Archive for April, 2015

Prof. GNKI: RIP

April 20, 2015

Prof. G N K Iyengar (GNKI) as he was known; I have three distinct memories of him. First: in one of my interviews he asked for a phase diagram and when I made a mistake, he was very gruff in his follow-up question and helped me correct my mistake. Second: when I was standing on the Tata Auditorium side to cross the road, I was a bit closer to the road than the footpath for GNKI. He grabbed my upper arm, pulled me away from the road, and released it only after crossing the road. Third: he was a regular contributor to Samskrita Sangha and always had time to ask about our activities when we met him for prescription fees. I think his wife is a Veena player and GNKI used to be very active in organising the cultural programmes for the Sangha — but that was well before our times. On his retirement meet, I remember this statement from Prof. Ranganathan: “When I joined IISc, I understood that Iyengars from Mysore are very different from the Iyengars from Cuddalore”!

I have received an email from Prof. Murty of IITM  that Prof. GNKI passed away. Even with my very limited interaction with him, I could see that he was a soft man with a very hard looking exterior. May his soul rest in peace.