I work for a very distinguished and accomplished citizen in our country, Prof M. S. Swaminathan. Being his 86th birthday, we had the who's who come and greet him on the occasion. We had many people over, from a Central Minister, to International Scientists; to the most well known media personality of Chennai felicitate him. There were people who called him the most distinguished living Indian citizen and another said he prays for his work to be immortal and then another recommended him for
's highest Civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. India
I sat there as part of the audience and looked at Professor and wondered how gracefully he handled the compliments and praise. When it was the turn of the birthday boy to speak, he shared a lovely anecdote that was the answer to my thoughts. He thanked one and all and said he was extremely grateful for all the love and affection shown. He ended by saying that once when Sir C. V. Raman was asked how the compliments never went to his head, he apparently remarked that he wore the turban tight to ensure the head didn't swell with compliments!! Professor added that he didn't have a turban to sport and so he apparently assumes the compliments are for another "Swaminathan" and that keeps his head intactJ. It’s so rare to see and work with such a genuine, humble and dignified person in spite of his yeomen contribution to transforming Indian Agriculture and the feeding the millions. It’s an honour to meet and interact with him.