Manas Tungare

It's not often that one gets to be in a meeting with Vinton Cerf — who's credited as the "Father of the Internet", and holds the official job title of "Chief Internet Evangelist" at Google. (No, I'm not kidding.)

Vinton Cerf, Father of the Internet

So when I was invited to a research meeting with him, my mentor Bill Schilit, and others at Google, I was totally in awe. Of course I can't discuss what we talked, but the little kid in me was awe-struck enough to want to write a blog post simply mentioning it! ;)

I remember having seen him first about 9 years ago. I was a sophomore at Bombay, and I heard from the ACM community that Vint Cerf was to give a talk at SNDT, Churchgate. It was examination time, and as hard as I tried, I couldn't get anyone else enthused enough to make the hour-long journey to listen to Vint Cerf's talk. In an engineering school with over 800 students, I had expected to find at least a few takers. None. Nada. Zilch. Everyone was too concerned about their examinations to find time to listen to the Father of the Internet. I gave up, took the train, and went to the talk, all alone. It was totally worth it, I recollect his ambitious Interplanetary Internet project back when he was at MCI.

I had never imagined that 9 years later, I would be attending a meeting with him. It's not a dream come true, because I had never even dreamt it would be possible to share a table with Vinton Cerf.