Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year 2016

/* Two consecutive posts in this blog. I must not be holidaying :-)  */

New Member

It was July, 1990. Done with graduation from here, joined my first job at Tata Steel, Jamshedpur. Accommodation was at GT Hostel, Kadma. Nice atmosphere. Soccer at floodlight in the adjacent Tata Football Academy ground. Occasional fight with them over territorial rights. The steel plant was few KM away. Just reached 22 years. It was time to look for options beyond cycling.

The Rajdoot RD 175 bike was part of me for 16 long years and was parted with when repairing became difficult. Had many, many memories of it, with it - in those momentous years of life. At Jamshedpur, Kharagpur, Bandel and then back again at Kharagpur. Last days of father, PhD days, Marriage, taking daughter to nursery school (attached is a March, 2006 picture when the school was over, our current quarter fencing can be seen in the background, same road; at that time we were staying in a quarter near PAN loop).

It was difficult to say bye to that Rajdoot bike. But had to. Came Honda Shine 125. But the feeling of a 38 year old is quite different from that of a 22 years. It was more of a utility vehicle. It served its purpose and absence of self-start, requirement to buy Pep+ for HH and arrival of Maruti 800, made one ask its utility. The Pep+ was to be used so that the battery remains charged and HH can use self-start whenever she decided to venture out, may be twice or thrice a week.

Thus, Honda bike was parted with after seven years and for last 2 years, I was bike-less! Maruti 800, Pep+ and walk were the modes. But off late, started facing some issues. The major one is due to HH becoming more proficient in riding 2-wheeler, wanted it at her disposal for anytime visit to market, friends' places. And, 4-wheeler is not convenient to visit villages / slums. The biggest trouble used to be rushing back home from such a visit at the requirement of HH. Thus, decided to gift myself a new bike in the new year. Also thought, if the first and middle phase of life had one each, why not the last phase too! Thus, a new member joined the family - Hero Achiever 150. The registration no. is yet to be obtained.


HH and daughter arrived at quarter after 10 day long vacation trip. It was evening time. Daughter rushed to garage to see the new bike. HH got busy checking how the flower-plants were doing in her absence. She was full of joy to see a rose plant doing excellent this time which was not the case in earlier years. And petunias, dahlia, marigold, others clocking healthy growth. It took long 15 minutes to assess the various parts of the garden and then shifting priority to have a look at the new bike.

Meanwhile, myself and daughter developed an excuse to take a small ride in the new bike to visit Tech. Market to buy some thing. It is another matter that the same thing was available in a local shop at walking distance. On return, in spite of all the warnings not to catch cold in a chilly winter evening, the daughter took her time to decorate the Christmas Tree in front of our quarter with bells, herself.

Tomorrow is the first class of the new year, both for school and the institute. I was nearly done with preparation for the first class. One book was required to be brought from Dept. office almirah. And the daughter found that she needs new year cards to be bought to give to friends tomorrow in school. So, were at it again. Another ride from quarter to Tech. Market to Dept. and back.


New year is associated with greetings card, calendar, diary, messages, emails, phone calls. Prepared an e-greeting card for wishing certain audience (Link). It was not that the official greeting card of the institute wouldn't do, but the personal touch often carries the message better when we are working in a team. In the new year celebration of the lab., one recited a poem on calendar itself that was written by him. All shared how was 2015 and what they were looking forward to in 2016.

I drew their attention to being balanced in their approach towards what they think, act; and on importance of concentration - ability to focus and withdraw mind at one's own will. Thus goes the Vivekananda quote that I draw inspiration from, "If I had to do my education over again, and had any voice in the matter, I would not study facts at all. I would develop the power of concentration and detachment, and then with a perfect instrument I could collect facts at will."

One young student came into facebook message box. "Happy New year Sir! Hope you keep inspiring us for years to come!" I would put it the other way. It is the students and people around who keep inspiring me with their good thoughts and good deeds. It is such a joy to to see people striving for a better world/ society through acts that do not allow selfish interests to get better of them. And we heard, "Unselfishness is God." Other way speaking - Show me an unselfish person, I shall show you God.

The other thing that inspires me a lot is the courage, resolve shown to face the life's struggle. One student in the new year meet was in tears to narrate how was 2015. For last eight months she is away from her 1.5 year old daughter who stays with grand mother in ancestral place, 500 KM away. Because of her academic work, a full time PhD which she wants to finish in time, she tried keeping grand-mother here but it did not work. Now every month, for few days  she visits daughter. And we remembered that facebook photo where a mother was carrying bricks in large numbers in a construction site with baby tied to her back.

The first calendar of 2016 was gifted by office-bearers of Satya Sai Seva Trust who visited a week back. They conduct free disaster management training program besides many other service oriented activities (some earlier picture link). I get a Tata Steel diary from Bearings Division of Tata Steel when I visit their place in 3rd / 4th week of Jan. Every year, unfailingly they arrange a program on Vivekananda (one earlier link). They rang and told that this year it would be on 23rd Jan. Few days back, one journalist of a lead English daily rang. His acquaintance who run an NGO, is coming up with a school and there is inauguration. The list continues. And I echo the message received from an unexpected quarter today, from faculty of a reputed non-IIT institute where this new year gave an opportunity to start an interaction, "May this new year bring peace, prosperity and happiness for all of us."

Endnote: I would like to leave it blank this time.

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