Condolences for Obaid

Posted on 10:11:41 28 Jul, 2013
Spenta R. Wadia Centre Director International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS-TIFR) IISc Campus, Bangalore 560012 India and Department of Theoretical Physics, TIFR, Mumbai 400005 India
Dear Vijay and Jitu The passing away of Obaid Siddiqi is a great loss to his family, his close colleagues, to NCBS and TIFR, and to Indian and International Science. My sincerest condolences to you both and to the NCBS family. I first met Obaid at St Xavier's College in 1967 when he came with Franklin Stahl for a lecture in the college during a meeting at TIFR on ` Microbial Genetics in Molecular Biology'. I still remember his informal inviting style and the glint of fascination in his eye. I was most fascinated by molecular biology and still am. After that I visited TIFR biology for many discussions with the biologists about the physics biology interface. After joining TIFR he was my friend and philosopher. During the early stages of the founding of ICTS, he sat with me and Avinash Dhar telling us about the history of the founding of the NCBS. These conversations were very important and inspiring for us as was the fact that an institution like NCBS existed and is possible in India! ICTS is indebted to Obaid. I am writing this because this is a lesser known fact. Obaid came over to ICTS for half a day during the visit of Sydney Brenner last year. He was very very happy that Sydney was able to visit and discuss and meet with young scientists at NCBS and ICTS. Obaid will be missed by so many but his legacy lives on. He was also one of those who truly carried further the legacy of Homi Bhabha. I have a sense of personal satisfaction that there is considerable footage of Obaid speaking about the beginnings of biology at TIFR in TIFR's film on Homi Bhabha. Spenta

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