By Rishabh Naudiyal Last Updated:
The recently-aired web series, Rocket Boys, is receiving immense love from the viewers for bringing Vikram Sarabhai’s life in front of everyone. The popular actor, Ishwak Singh, is portraying the role of India’s great space scientist. The film also featured Regina Cassandra as Vikram Sarabhai’s wife, Mrinalini Sarabhai and their chemistry in the film is simply impressive. The web series is directed by Abhay Pannu and is based on the life of iconic Indian physicists, Homi J. Bhabha (played by Jim Sarbh) and Vikram Sarabhai (played by Ishwak Singh).
However, not every part of Vikram Sarabhai and his wife, Mrinalini Sarabhai’s love story, is touched in Sony Liv’s web series, Rocket Boys. So, here we are, bringing you Vikram Sarabhai’s real love story with his wife, Mrinalini Sarabhai, right from the beginning, without missing the finest of details. However, before that, here's a brief into the inspiring life of Vikram Sarabhai!
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In the year 1919, a boy took his first breath in the family of wealthy industrialists in Gujarat. While the astrologers were praising the palm lines of that little boy, addressing that they'll guide him to great feats, little did anyone know that the kid would rule the stars one day and his life story will be narrated to generations to come. The space genius, Vikram Sarabhai had completed his senior education from Gujarat College and had gone to Cambridge University to earn his Doctorate.
It was his time in Cambridge when he had studied cosmic rays and had decided to explore this area to its core. The genius had come back to India in 1947 and had founded The Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. After which, he had only gone forward as soon he had opened Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad and had also played a crucial role in the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
For the uninitiated, Vikram Sarabhai was one of the leading names in developing nuclear power in India. In 1966, the physicist was honoured with the Padma Bhushan and in 1972 with Padma Vibhushan. However, there's an interesting chapter about this genius that is unknown to many people. Actually, it is about Vikram's everlasting love with his wife, Mrinalini Sarabhai's friend, Kamla Chowdhry. Scroll down to take a deep dive into his beautiful cosmic love triangle!
Before jumping straight into the love triangle, let's talk about his beautiful love story with his wife, Mrinalini Sarabhai. During his younger days, Vikram Sarabhai was travelling to Ooty from Ahmedabad because of some family work and had taken some rest in the home of Madras' Barrister of that time, Subbarama Swaminathan. That was the place where he had met Mrinalini for the first time and had fallen in love with her beauty. But that little moment couldn't be flourished at that time.
Then the two had met for the second time after some years in 1941, in Ooty. While Vikram had come to spend his holidays with his family, Mrinalini was also there with her family. In her autobiography, Mrinalini Sarabhai: The Voice Of The Heart, she had disclosed that she had fallen in love with Vikram at first sight. She had written:
"It was like some powerful Rajput has landed on a tennis court right in front of me. He was so handsome and good-looking."
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The two had started talking, and soon, Vikram had started visiting theatres to see her classical dance as she was a beautiful classical dancer. And, in the year, 1942, Vikram and Mrinalini were tied in the nuptial knot of marriage forever. While Vikram was recognised as the space genius of India, Mrinalini was the dancing icon of India in Europe.
Soon, the couple had embraced parenthood with the birth of their son, Kartikeya, and daughter, Mallika in the latter years. Everything was going smooth, and that's when both of them had experienced a cosmic quake. While Vikram was thrilled, it was a hard one for Mrinalini.
After a few years of marital bliss, one day Mrinalini was informed that one of her closest friends, Kamla Chowdhry's husband, who was an Imperial Civil Service officer, was shot dead by someone on the eve of Diwali. Hearing the news, Mrinalini had forced her friend to come to Ahmedabad for some time to get out of the trauma. After a lot of discussion with Mrinalini, Kamla had decided to be with her at her home for some time. At the same time, Vikram Sarabhai was extremely busy opening India's first textile research institute. Mrinalini was helping her friend, Kamla to work at her husband's educational institutes.
After constant pressure from his wife, Mrinalini, Vikram Sarabhai had asked Kamla to come to his office for the interview, and that day had changed everything forever. The space genius was charmed with the beauty and intelligence of Kamla and had offered her a job in the textile institute. While on one side, Mrinalini was out of the country for her dancing tours in Europe, Vikram and Kamla were meeting almost every day at the institute. And, the little spark between the two had transformed into a big flame, which had burned the house of Vikram and Mrinalini.
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After realising this, Kamla had decided to leave the job at the textile institute and Ahmedabad too, forever. But Vikram had requested her tonnes of times to not leave the city at least. But when he had seen all his efforts going in vain, he had decided to bring the second Indian Institute of Management to Ahmedabad. After many requests to then-Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, he had managed to bring IIM in the city and had appointed Kamla as the research director of the prestigious institute. After which, Kamla had cancelled her plan of going to Delhi and had stayed in Ahmedabad.
Kamla Chowdhry's nephew and popular psycho-analyst, Sudhir Kakar had mentioned the same in his book, A book of Memory. He had openly stated that his aunt, Kamla and Vikram Sarabhai had an affair that had lived till his last breath. The love that Vikram Sarabhai had in his heart for Kamla was so pure and passionate that he had brought IIM to Ahmedabad for the second time. Not just Sudhir but Vikram and Mrinalini's daughter, Mallika had also once confirmed in an interview that her father had an affair with Kamla Chowdhry.
After the demise of Vikram Sarabhai on December 30, 1970, Kamla had shifted to Delhi and had started working as a visiting faculty in prestigious institutes. Talking about Mrinalini's take on the matter, about this whole matter, the graceful dancer had revealed that she never hated her husband, Vikram Sarabhai and would love him till her last breath despite all the things that had happened. Also, she had stated that she had always wanted the world to remember him as a genius because he was one of the most intelligent and super-human she had met in her entire life.
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The father of Indian space research, Vikram Sarabhai will always be remembered for his unmatchable contribution to India's success in space research. Share your views on his cosmic love story with us!