|Savitribai Phule Pune University||All Models Are False, Some Are Useful|
I had known Padmakar ever since he joined the Physics Department as a faculty. My wife had known him even longer ever since his student days through her uncle, Sudhir Joshi, who was his fellow student and very close friend right from school in Jalgaon. We lived in the same housing colony on the University campus for many long years and were next-door neighbours for 9 years until I moved to the IUCAA campus in 1991. Our children have grown up together going to the same Marathi-medium school.
We have had many animated as well as engaing and enjoyable evenings together, the discussion spanning over almost everything under the sun, most often though on society and politics of the day. Not that we always shared the same perception, often it differed in gauging both people and events. Yet we enjoyed mutual respect for each other's candidness and honesty. One can fault him on not being tactful and diplomatic but none can on his forthrightness and honesty.
He was a very fine physicist and always eager to learn and discuss new and exciting physics. When I went to see him in the hospital, his second question was "what are the new projects that IUCAA had taken up?" He loved physics and lived it with zeal till his last breath. He belonged to the genre of a classical scholar and teacher to the core, a breed that is unfortunately fast disappearing.
My family and I would miss him greatly on many counts and most of them all was his affection. His characteristic voice with a tinge of sharpness will always ring in my ears.
Professor Naresh Dadhich, a long-time friend and colleague of Professor Panat,
is now the director of IUCAA.
February 6, 2009