His room is constantly bustling with visitors who want to take selfies and interact with their hero, who has become synonymous with rains and monsoon.
Amid his daily weather forecasting work, he also finds time to meet visitors from and outside the office, poses for photos and answers the phone that’s constantly ringing. After being at the helm of affairs in the Regional Meteorological Department, S.R.Ramanan, Director, Area Cyclone Warning Centre, will end his 36-year-long career on March 31.
He has been a household name for weather forecasts and the face of weather department for more than a decade now with his crisp updates on television. “We are his fans and many in our area want to see him. We don’t miss his daily TV updates,” said V. Kumar, a catering staff member who excitedly struck a quick pose with Mr. Ramanan.
But, Mr. Ramanan is nonchalant about all the attention showered on him. “I am just doing my job. This popularity is transient and not a single man’s effort. This would not be possible without my office and family’s support,” said Mr. Ramanan who spent nearly 13 years as director of Area Cyclone Warning Centre.
There have been several days when the office in Nungambakkam turned his second home as he stayed back to track cyclones and multi-task between media briefs, forecasts and communicating with government departments. Many a time, he missed being around with his family during crucial moments such as when the December floods inundated his house. “I have a responsibility to inform people about weather. But, I don’t even watch my interviews on television. I’m usually at office on festive days and holidays too. I have no regrets,” he said.
People often wish to take selfies in functions and greet him even abroad. “People keep asking me about the weather even when I’m travelling and have interacted with several politicians and actors. But, these are moments of happiness to me and not of pride,” said Mr. Ramanan who has been part of the transition of the department from analysis through manual weather plotting to the days of parameters that could predict the genesis potential of a cyclone.
He is glad that he has contributed to saving human lives through timely weather forecasts. “There has not been any major instance of fishermen losing lives due to natural disasters in the past decade. I was overwhelmed after cyclone Thane when a fisherman held my hand and thanked me for saving his life,” said Mr. Ramanan.
What he will miss in a few days is his interaction with people in the Regional Meteorological Centre. He now wants to take time to be with his family and probably catch up with his favourite activities — travel and books.