20 Years Hence

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November 23rd, 2011 Praveen Bose

It’s been over 20 years since Professor HRR conducted his last class for the academic year when I was in the first year of my college life. The Physics professor had the ability to draw students’ interest so much that he was like the Pied Piper of Hamlin.  He had the knack of drawing the students into the subject.

For me his classes were no less than a concert that enthralled me for the whole one hour, even if it was a class at 2 pm, just after lunch. It was immersion for me, in the software parlance. Many of us would sit there in the concert hall (classroom), watching him, listening to him and trying to grab each note… rather each word he uttered.

I had never had a science teacher like him all through school. I was probably blessed to have Prof. HRR who taught what he loved to teach and always hoped his students will turn out to be those who will remain curious and have questions in their minds, always.
Ah, but if you asked him too many questions, you would get a whole list of journals and books to read so that the scientific temper is awakened. So, many who had questions, felt it was better to keep quiet and forget the questions if any in their minds. After all, studies are for just the marks, and not for gaining knowledge through ‘Scientific American’ or any other journal he could suggest. The guides were a strict ‘no-no’. “They do not allow you to think.”
The condition of most science teachers and students reminds me of the Hero Honda ad: ‘Fill it, shut it and forget it’. In case of the professor it was definitely ‘hear it, digest it and think (over) it’. Or, you get lost in the race to becoming the richest man in the world (in money terms!) with curiosity being laid to rest at the altar of mammon and the baton of the race being passed on from generation to generation.

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