Precious home movie collection of Dr Jayant Narlikar to be preserved at NFAI
Dr Jayant Narlikar is world’s leading astrophysicist and founding Director of Inter-University Center for Astronomy & Astrophysics, Pune
Home movies are a specific genre of audio-visual material which captures mostly actions and movements
National Film Archive of India (NFAI) is delighted to add personal Home movie collection of India’s eminent scientist Dr Jayant Narlikar. The collection, in 8mm and Super 8mm film format, is about 4 hours duration. Dr Narlikar and his wife Dr Mangala Narlikar handed over the collection to Shri Prakash Magdum, Director NFAI for preservation.
On this occasion “I am extremely happy that such a precious home movie collection of such an eminent personality has come to us. Home movies are really important for preservation as these footages consist of family activities, vacation and social or cultural events”, said Director, NFAI, Shri Prakash Magdum.
The collection of 41 films consists of Dr Narlikar’s visit to USA, UK including footage of his stay at Cambridge and The California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The earliest footage from the collection is his stay at Cambridge University, UK. Most of the footage, consisting of family activities, including childhood memories of their three daughters, has been shot by Dr Narlikar himself and his wife Dr Mangla Narlikar.
The highlight of the collection is the footage of his own marriage ceremony in June 1966. There is also footage of his father Dr Vishnu Vasudev Narlikar and mother Sumati Narlikar. Dr V.V. Narlikar was Head of Mathematics Dept at Benaras Hindu University (BHU) and later served as Chairman of Rajasthan Public Service Commission. The footage has scenes of the stay in Rajasthan wherein an elephant is seen entering their house. The footage also has scenes of family visits in Kolhapur, Varanasi, Pune, Khajuraho, Mahabalipuram, Agra, Delhi, Ajmer and Mumbai. One of the most endearing visuals is that of his mother playing the Indian string instrument Esraj and driving a car on the outskirts of Ajmer.
The collection also includes visuals of his mentor Prof Fred Hoyle, with whom Dr Narlikar did research on cosmology and astrophysics at Cambridge. The footage consists of shots of his uncle VS Huzurbazar, founder head of Statistics Dept, University of Pune and Shri DG Tendulkar, eminent author of Mahatma: Life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Home movies are a specific genre of audio-visual material which captures mostly actions and movements in a rather non-commercial manner. One major purpose of the home movies is to preserve actual activities of a group or family. The early films of Lumiere Brothers possess these characteristics.
Dr Jayant Narlikar is World’s leading astrophysicist and Founding Director of IUCAA (Inter-University Center for Astronomy & Astrophysics) Pune. Under his direction IUCAA has acquired a world-wide reputation as a centre for excellence in teaching and research in astronomy and astrophysics. He is now Emeritus Professor at IUCAA. Narlikar was decorated Padmabhushan in 1965, at the young age of 26. In 2004 he was awarded Padmavibhushan. In 2011, the Government of the State of Maharashtra honoured him with the State’s highest civilian award of Maharashtra Bhushan. In 2014, the Sahitya Academy, the premiere literary body in India, selected his autobiography for its highest prize in regional language (Marathi) writing.