Faces of India – 278
Faces of India,
a series through which I intend to portray the various characters of my country whom I met during my travels. See more here…
How many of you, particularly my Indian friends and readers, can recognize this gentleman? No googling and image search.
First hint: He is an internationally renowned scientist.
Second hint: He has led a premier science related organization.
Third hint: He appeared in news headlines couple of decades back very frequently.
When I saw him first in the reception section of an office, I felt I knew him. His face seemed so familiar but was I unable to place him properly in my memory. And the thought kept nagging me. With crinkled eyebrows I kept looking at him and tried to recollect who he was. Then suddenly in a flash I realized he is none other than Prof. U R Rao, the internationally renowned space scientist. He has made original contributions to the development of space technology in India. He was the chairman of Indian Space Research Organization in 1985. Under his leadership and tenure there was the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992. His pictures splashed in newspapers then and he made huge headlines too. I had seen just his photographs then and felt so proud of the space program of India. I was full of admiration for this great scientist then. Never thought I would see him face to face any day in life.
Once the realization dawned in me that he was the Prof. U R Rao I was thrilled, excited and nervous at the same time. Somehow I mustered up courage to speak to him. My first sentence was: I recognize you as Prof. U R Rao and you were the chairman of ISRO, right sir?
He smiled with a yes.
Feeling very happy to meet you sir I said, my father too served ISRO and I have seen your photographs in newspapers during the successful launch of ASLV.
He asked me which division my father worked.
After that I gathered some more courage asked his permission to photograph him and he replied with another yes!!!
And that is how I have this photo.
I as an Indian am grateful and proud of him for his contributions to Space program of India. Even at this age of 85 he continues to serve the ADCOS (Advisory Committee for Space Science.) Prof. U R Rao will receive the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ Award and a certificate, during the closing ceremony on 30th September 2016 from International Astronautical Federation.