Episode 63

'Following a Prayer' : The Novel - Conversation with Dr.Sundar Sarukkai

‘Following a Prayer’ is a novel about three inquisitive young girls. Kalpana, a twelve-year-old girl in a village nestled in the dense hills of the Western Ghats, goes missing one morning. When she returns, she has gone silent. Nothing can get her to speak. What happened in those three days that she went missing? What prevents her from communicating with her parents and sister except through notes and scribbles? As the village prepares to celebrate the annual Deepavali festival, a rumour spreads that Kalpana will speak the day after. What will she say, and what will be the impact of her words?

The novel's writer, Dr. Sundar Sarukkai, has a  PhD in Particle physics from the University of Purdue and works primarily in the philosophy of the natural and the social sciences. He founded Barefoot Philosophers (www.barefootphilosophers.org) an Organization that conducts workshops across the country teaching philosophy and rational thinking to school children.  Formerly, he was a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies until 2019 and was the Founder-Director of the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities. 

He is the author of Translating the World: Science and Language, Philosophy of Symmetry, JRD Tata and the Ethics of Philanthropy, and two books co-authored with Gopal Guru – The Cracked Mirror: An Indian Debate on Experience and Theory and more recently, Experience, Caste and the Everyday Social. 

In the show notes, you can find the links to buy the book and the YouTube channel ‘barefoot philosophers’, where the Basics of philosophy lessons, to children are available.

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Link to youtube Channel of ‘The Barefoot Philosophers’ - 


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Literary fiction and Translations