Politics is an integral part of the Indian society be at home, college, office or public life. I survived at home by meek surrender and peaking in performance. Then I entered the Andhra University, Waltair in 1962 as a bewildered graduate as just surrender or and performance may not be sufficient for survival there. I was fortunate that Professor M.N. Sastri was one of my teachers during post graduation and research guide for my Ph.D. In an atmosphere charged with feudalism and autocracy- Prof. Sastri was different with his friend-philosopher-guide approach towards students; his character was ideal for emulation. My personality was shaped, individuality asserted, thoughts organized, ideas improved, ambitions flourished, aspirations defined, targets set and achievements began with the advent of his association.
I had to part with Professor Sastri in 1969 to begin my employment career in research at Bhubaneswar. The atmosphere, charged with feudalism and autocracy, was strikingly familiar but disappointing. I was lucky to be associated with Prof. B.R. Sant, who had seen that I did not miss Prof. Sastri. Like Sastri, he had an ideal character for emulation and friend-philosopher-guide approach towards junior colleagues. He was different enough to make research career interesting in un-wieldy surroundings. Those were the times when many of those in the higher echelons of scientific research management were making research a mockery and unfortunately Prof. Sant was only next to those at helm. He was a valiant fighter but did not believe in futile exercises. He left Bhubaneswar to be at helm in a different field to make his mark elsewhere.
I was never a leader. Nor had I leadership ambitions. I was always hoping for leaders of the caliber of Sastri and Sant. Soon after the departure of Prof. Sant, Prof. H.S. Ray appeared on the scene in 1991 and he was at the helm. He was so different that it was difficult for me to believe his approach which was ideal but almost impossible in the Indian context. He was dynamic, transparent, understanding and helpful. I began enjoying my service to science like never before. He too faded from Bhubaneswar before my retirement but inspired me sufficiently not to fade away from spirit.
Professors Sastri, Sant and Ray form the trinity of my research career. I adore them knowing well that they too are human enough to err. They are very special because their advice had a divine touch and understanding human touch. Interaction with them is education.
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