So, it turns out that Leonid Hurwicz, the Economics Nobel laureate is known to my Dad's maternal uncle, and he has even had dinner at my dad's cousin's place. That is probably the closest I have come to knowing a Nobel laureate.
Unless, of course, one of you in the future becomes a Nobel laureate. Then I can open my blog (if it still exists and if I remember the url), and show people your comments and say, "Oh, s/he was my blogger pal!" And if I win a Nobel, you can go ahead and flaunt my name, I will not mind.
Ok, back to Nobel laureates. Actually, coming to think of it, I kind of know another Nobel laureate. Or rather, a Nobel laureate's home. My school was adjacent to C.V.Raman's compound (now all you North-Bangaloreans know where I did my schooling!). My classmate in primary school, let's call her Sma, lived in the outhouse in that compound. C.V.Raman's large house, situated in the middle of that huge compound, was uninhabited,, and always locked.
Now this compound contained a variety of trees - jackfruit, mango, silk-cotton, tamarind, and many more - it was actually a mini forest. A beautiful green place in the midst of busy Malleshwaram - we all envied Sma.
I would go to Sma's home to play sometimes, after school or on the weekends. Sometimes our games took us to the main house. We would play in the wide, sweeping portico, with the thick columns and pillars. We would go round the house and try to peep in at the windows. Once, looking at my enthusiasm, Sma's father got the key, opened the doors and let me look inside. It was large, spacious, with a high roof - a typical old-style home. The furniture was heavy, luxurious. The sofas had long, curved handles and printed cushioned seats. CV Raman's armchair was very heavy, dusty, and broken. His writing table was large and foreboding. I sat on his chair, sat at his table, and felt very important indeed.
The memory of that house still gives me the creeps, for some strange reason. It was obviously once a very beautiful and elegant and house, but it seemed to be falling apart - dusty, musty, and echoing with our hushed voices.
So there ends my tryst with Nobel laureates.
My sis and I had once chalked up a plan on "How to win a Nobel". We listed the categories and contemplated upon which Nobel it would be easiest to win. We first struck out Physics, and then went Chemistry. Medicine fell next. Economics wasn't even in the reckoning, as we had no idea what it even meant. All that was left was Literature and Peace.
Literature shouldn't be so difficult - just write a few books and you are good to go. But Peace, we decided, was the easiest. All we had to do was preach peace with zest, and we would be awarded the Nobel. (We were just 11 and 7, please!)
I still have a fascination for the Nobel, and am in awe of Nobel laureates. I am sure some of you are out there rubbing shoulders with Nobel laureates. When my sis got an admit to Stanford, somebody told her that in that University, if she stood in the cafeteria line, the guy in front of her and the one behind her would be Nobel laureates. I don't think that has happened to her - yet.
So, do tell me - have you met/interacted with Nobel laureates? If yes, who, when, how, where?