Friday, June 30, 2017

Perala Ratnam

Around 1970 (+-), I met Bharati Ashok Ratnam in TIFR, Bombay. He actually met me because he was friend with Nagisetti V, Rao who was classmate of mine from 1954-56. Bharati Ratnam's mother Kamala came from an influential family in U.P. He was very Hindu oriented and wanted Hindus to rule India and also said that he would soon be the director of TIFR. He said his father Perala Ratnam was from Perala, not too far from my native place and expected that his father to have ancestral properties which he hoped to repossess but the family has been out of touch with relatives in Perala. I said that the name suggested Christian background, that he probably came from poor Dalit background and may be that is why he never went back. Yesterday I met a Christian school teacher from Andhra in Melbourne. He remembered the name since it was the name of one of the few Christians who made it from that area.
The Wikipedia in French Perala Ratnam gives some information on him. He was the Indian ambassador to a few countries and it also leads to a list of books written or edited by him  Here. He seems to be a very talented man who wrote on diverse topics sadly unknown in the place of his worth. Curiously, there is also a mathematics article Algebraic Functions from 1949 published in 1949 in Tokyo attributed him. The Wikipedia page says that he was in Tokyo during that period. Perhaps, it was done by him as some sort of hobby.
I could not find about any more about him or his family. His son married a lady working in the library of TIFR and they migrated to USA. He passed away in 2015 at the age of 70. I met his father in Bombay as well as Delhi. He had one sister. I do not know whether Perala Ratnam is alive now, if he is he would be around 105. I do not know about his wife though at one time I heard she had a brother who was film actor.
So that is the little bit I know about a talented man who was an inspiration to a few young poor Christians in Andhra long ago. If I get to know any thing more about him, I will post again.

P.S. I contacted Rao Nagisetty who met Perala Ratnam several times in Moscow, that was where he was friends with the son Bharati Asok Ratnam. Rao tells me that it is the same Perala Ratnam who wrote the mathematics article mentioned above.

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