Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When fishes started to walk on land and breath air

As an impressionable youth, I first saw "Life on Earth" in 1983 during my first year as an undergrad at the Institute of Science in Bombay,, pursuing a degree in zoology. And did it ever leave an impression on my mind! Of course, this was back in the days before video players, let alone DVDs. And we didn't yet have a television at home - nor do I remember the show actually being telecast in India anyway. So how did I see it? I was actually lucky enough to get to watch it projected on a big screen, with a 16mm projector whirring away quietly at the back of the big classroom. Someone at the Institute had borrowed the films for the entire series from the wonderful British Council Library! Of course, that same library which (along with the American and the Soviet ones) had already helped change the course of my life away from medical school towards zoology! Thank you Messrs. Darwin, Gould, Commoner, PGW, Steinbeck, Tolstoy... and David Attenborough. Ahh... the formative memories from those formative years. Nostalgia aside, I find it astonishing that 3 decades on, when we know so much more about the evolution of life on earth, when video technology has advanced so much, and when we have 24/7 cable channels dedicated to coverage of the living world, we still haven't seen but the one, and only, David Attenborough! Enjoy:



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