On the morning of 31st July 1930 in Bombay, the wharf of the P&O - Peninsular and Oriental Line - was fully crowded and there was the usual confusion of any departure. Foreigners walked around looking with open admiration at the Gateway of India, a monument erected by England in the Twenties to be the symbol of its entry in the Raj, but that was going to become very soon the sad witness of its leaving. Near the pier of the steamer Pilsna, a liner of Lloyd Triestino travelling from Bombay to Venice, a small crowd was gathering to bid farewell to a young man heading for Europe. That Indian boy had the solemn gait of a Brahman and a thoughtfulness unusual at that age. His eyes were shaded by a veil of sadness: surrounded by all those friends, relatives and brothers, among all those hugs and kisses, he was missing the embrace of his mother, left home seriously ill. She had encouraged him from the beginning, pushing him to set out on that journey to England, to the temple of science called Cambridge. When the ship steamed off and the profile of the Gateway of India became a small point on the line of the horizon, he knew that he would not see her anymore. That voyage across the Arabic Sea, the Channel of Suez and the Mediterranean changed the course of astrophysics forever. It also changed the life of that impressive young man whose name was Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, universally known as Chandra, Nobel laureate in Physics 1983, born a century ago, in 1910.