The Man Who Knew Infinity

The flight to Delhi from Srinagar was three and a half hour long with a stop at Jammu. I whisked into the comfort of an air conditioned Meru Cab as I exited the airport. I gave my home address to the driver and settled into the cab. An hour later I was in the comfort of my home. The heat, my lord it hit me and a quick flick of the air conditioner was what it took to get things to settle in.

The Man Who Knew InfinityNext day I decided to watch “ The Man Who Knew Infinity” a movie on the life of the South Indian Mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujam. Dev Patel played the genius mathemSrinivasa Ramanujanatician and the even more interesting character of Prof.Godfrey Harold (“G. H.“) Hardy played by Jeremy Irons. It is Hardy who invited a little known Indian clerk from Madras to come to Trinity College in England . The movie moves into a love affair between the two men . Hardy an atheist and Ramanujam who say’s “ God speaks to me.” As both men grapple with their inner demon’s , one want’s his work to be published the other asking him for the proof’s of his mathematical formula’s and equations. Hardy wants Ramanujam to succeed but can’t understand how he does his mathematics and the source of his intuition and his genius. He takes a liking to the young Indian as both are bound to their work and their passion. We see a glimpse of Stephen Fry as the boss of Ramanujam at the beginning of the film.

The interlude between Ramanujam’s wife and mother also make for interesting viewing as both quarrel over one man but are also proud of his achievements’. As for Hardy, he fights hard for Ramanujam to get a Fellowship in the college. But the Indian’s failing health and his battle with Tuberculosis leads him to depart for India to be with his family. It was a touching film and show’s the unraveling of a genius and how it flourishes through this extraordinary bond the two leading characters share with each other.

A good movie after a long time followed with a chicken shawarma and pop corn and my day ended on a fine note.

  1. For me the film was a “a tale of two cultures that collide in the hallowed halls of Cambridge in the early 1900s” and a celebration of an hitherto unknown Olympian of knowledge. Hope you drop in for a read of my take.

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