One wouldn’t usually associate Nobel Prize-winning scientist RK Pachauri, with words like love, passion, reincarnation and spiritual.
But such was the language used to describe his debut novel, Return to Almora, at the launch at Taj Mahal Hotel on Friday. The event was hosted by HSBC India’s general manager Naina Lal Kidwai and the book was released by Reliance Industries chairman, Mukesh Ambani.
Ambani, who is a friend of Pachauri, spoke of his childhood association with Almora. “It’s a special place for me because my father [Dhirubhai Ambani] used to take me for holidays there,” he said. Ambani, who read a small excerpt from the book, said he has always had tremendous respect for Pachauri’s work.
Return to Almora, published by Rupa, marks the first foray into fiction for the economist, ecologist and environmentalist who has authored 23 books and several research articles.
Pachauri spoke of his ambition to become a poet when he was eight. “After that I wanted to be a cricketer, but that didn’t work out. So I joined dramatics and wanted to be an actor,” he said.
Describing the experience as “one of the most enjoyable” in his life, Pachauri said it enabled him to express his “innermost feelings, emotions and values.”
Actor Rahul Bose, who read out an excerpt from the book, said, “It reminded me of The Razor’s Edge (by W Somerset Maugham).”