Baba Anthony Varghese 1957 - 2020 (L0779)

Baba Anthony Varghese (hear-after Baba) was Born October 22, 1957 in Bombay presently known as Mumbai. His father was working in Indian Meteorological department (IMD) and passed away when Baba was 8 years old. Soonafter they moved to Bangalore where he continued his studies. Undeterred by his physical inabilities he continued his education, completed under graduation in 1978 and post-graduation in 1980 from Bangalore University, and joined Indian institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in a research-oriented job. Later he also became permanent member of Astronomical Society India (ASI).

Baba obtained his Ph. D degree from Bangalore University under the guidance of Professor A. Peraiah and progressed well in the institute by getting regular academic promotions in the institute. His skills with computer programming and codes were exceptional. He was very quick in understanding the needs of his colleagues who approached him for any computer programming related solutions. He had never sought any compensation, what so ever, for his physical inabilities and remained an Inspiration to similar kind of population.

My personal association with Baba Varghese
Baba and myself worked in same research field of radiative transfer in stellar atmospheres problems under the guidance of Prof A. Peraiah. We shared office space more than two and half decades. During early part of our career, due to insufficient computing facilities at IIA, we were going to other institutions like Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore and IIA, Kavalur for computational purpose. This resulted in our best ever friendship not only with regard to our research activity but also on personal basis. We published many scientific papers in national and international journals. His suggestions to any personal issues were remarkable and I am greatly benefited with his association. He believed in “talk less and work more” kind of culture. He visited my house many times and became a family friend of us.

From Baba Varghese elder brother Mr K.Mohan Varghese
Baba was a very affectionate family member, though reserved in nature. His physical disability in no way affected his intellectual capabilities. He had a quick wit and a sense of humour and could make all of us laugh and would burst into laughter himself. Fiercely independent he would do all he could himself. He had a terrific capacity to endure hardship without complaint. As an example, eventhough he could afford private transport, he enjoyed the public transportation to commute to his office from his residence. We knew him to be a workaholic, never taking a days leave and even working every Saturday. Never one to speak about himself, as family members, we did not know of his personal achievements, until much later. All we surmised was that he took immense joy in his work at IIA. He wished to stay unmarried and remained a bachelor all his life. He passed away peacefully on 10th Dec 2020 after a short illness

Reminisce from the faculty of IIA and with others
A colleague for 35 years merged up in blue skies. Unabated tears recall the memories that can never be separated from the souls of all. In general, he was cool, calm and gentle person by nature. His skills of computer programming , installing Linux windows, graphic packages like IDL, IRAF, SuperMongo, PG plot and Chi writer, PC tex, Latex etc was extraordinary. All his expertise was used by our faculty members for preparing conference proceedings, editing books, research papers for publishing in national and international journals, website designing and making templets for books and institute annual reports. He was a co–author for many researches as he was greatly contributing to the analysis part of the research work. Most of the times he was very quick at learning applications of new software packages that ultimately attracted the attention of everyone of his contemporaries and seniors. This specific adroitness pushed him to higher heights of computer committee administration. Admirable character was that he never felt it as an achievement but took it as his duty to serve the entire research community by sharing all his skills to everyone who have approached him. That made him loveable by entire concourse of academics and administrators as well. No wonder, He was just a man of simplicity indeed. Definitely, he was asset to the organization and we all miss him undoubtedly.

(Contributors: Professors Bagare, S. P., Gajendra Pandey., Javaraiah, J., Karirappa, R., Mohan Rao, D [formerly a faculty member of IIA], Ramesh, K .B., Raveendran, A. V., Rengarajan, K. E., Satyanarayanan, A., Swapan, K Saha., Thimmapa hegde [a school mate, St. Joseph’s Boy’s school, Bangalore], Vasundhara raju, R., Vinod Krishan)

Contributor: Dr M. Srinivasa Rao