It is quite rare, when all the good people meet you in a year of time and when one feels that he is a part of a divine conspiracy when all the tides are turning against him.
The year began with preparations for a short term GIS workshop for the officers from Archaeological Survey of India. For more than a week, we interacted with people from that organisation who wanted to make a difference in presenting the vast repository of Indian heritage to the world. Young or old, age did not seem to deter them away either from their determination or their goal.
An international school for training experts in the asian region on my research area was next in line. Getting slides ready, preparation of course material, were all being done simultaneously. Two of the eminent experts in this field namely Professor Emmanuel Baltsavias and Dr. Norbert Pfeifer were also present in this workshop as ressource persons. Our group made a consolidated effort in carrying the flag of the institute forward. In this connection, I met Gautam after 5 years, who is one of my best research colleagues in the field of Geoinformatics. I also happened to meet Dr. Rashi Agarwal, Head of the Department, UIET, CSJM Kanpur, who became interested in the domain of LiDAR technology after this workshop and interacting with the GI Group.
Though being saved from the brunt of summer in Kanpur, I had to move to south India for a long time following a personal crisis. While my supervisor Dr. Bharat Lohani, was compassionate and empathised with the situation, Dr. Onkar Dikshit and Dr. Ashu Jain provided emotional support as well as helped with the institutional formalities. Rakesh Mishra was kind hearted to recharge my mobile everytime I needed it.
I met Dr. Nagarajan, one of the eminent scientists of India, and his wife Mrs Mangala Nagarajan at Kalpakkam who along with the cooperation of Dr. Sivaraman, Mr. Venkatesh and equally exuberant youth like Prashant, Hiren, Kumaresan, Madhavan, Swati helped and made me smile through the period of my crisis. In fact if I have to list out the number of people who helped me, perhaps I would end up writing a number of pages. Ms Seema Deogam, one of my classmates during my stay at Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, