Mint master

The power to make ones life happy is in ones own hands.

‘When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece’—surely God’s love and skill worked together when he created him. Holding his hand, leading him to the guest of honour VIP seat in the Tata auditorium of Indian Institute of Science, I felt wonderfully privileged and honoured. They announced that the lamp is being lit by IISc’s oldest alumnus - the 100-year-old veteran, as a conventional beginning for the evening programme of vocal music to augur well. When his brief introduction was being read out, the whole auditorium fell into a solemn silence of awe and respect followed by a standing ovation.  

As a student of power engineering and communication engineering at IISc way back in 1938, he proved to be brilliant in academics. That brilliance never faded with age – even today, at 100, he loves to discuss world politics, national happenings and also everyday trivia too and his opinions are highly incisive and inspiring. His endless intellectual curiosity and sense of humour make him a welcome personality everywhere and he always steals the show. 

‘It is a great distinction to live to 100 years or more’—that distinction has come to him with the other ‘Ds he strictly adheres to – discipline, dedication, determination and ‘devotion’ to the Almighty. He quotes from Sanskrit slokas from scriptures with as much ease and penchant as he quotes from Shakespearean works; he knows the minutest detail of many things and many things about mightiest things. He is a veritable fount of wonderful traits. We are all the natural part of the fabric of our society, but persons like him strengthen it with their natural traits of zest for life, love for fellow human beings, sincerity, honesty, tenacity – the list of positives is very long. His sense of pride of being an Indian is evident in every word he pronounces. We don’t tire reminiscing and reliving the proud moments of his laying the foundation for civil aviation in India and his taking over from the British to become the ‘first Indian mint master’ of Calcutta Mint . 

The power to make one’s own life happy is in one’s own hands - this dictum he imbibed in us thoroughly, because he follows it very strictly. “Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy...This life is yours.”

Though his children are away in the US and he lives with his wife who is 90 years old, we have never heard him complain about life or any hardships. He had taken many friends and well wishers into his fold and my family remains indebted to him for standing as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar at all times with us. It is celebration time for all of us that our godfather is 100 and is batting to score more.

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