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Asish never thought that he would have to deliver a speech on to-day’s occasion. And so when one of his colleagues requested him to say some-thing, he felt a bit uncomfortable.

More often than not, this sort of meeting takes place in the office – may be that either to bid farewell to any of his colleagues on the eve of his retirement from the service or to express condolence of a colleague who died in harness. Obviously, whatever spoken in these assemblages are mostly stereotype in nature. More or less, three or four identified colleagues take the trouble of oratory to maintain the necessity of the so-called assembly. But whether the lectures so delivered are hitting the deaf ears or not – this thought did never peep in anyone’s mind. But the purpose of to-day’s assemblage is totally different. It is a novel one.

There is a prevailing custom in the organization where Asish works. In order to provide more mobility and effectiveness as well as to introduce new ideas in the activities of particular important department, very often the service of an experienced administrator from outside the organization is sought after and the responsibility to steer is entrusted to him. Maintaining parity with this age-old custom, almost a year back, a retired army official had taken charge of the department where Asish is posted.

This department has to carry out the responsibility of procuring necessary spare parts and raw materials to continue or enhance production on demand. Sometimes, these are required to be ensured in a war-like situation. It does not therefore require mentioning that the department is a significant one.

Asish observed that this newcomer gentleman is tremendously dynamic to induce work-culture among all classes of employees under his command by getting personally in touch with almost all and encouraging them.

In course of time, Asish further observed that his modus operandi is altogether different. The importance of all types of works, whatever be the nature, is same to him. What surprises him most that whenever any problem comes in the fore towards completion of any allotted job, then a strong mentality gets activated in him. He is never tired of explaining lucidly the complexity of anything – be whatever as it may. Often it seemed to Asish – as if work and worship are synonymous to him. Thus within a short while, this charming personality in the person of Sri Mangalore Krishna Damodar Kamath was hailed as an agile trouble-shooter.

Apart from the department’s official jobs, in other matters also like Viswakarma Pooja, New Year’s Day Celebration etc. held in the office – his enthusiasm was never found wanting. One day, when he came to know that many offspring of his office employees secured high positions in the just-concluded Secondary and Higher Secondary Examinations, he expressed a desire to felicitate them inside his office. The end-result of his desire is to-day’s function.

March Forward, An Inspirational Story (Part I)

Shrugging his discomfiture and getting himself prepared mentally, Asish stands up. He arrived at the conclusion beforehand that it would not be contextual to say something which will be stereotype in nature. The purpose of felicitation, in his opinion, is to arouse enthusiasm, inspire with hope and help to gain more confidence. He decided that he should better try to confine his speech to a theme that may be helpful for them, at least to some extent, to derive inspiration and moral-boost.

After completing the formality of addressing the chair – needless to mention that the man on the chair is none other but Sri Kamath – and all others present, Asish begins his address to the young guests in whose honour this function is being held today.

I consider it a special privilege for me to get this opportunity to speak to you in presence of this august assembly on the occasion of felicitation of brilliant students like you and I really feel proud for this.

Today you have arrived on the threshold of a new universe. This universe is the Universe of Knowledge. It can be compared only with an ocean. The bed of an ocean is the abode of jewels. For this reason, an ocean is also known as ‘Ratnakar’ – which means ‘jewel mine’. If one has great desire for a few of these, he has to go deep into the water until he reaches at its unfathomable depth.

In this context, I think it would not be inconsequential if I narrate exactly what Sir Issac Newton humbly expressed about his realization in respect of knowledge.

At that time, Newton had reached the zenith of fame as the inventor of Law of Gravitation . The British Government, as a mark of respect to him, had conferred on him Knighthood – the highest Royal Award. People from far and near used to come to meet and talk to him. One day, when one such visitor started speaking highly in praise of him indicating his erudition, he humbly stopped him and said – “Oh no, no sir. I am still collecting pebbles on the sea-shore.”

Rabindranath Tagore had also reverberated the same feeling. We can recollect his famous saying in this connection. He wrote…

“So little do I know of this vast universe.”

Presumably you have heard the name of Holy Upanishad. It is said that Upanishad, which is rich in philosophical and religious thoughts, is the main source of Indian heritage. Our philosophy, religion, civilization and culture – everything emanated from this Holy Book. To know how rich is Indian philosophy, we may quote eminent Western philosopher Hamilton – “The Western philosophy when meets the end, from there Indian philosophy starts.”

Upanishad is the last part of the Vedas. Hence it is also known as Vedanta i.e. the end of the Vedas. The mantra that we chant at the time of offering prayer during Saraswati pooja -”Bhadrakalyoi Namo Nityang Saraswatyoi Namo Namah, Veda Vedanga Vedanta Vidyasthanevya Ebacha” is a prayer to the Goddess of Learning for granting knowledge.

You may perhaps like to know more about Upanishad – the mother of Indian philosophy, religion, culture and civilization.

(Story continued in Part II …)

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