Wednesday, October 14, 2009

..And the award goes to...

"Nationality is simply an accident of birth"
Before you even start to debate with me, let me inform you that these are not my words, for certain. These are the words of current Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan.True doc! (Courtesy: IBNLive)

A child who is yet to be born has, in no way, the privilege of choosing his/her country of birth, just like he/she cannot choose his/her parents. But does that demean the relationship between the child and the parent? I can blindly vouch for the answer to be a big NO.

Innumerable (undesirable) phone calls, plethora of (impeding) e-mails, plenty of time (whiled away)! So much for a humble achievement of winning a Nobel Prize, not fair..right ?

We can categorically understand the predicament that you have been subjected to face Dr. Venkatraman, in terms of jammed mailboxes and hours of time being frittered away in clearing that jam. After all it was your hard work for twenty years, which has now been felicitated by the Nobel Prize. Time is money as they say.

The whole nation boogied together reveling in news of YOU winning a Nobel Prize, floating around all day. On the face of it, for this country's layman, you are an Indian; still! How silly of them to not have known that now you are a citizen of some other country and your relationship with India is merely by virtue of birth. After all you couldn't have controlled your country of birth. Right doc ?

The impulsive urge in the Indians to contact you, to wish you over this magnanimous accomplishment and to express their delight over it was definitely not a practical gesture. Ironically, not more than a handful of them would even be aware of the significance of your work. After all, what benefit could they reap in wishing someone who is geographically millions of miles separated from them and shares nothing but his country of birth with them (which incidentally is not a matter of choice but a matter of sheer accident) ? I am still trying to find an answer for it. Maybe, you could help me solving this maze, doc. The fact that the people of India are genuinly happy over your achievement and expect nothing, but to share it with you, is of little consequence, I guess.

Silly, emotional, Indians!

But, these emotions are costing you time doctor, and you certainly cannot afford to do with it. It was time and science that have aided you in this journey so what possible additional abet these emotions could be to you? Did you say None, doc?!?!? While you are right in pointing out that your achievement has nothing to do with nationalities, the coldness in your interview replies towards India might not go down well with the people of India.

We are as much proud of you doctor, as much we are of Dr. APJ Kalam or Sachin Tendulkar, or Rabindranath Tagore. Trust me when I say that we know that their success not was anything because of their countrymen's gestures but due to their individual perseverance.

Our tribute is not to share a space in your success, but to render the support of millions, who recognize you as one among them!

Though we as a nation are yet to learn “how much is too much” funda, but our enthusiasm should not be construed as encumbrance by you sir. Alternatively, a polite reply by you to such adulations would have served the purpose and helped in toning down the unquantifiable phone calls and e-mails. Maybe there is something for both of us to learn from this incident. As is known, it’s never too late to learn…both, you and we as a country could learn to appreciate small but cardinal things in life.
Nevertheless, you still deserve a big Congratulation, Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan. Hope your endeavors transcend the boundaries of nations and benefit the entire human race.

Oh, by the way, wish a very Happy Diwali to you doctor and to all my wonderful wonderful people of this country. Dress up well, eat good and remember to keep your environment clean.. Do not light crackers :)

Knee Slapper : Glad that it wasn't a Nobel PEACE Prize...else there would have been thunderbolts over the PEACE prize...what say doc ;)


  1. Very well said. Enjoyed reading this.

  2. Nice writing Madhu! Although, I think that it might have been overplayed by the media. Again, not very sure about this too.. I am sure you'd have read this interview but if not, here's the link:


  3. Thanks Ninad!

    Firstly for reading and liking the post and secondly for sending that link to me..i hadn't read it before...but on reading it looked a direct reply to my post from the doc did give me a lot more solace than other people justifying his words..wat better than words coming out of horse's mouth itself! I truly appreciate his work and NOW appreciate that he remembers his roots!

    Happy reading,

  4. Agreed with all of what you have written. But you should look at the other side too. I agree Indians want to share the happiness. But the problem is we(at least the media) were trying to share the achievement too, portraying him as an "Indian".

  5. @Vinod,

    Well said mate...thats a known fact abt media...but that's how they earn their bread and butter....isn't it ??? Even Dr. Ramakrishnan agreed with the fact that these adulations were new to him and hence he was not able to handle them article was just to remind Dr. that there were better ways to react to the media frenzy and still remain the candy of us Indians :)

    All said and done, his achievements are commendable.

    Happy reading,