A library, his memorial
When P.K. Srinivasan passed away three years ago, he left a dream unfulfilled. This dedicated teacher of mathematics was obsessed with wanting to make every child not only proficient in mathematics but also love it. He produced numerous books (over 6
0, I’m told) which in ingenious ways tried to hook both child and adult to mathematics.
Sadly, he failed with me, but he did successfully convey his passion for the subject. And that’s what led me to a small Museum he had founded.
Ten crores, ten acres and ten years is what he had always dreamed of for the permanent exhibition of mathematics he wanted to set up in Madras.
The dream was unfulfilled, but he did take a small step towards it when a well-wisher helped him to set up the Ramanujan Museum in Royapuram. I found it fascinating, but was later sad on two counts: One, he was not able to enlarge it into the mathematics museum he had dreamed of and, two, it was — and still is — so little known, receiving hardly any publicity, least of all in official Government publications.
That little museum is indeed a lasting memorial to him.
Now there’s another memorial to him. His family has set up a library — with his books on mathematics, a veritable treasure house — and a photographic gallery in Nanganallur.
It is to be hoped that the library and the Ramanujan Museum attract greater public attention. But, that will only be when those ‘selling’ Madras that is Chennai to the world — and to its residents too — decide that there’s more to tourism than places of worship, art forms and beaches.
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