Why is the sky blue?

... is the title of a famous lecture given by C. V. Raman at the Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad, in 1968. And the title of the latest book from Tulika, Chennai.

Artist/dancer Chandralekha and photographer/designer Dashrath Patel were there that morning to record the event. This book focuses on the creation of a scientific temper and a Nobel Prize winning scientist shows how a spirit of inquiry can unravel the beauty and the mysteries of the universe in a manner that makes the complex simple. Stunning, animated photographs, C. V. Raman's simple words, a timeline listing milestones in his life, interesting anecdotes and a lucid explanation of the Raman Effect, come together to offer the Raman approach to being inspired by science.

Raman loved the universe, loved science, loved speaking to children. He spoke eloquently and encouraged people to ask questions and seek answers. In this extraordinary book conceived by two creative minds, the eminent scientist and Nobel Prize winner urges readers to look around, observe nature, and ask questions. The text is extracted from a famous lecture delivered by him at the Community Science Centre in Ahmedabad on 22 December 1968, and the dramatic black and white photographs were taken while he was talking about why the sky is blue. This gives the book a feeling of action, as though Dr C. V. Raman is actually speaking, moving his hands about and forcefully making his points.

The pictures, the talk, the introduction, a crisp timeline listing milestones, the anecdotes, and a simple explanation of the Raman Effect all combine to capture the essence of a multifaceted man who was an inspiring example of the scientific spirit.

Why the Sky is Blue. In English, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Bangla. 28 pages, full colour, soft cover, for 8 years onwards, Rs 150 (within India) US$ 10.50 (outside India).