"Chandra. The journey of a star" is a movie about the renowned Astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, written by Giuseppe Mussardo. Prof. Mussardo will say a few words about the movie, followed by the screening of the movie at the Chandrasekhar Auditorium, ICTS-TIFR.
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On the morning of 1st August 1930 in Bombay, the wharf of the P&O -- Peninsular and Oriental Lines -- was fully crowded and there was the usual confusion of any departure: porters were loading luggages and big crates, officers were busy in giving the last orders and sailors were climbing up and down from the decks among ropes and shrouds. Foreigners walked around looking with open admiration at the Gateway of India, considered the quintessence of colonial India, a monument erected by England in the Twenties to be the symbol of its entry in the Raj, but that was going to become soon the sad witness of its leaving.
Till a few hours before, the rain carried by the monsoon had swept the docks with strong gusts, but after a brief pause of relief, a suffocating heat had reappeared; the heavy humidity soaked the dresses that, almost transparent, stuck to the bodies. Near the pier of the steamer Pilsna, a liner of Lloyd Triestino traveling from Bombay to Venice, a small crowd was gathering: there were friends and relatives come to bid farewell to a young man heading for Europe.
The boy was slender, with dark, almost black-skin, a broad nose, fleshy lips and glossy black hair framing his forehead. That young Indian man had the solemn gait of a Brahman and a thoughtfulness unusual in a boy of his age. His eyes were shaded by a veil of sadness: surrounded by all those friends, relatives and brothers, among all those hugs and kisses he was missing the embrace of his mother. She had encouraged him from the beginning, pushing him to set out on that journey to England, to the temple of science called Cambridge. He knew that he would not see her anymore: his mother was at home, lying in her bed, seriously ill. At last the ship steamed off, the profile of the large colonial hotel Taj Mahal and the city of Bombay soon became a small point on the line of the horizon. That voyage across the Arabic Sea, the Channel of Suez and the Mediterranean changed the course of astrophysics forever. It also changed the life of that impressive young man: his name was Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, universally known as Chandra.