Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dev Benegal and Stephen Fry on Hardy and Ramanujan

Dev Benegal and Stephen Fry are collaborating on a film on Srinivasa Ramanujan and GH Hardy's friendship. I felt thrilled when I read this news in the Hindustan Times. A google search led me to Dev Benegal's blog which was also quiet thrilling. Am sure lovers of good cinema won't be the only ones who will enjoy this Dev Benegal - Stephen Fry jugalbandhi on the Hardy - Ramanujan jugalbandhi. Most of us have read about the incident where Hardy visits an ailing Ramanujan at Putnam and tells him that the number of the taxi he travelled in, 1729, was a rather uninteresting number. It was as if Hardy had asked for it. Ramanujan's reply is part of science folklore today. "No," he had replied, "it is a very interesting number; it is the smallest number expressible as the sum of two cubes in two different ways." Mathematicians are a strange breed are they not? And more so if they are explorers in the field of pure mathematics. Cinema has been rather unfair to Ramanujan. The success of films on John Nash and films like Good Will Hunting means that there is an audience for films on those who live in the rather esoteric world of mathematics. But then in the final analysis some people make good films and some don't. I pray that this one is a good film. Am sure that it will be.


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