India’s rocket man
The Times of India
And the question all scientists are asked: Is he a man of god? There is a lot of science in him, but is there spirituality? “I think there is a spirit embedded in everyone,” he says. “The feeling is that everything in a given situation can’t be explained by a physical or chemical process, that there is something beyond our comprehension despite doing everything humanly possible. That arena is what we call destiny – sacred forces that define your destiny. At least that’s how I can explain and understand the turning points of my life.”
Nair says he offers prayers, but is not religious . “You could say I’m spiritual,” he says. “Prayers bring me a certain peace. Prayers help see you through conflicting situations and handle critical problems. I visit temples but not too often. I go to Guruvayur and I sometimes visit Tirupati and Sabarimala.”
The serious stuff, though, as Isro head and secretary, Department of Space, is for the workplace . At home, he would rather leaf through a P G Wodehouse or Madhava Kutty. And the hype over Arvind Adiga’s The White Tiger and Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner haven’t left him untouched. “I’ve been reading those,” he says. “However, I have to keep abreast of the latest technological developments as technology happens to be my field. I read up on matters like spacecraft or inter-planetary explorations.” At one point, Nair did read J Krishnamurti and Vedic literature. “I was influenced a bit, but that was a phase.”
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