From the archives of the Hindustan Times: September 25

Dr Raja Ramanna, 79, is survived by his wife and two daughters. He was admitted to Bombay Hospital after he complained of giddiness.
Updated on Sep 25, 2019 07:51 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

Ramanna inspiration for all (2004)

Mumbai- Eminent scientist and doyen of India’s nuclear programme, Dr Raja Ramanna, died of an intestinal problem early on Friday (September 24) morning in Mumbai.

Ramanna, 79, is survived by his wife and two daughters. He was admitted to Bombay Hospital after he complained of giddiness.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, who looks upon Ramanna as his philospher, friend and guru, rushed to Mumbai from Aurangabad on Thursday night when he heard that Ramanna had taken ill. “He stood near Ramanna for nearly 10 minutes in silent prayer wishing him a speedy recovery,” said a hospital source.

Handpicked by the founder of India’s nuclear programme Dr Homi Bhabha, Ramanna proved to be a pioneer in the growth of physics in India and put the country on the world nuclear map within a short time.

Once in, he never looked back, and rose to become the head of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission and then secretary in the Department of Atomic Energy.

Ramanna, who completed his doctorate from London, played a key role in India’s first Pokhran nuclear test in 1974. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, he was a Rajya Sabha member till last year and was a member of Atomic Energy Commission.

His colleagues at BARC remembered him as warm and simple man who was always accessible to everyone. “He used to be an inspiration for students at the BARC training school. His lectures were highly motivating. He was sharp and could even relate and

grasp subjects that did not come under his domain,” recalls former AERB secretary Parthasarathy.

An avid music lover, he played the piano and gave a performance at Trinity College, London. He had even written a book linking classical and western music.

Heartstopper (2007)

Johannesburg: There was enchantment at work at the Wanderers here on Monday (September 24). Everything that could go wrong for India did, but somehow, despite scoring what should not have been enough (157); despite the trailblazing Yuvraj Singh failing after getting them so far in the tournament; despite Imran Nazir hammering quick runs in quick time, India beat Pakistan by five runs to win the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup.

Ergo, there was magic in the air. And you could feel it right through the day. It began early, when hordes of jostling Indians and Indian-origin fans, many of who had purchased tickets in black, for up to five times the original price, made it into the Wanderers, enthusiastically waving the tricolour.

This was a dream match-up, it was the first final of a World Cup that might rewrite the way cricket will be looked at by future generations. And it was India vs Pakistan.

Everyone here knew history was being made and that emotional, pulsating crowd wanted to be an active part of it. They cheered the teams as they walked on to the ground, sang Jana Gana Mana with full-throated excitement and made sure India’s Boys in Blue never felt they were away from home.

And as for Dhoni’s devils, the men they were rooting for, well, they just do not cease to amaze us.

When this day is done, when the parties are over, when the music has died down and the crowds have finally disappeared from the team hotel and all of us here head for home, each one of us who has been on this enchanted African safari, will have to wonder what comes next.

Logic says that being young and restless, confident and talented, will only take the Indians so far. After all, this is only T20. Luck plays a huge role; the margin for error is too little, so great teams have been felled because of one bad session and no time to make up. Could they repeat this in the longer formats?

But seeing this young India on the ground and off it, their enjoyment of the moment, the joie-de-vivre they bring to everything they do, their affection for each other and their gelling together as a unit has got to make you a believer. There is something about this band of boys that makes you want to laugh and cry with them, embrace them, if only for giving you hope for the future.

Martian Race won (2014)

New Delhi/Bengaluru: India joined an exclusive global club of deep space explorers on Wednesday (September 24) when its indigenously- made Mangalyaan spacecraft successfully slipped into the orbit around Mars after a 10-month journey on a relatively shoe-string budget.

Scientists burst into wild cheers as the spacecraft manoeuvred into the red planet’s orbit following an over 650-million kilometre voyage, making the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) the world’s only space agency to enter the Martian orbit on its first attempt.

Only the US, Europe and Russia have so far sent probes that have successfully orbited or landed on the planet, but after several attempts. “History has been created today. We have dared to reach out into the unknown and achieved the near impossible. I congratulate all Isro scientists as well as all my fellow Indians,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who burst into applause along with hundreds of scientists at the Isro command centre in Bengaluru when they received confirmation at 8am that the mission was a success.

Isro successfully ignited the main liquid engine and eight small thrusters of the spacecraft that fired for 24 minutes and trimmed the speed of the probe to allow smooth orbit entry.

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