This is a work of personal memoirs, a write-up to show how life is an everyday exam without any clue of what is in store …

After passing graduation from IIT-BHU, Varanasi in 1977, I was confronted with the dilemma – What next? I planned and prepared for higher studies, competitive exams etc., and was also applying for regular job and sometimes going to a small-scale company directed by my father. My father was unhappy that I was not going to factory and helping him, but whenever I used to go to the factory, the people there didn’t recognize my great potential and talent and somehow, I didn’t enjoy the work, as there was little to do, while I was very particular to earn a challenging job on my own merit and initiative; while, I appeared for quite a number of interviews for technical–managerial jobs and was ranked high, but didn’t get selected; also worked at few Organisation with positive / good feedback about my mental capacities etc.

At the father’s factory, I did some development work like starting a chemical laboratory etc., but honestly my heart was not there, as my mind seemed to be pulled by higher goals and I wanted to create and develop my own individuality and independence. Thus, there was unspoken and underlying tension at home, personality / temperamental clash with my father and I felt disturbed in life and in mind due to unproductive work-life and non –  engaged daily life;

Frustration was setting in and I met few psychiatrists including the one in Vellore, all of whom confirmed my high mental capabilities and lack of recognition from the people, relatives etc. I used to write many essays and prose works, some of which got certificates of merit and appreciation from Competition Success Review etc. I used to read stories about Great Germans and would get inspired that someday, I will be doing great deeds/things. Evaluation by the people is subject to positively doing something, as remarked, one colleague and friend. This was a great dilemma, as how to show the people by actually doing, as I had to get a platform, infrastructure and financial support and cooperation from people. Our neighbour and house landlord used to say that I had to appear for so many exams to prove my merit that even Sita-ji did not appear for so many tests, in fact looking back, I realize that every-day was a fresh exam without any inkling of exam paper/syllabus, so that we may get prepared; someone mentioned recently that these are exams to make us stronger, wiser, creative and raise our consciousness, if we face them boldly, courageously with open-mindedness without getting bogged down …

To be at peace with oneself and one’s environment, especially people, it is important that others think the same as what you / I think, an office colleague had remarked; I came in touch with few well wishers during those times who recognized my brilliance and greatness and all of them remarked that I had mental capability/ quality of a very high order technically and otherwise, still the employers refused to take me for a job or give me freedom at work, may be because of individual whims, likes and dislikes; and it seemed, I needed to improve the communicative skills …

Meanwhile, I was in communication with my professors and as they knew my merit, I got an opportunity as a Research Associate and faculty at my alma mater IIT, BHU in Varanasi; and worked for PhD, but due to some ill-timed decisions / excursions to IIT Delhi, I could not do much work in the Department, and I had to discontinue and return back to Kolkata; back to the square one and was again at the mercy of circumstances. As there was no other immediate option, I was asked to go to Madras (Chennai) by one of the known person of the family. That was another setback, which put the life back by number of years. People at home and others thought that due to lack of talent, I was not surviving, succeeding, whereas the truth was that people were non-cooperative and sometimes non-trusting.

In the meantime marriage event came round the corner and the things were happening over which you had little control, and situations were forcing me to act in one-way or other. As I was not able to have mastery over the self and the environment, the events and the people around me controlled me and I was feeling helpless many times and victim of circumstances; we live in this world either by creating our own choices by self-mastery or with the choices which situations & circumstances offer us and that is the challenge ahead of all of us in life, which requires mindfulness / awareness of all aspects of life situations vis-à-vis inter personal understanding and balance in relationship; I always gave more value to life, people, humanity and humility than material things and show of wealth; while some people love objects–material things or money and use people, whereas there are few other good people who love people and use money and material things for man-making and the good of all …

Meanwhile, I joined my brother-in-law at his works for technical and experimental projects for better efficiency drying systems around the time of marriage, but could not continue as there were some financial problems with the management and I felt that people would use my services, technical knowledge, without paying me adequately and giving me credit for the same … and I felt sandwiched between Business people and so called educated Professionals or intellectuals, who took advantage of my helplessness. So once again, life took a turn and I landed in Hyderabad, where my father was associated with an Industrial project …

