Why the sky is blue – A Different Raman Effect
A famous scientist is mid-speech, vigorously moving his hands about as he looks up in wonder and says ‘One thing leads to another. That is the essence of science. You must go where it leads you. The moment you raise a question, another arises. Then another arises. Ultimately, you find you have to travel the whole field of science before you get the answer for why the sky is blue‘
The scientist is C.V. Raman. There is another famous twosome listening to him. One of them, the dancer Chandralekha and the other, the founder member of National Institute of Design, Dashrath Patel. The dancer delights at the animation before her – the moving hands, like sparks of movements telling a story. She instructs her friend Mr. Patel to click photos of Dr. Raman and she gives him real time cues on the exact moments she wants clicked.
This book is a little known gem, as this unlikely partnership conveys Raman’s curiosity and passion for science so simply and photographically.
While it is a light intro to why the sky is blue, what it manages to do is return one to the essence of wonder and questioning. Which begins best not from judgement and accusations, but from curiosity. A scientist’s curiosity conveyed to the young through a dancer’s curiosity for the scientist’s expression. A helpful talented friend who helps execute the idea. Making this book a real collector’s item, both for lovers of science and meaningful collaborations.All three are long dead and a few lovely editions of this book by Tulika Publications are available online. WHY THE SKY IS BLUE – This Raman Effect is subtle, simple and beautiful. using black and white photographs to convey the essence of a turning, alive mind. Listening deeply is an art and the one who does that is always a real artist. A little book for children reminded me of this, from a science meeting of another time. Your kids too might enjoy!