HYDERABAD: “I learn from anything and everything –this was the motto Vedant used to live by,” says Girija Uday Kumar seated in her apartment that is filled with pictures of her son Vedant Kartik Kadambi smiling widely.
She and her husband N Uday Kumar launched their son’s book that was penned by him when he was around 17 years old. Born in 1984, multi-faceted Vedant passed away in the year 2010 while he was riding along with his group to Bapatla from Hyderabad.
After going through his notes and the manner he wrote the book, his parents decided to publish it. Titled ‘Different Epochs’, the story spans across a time period of 24 years in the future, where the years between 2060 and 2084 are the focus. Talking about how her son always had a sense of curiosity, Girija says, “He was very different right from childhood and his interests were very wide. For instance, he learnt Sanskrit in school. Like the rest of the students, he didn’t just mug it up for the marks, but he understood all aspects of the language and made varied connections. He eventually even taught himself German.”
The book is a sci-fi thriller and is written along the lines of an epic, set in outer space and on Earth, mostly on the Indian subcontinent. The story uncovers distinct layers eventually stitched together into a coherent whole. And the idea of this plot, Girija points out was a result of his early exposure to science fiction. “He was always interested in outer space and astronomy and had the tendency to ask a number of questions,” she says showing us a diary that he maintained since he was 10 years old. In a handwriting that was not completely formed yet, he scribbled his thoughts that seem too profound for his age. “Are there other beings in this universe? We do not know yet” reads one note of his that has been dated year 1994, ten years after he was born. There are a number of poems, plays and songs that Vedant had written down, all that any kid his age would find hard to even understand. “He was a voracious reader and he started much before he could even understand words,” shares Girija showing us the first book he picked up, Alexander, the Great with illustrations and in bold colours. “I questioned how he would read it and he said that I should read it for him,” she says with a smile. A school teacher herself, she noticed Vedant’s eccentric side and hence never put any bars to his learning. And so did his father. “We were like friends and we never stopped him from doing anything.We understood that he is not the child who would go by this structured education system,” shares Uday Kumar. And that’s how his curiosity was nurtured.
After completing his BSc he came up with a project of his own that could have been his entry into Masachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States. But he found something that made him happy here in Hyderabad itself. “One professor, Bipin Indurkhya from International Institute of Technology (IIIT), Gachibowli saw the proposal and said it was thesis level work and offered him an option of Masters of Science by Research and he was more than happy to do that,” shares Girija. Apart from being extremely good at research, Vedant was a compassionate person who made an impact wherever he went. “The security guards at his campus gate, his friends and every one he meets, have only pleasant things to say about him,” shares Uday Kumar. The book will be available in a few weeks at www.dogearsetc.com, Flipkart, Amazon India and Infibeam at a discounted price of Rs 475.
People who wish to pre order the book can call on 040 27746900