Migrating to Hyderabad was another major turning point and setback, because as I was newly married and still very energetic and enthusiastic and I accepted the challenge in the hope of doing something, but mistrust prevailed at works and took the better of sane enlightened thinking for doing developmental, improvement work in technical process, although I became quite busy and active and enjoyed new experience to work in Project execution – implementation right from civil works to commissioning. In the process, I gained some recognition and got some satisfaction – Intellectual and mental-Professional and proved my technical abilities & problem solving capabilities; as days and months passed by, life was comparatively busy, active and relatively happy. But, there was tension in relationships as people were still not so cooperative with many conflicting situations arising out of clash of ideas and opinions and I felt frustrated due to lack of trust and confidence and there was blockade to my progress in life; when I had landed in Hyderabad, I had mixed feelings as I was recently married with great responsibility, but I was full of hope, energy and enthusiasm, not knowing what was in store for me in Hyderabad, which was another type of exam situation without any syllabus and knowledge of question paper …

Success is a very important ingredient in life. It creates balance with Environment, Ecology, people and balance within individual. In the absence of success and proper understanding by the people, life becomes a burden, To strike a balance within oneself and with eco environment – people, it is very important that people think the same as the Reality and Truth about oneself (you or me).

Speaking about success and the influence of environment neighbourhood thinking on individual mind and consciousness, I strongly feel that unless neighbourhood thinking and mind-consciousness is harmonized, it becomes very difficult to conduct one’s life peacefully and gracefully; Man’s goal is freedom and liberation. Through creative and productive work, he contributes to the outside world, society and gains self-satisfaction, actualizing his potentials, strengths and talents given by Nature or God. Thus the Truth regarding one’s self is expressed and established in the Universe and surroundings, which creates harmony with-in self, and Ecology.

As the company people were not responding positively to my ideas, scientific working etc. I felt further frustrated, a new unknown exam paper, which made me to think, what to do next and how to become more active / creative; in the meanwhile some friendly people came into contact, which was encouraging sign. I felt I have to get the company and support of intellectuals to come out of my predicament. So I associated myself with BHU old student association and between did few MCA and Amateur Radio courses successfully and completed/earned a Grade II license ticket from Ministry of Communication, Department of Telecommunication and felt happy.

Few people came in my work-life and then left, initially with hope and trust, but fading away in the next couple of years, which showed that situations, associations, placements in life keep changing; friends become enemies & vice versa showing the impermanent / changing nature of worldly affairs. So, I would call my first ten years of post college life as really bright, enlightened but full of dichotomy, paradox, misunderstanding and friction / conflict with people due to their non-recognition, non-understanding and condemnation, resulting in inability to get wholesome and gainful work occupation and independence. This apparent reality in physical plane created many misjudgements or erroneous opinions in the minds of close people, which also created severe strain on our living together, as due to lack of mutual understanding and personal freedom, relationship was not balanced …

As we enter the next ten (10) years of post college period of my life, I did not know then, that it will again be a period of turmoil and uncertainties with fresh unknown exam papers with few God sent incomplete answers, as positive turn in fortune in the form of coming in contact and building rapport & understanding with few quality and technical and electrical engineering consultant by display of merit / technical acumen, which helped in clearing the air of doubts and mistrust about my merit and creating right understanding in the minds of factory personnel including my father. They helped in many ways as, I became quite close to them which helped in the long run over the years …

Because there was no complete answer or solution, I was losing interest in working to some extent and wanted to live with nature, being a nature lover and used to spend lot of time with Nature–park etc. and wished to do some great creative things; I was looking for opportunities and start anew, another unknown life exam paper … not knowing what to do and groping in dark, I thought let me start marketing some novel innovative product with the help of somebody, a few relatives ventured or offered to help me market the products in Calcutta, however it was not to be; when during this fluid state and days, I was wondering what to do, intuitively as if God-directed I was drawn towards the imposing building of Administrative Staff College of India at Khairtabad and I entered the premises to enquire about the activities carried out at ASCI and met successfully a few faculty to take up some project, who advised me to meet a particular faculty and personally hand over the application for project work and thus I landed and started the project on Energy Management Practices, which I completed successfully in record time.

As there was no continuation in another project, I planned to go to ten days Vipassana meditation camp for uplifting myself. So after leaving and finishing the ASCI project, I was idle for sometime till, I again started going to father’s factory and also doing some writing work. Also, I prepared a project report on Hand made paper to start that project with the help of Khadi village Industries commission, which didn’t materialise due to some bottlenecks / difficulties; in the meantime, I also attended a personality development course by an Institute of Leadership Development, which made me more active, confident, assertive and forceful. I have subsequently participated and attended many such workshops including spiritual ones …

In the meantime, I was selected as a corporate member of Institution of Engineers at Khairtabad by developing a rapport and displaying / proving my merit with few bright practicing member-engineers there, who helped in getting the recommendation from the distinguished faculty of Engineering Staff College of India; I also attended one wonderful workshop on Creative Thinking or lateral thinking by Sri Laxmipathy/Dr Rangarajan of Synergy Systems with inspiration from my friend and being accorded recognition and appreciation by the faculty and was motivated by their appreciation and friendly advice.

