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IAHM remembers S Chandrasekhar
IAHM remembers S Chandrasekhar

BY A STAFF WRITER

CHICAGO, IL – The Indo-American Heritage Museum (IAHM), a community-based institution, paid tributes to the 1983 Nobel Prize (physics) winner S. Chandrasekhar by organizing a unique program, ‘Dwarf stars and family stories’, at The Field Museum (Marae gallery), 1400 S Lake Shore Dr here on September 23.?

Celebrated as Chandra Day, the program invited visitors to learn about astrophysics from Field Museum Curator of Meteorites, Phillip Heck.

The highlight of the afternoon was a heartfelt sharing of family stories by Revathy Kumar, daughter of Chandra’s brother Balakrishnan, who welcomed questions about her famous periappa (uncle).

Those who attended could Chandra’s own comments and reflections of his devoted wife Lalitha, which were shared by friends of IAHM.

The event featured memories of Ayya Mama by Chandrasekhar’s niece, and readings of words from Chandra’s personal life, brief selections from Chandra’s essays.


Among the reminiscences were numerous mentions of Chandra’s love of walking on the beach in Madras, his impeccable English, his elegance, his numerous generous gifts of books to loved ones, and his love of music.

Vidya Shankar, Chandra’s sister, recalled how once he “exuberantly decided to have a spontaneous singing session.”


Professor Kumar shared a personal recollection of her renowned uncle’s response to her dismay when as a very young girl, she was left behind when her parents and older relatives accompanied her famous uncle to formal events during a trip to New Delhi. Her Periappa (uncle) invited her to join him for a walk to the Lodi Gardens where he bought her an ice cream.

Amita Banerji brought to life words of Lalitha, Chandra’s wife, who was a classmate with Chandra in the physics department at Presidency College in Madras, India.

All who were present remembered and enjoyed viewing the Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in 1983 displayed in a showcase in the Beyond Bollywood exhibition, which features heritage items of Indian Americans of Chicago on view in the Marae Gallery at the Field Museum until January 7.

The IAHM is a community-based and inclusive institution, a place where visitors can better understand and experience the rich cultural heritage, fascinating immigrant history and important contemporary developments that shape the lives of millions of Americans of Indian origin.

Through IAHM programs and affiliation with the Chicago Cultural Alliance, a partnership of Chicago’s ethnic museums and cultural centers, IAHM promotes public understanding of cultural diversity.

 

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Update: 08-October-2017

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