when did he come to Calcutta?”
“It was during the partition of Bengal in 47” I informed ‘do you know he insisted every student design his or her own equipment using local materials and local technicians?”
“That is truly brilliant,” Rene looked pleased “in fact that way every student will learn so much more.”
“I agree, he was also the Vice Chancellor of Viswa-Bharati.”
“Yes I know but later returned to the University of Calcutta to continue research in nuclear physics and complete earlier works in organic chemistry.”
“Good, I see that you have been studying about him,” I continued “he was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for Physics, and did you know Tagore dedicated his only book on science, Viswa-Parichoy to Bose?”
“Ah! Papa, this was a good discussion on the morning of the 1st of January”
“Indeed, now let’s go for lunch to Park Street.”
With this, a fruitful morning ended on the first day of the new year that day.
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A devoted foodie with keen interest in wild life, music, cinema and travel Somashis has evolved over time . Being an enthusiastic reader he has recently started making occasional contribution to write-ups.