Meanwhile, I had completed a diploma in advanced management from Productivity Council, Baroda and visited Baroda & Productivity Council and interacted with the faculty there and was assessed to have high IQ of above 130. I was constantly in touch with Baroda by correspondence and subsequently joined them for the representation / presentation job work at Hyderabad. Simultaneously, I joined mind training course given by Darshana centre run by Dr Prashant S Shah. Immediately on joining Productivity Council, Baroda, I conducted a get together–meeting of EKS students, which was well received, attended and documented.

I also happen to meet our old family friend Sri Ashish Mukherjee, an engineer from Union Carbide, Bombay with whom I had series of dialogues and exchange of ideas and he seemed to be thoroughly impressed as I could convince him, impress him with my ideas, potentials etc. and he arranged for a representation tie-up with a Bombay based equipment manufacturer for chemical process equipment for which, I worked for some time and visited some dozens of process Industries in Hyderabad and generated few enquiries and orders, but as the market demand and economics was not working out and there was lack of understanding with the manufacturer, I stopped working for them.

Again, I was without work and started looking for job again, another unknown life-exam paper and started meeting EKS prospective students for their doubts, queries & information about EKS (Energo – Cybernetics Strategy) course and helped BPC secure some enrolments. That time, I wrote many articles based on my experiences and learning, which were published by various journals of repute like viewpoint or disha of BPC and their EKS bulletin. I was confident in the venture / project to establish myself as an independent engineering service man, but there was no monetary or people’s support. Subsequently, I organized another EKS, 2–day workshop at Hotel Ashoka, Lakdi-ka-pul at Hyderabad. In that year, I also put an advert in ET (Economic Times) for customer service (Industrial) representation work for Industries or manufacturing companies having customers / clients in Hyderabad and AP region, which was well received and I took up and did representation work from Madras based company, worked for sometime but left as the work for capital-intensive process equipment was for very small target group of users and without much money;

I also became the affiliate member of Institute of chemical engineers, IchemE, London and attended the meetings and became member of IEEE. In the meantime, I sold some electronic instruments and health care products taken from AVN Electronics proprietor, Sri A Subhramanyam, Meanwhile, I attended a yoga camp at Yoga Research Foundation for 15 days to refresh / brighten myself; I attended many Ham fest / conventions at Mysore and Bangalore, also participated in Indian Engineering Congress, an IE(I) event at Kolkata and IEEE International Conference at Hyderabad on Industrial Automation by Industrial Application Society (IAS) and All India Seminar of Chemical Engineers at Hyderabad, where my paper was selected for presentation …

I was feeling frustrated and de-motivated after discontinuing the work of Madras based agency and was thinking what to do next, another unknown exam paper … As somewhat of an incomplete answer; accidentally, I met MD of Gati Cargo / ABC Projects India Ltd., who was my class mate in school at Kolkata and who offered and arranged meeting with senior engineering consultants for a retainer-ship job assignment at ABC (India) Ltd., Projects Division and I was given the designation of Exe –R&D; I worked and visited many Industries after initial challenges during few months for procuring works; there were few enquiries, but not much work–orders; we were fortunate to get a few civil projects. I was transferred or shifted to TCI – Gati Cargo services subsequently, where I faced a lot of human relations problem; but slowly I could create a positive, cooperative environment by my work. The fact remains that I was unable to utilize my talents, merits gainfully and remuneratively;

I had to give many tests in the examination of life, of people and by the people; my father along with others was the greatest judge, examiner who has taken so many tests of me; but by the right intervention / understanding of the few consultants, my father’s attitude / understanding towards me changed somewhat; also, discussions with family friend, who understood me somewhat, proved to be turning point, as he in turn could make my father understand in the right way;

Every human being is unique with a natural set of qualities, mental capacities, interests & inclinations and personality; then why there need to be competition among fellow human beings; instead everyone can grow in cooperation as per his / her seed qualities without friction / conflict as in nature; thus I realized that life was so unpredictable and ‘Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set’… What is needed is to create right circumstances to be able to work by effective interpersonal understanding on the basis of natural principles; I consider myself blessed that WORDLY CHALLENGES has unfolded my spiritual potential …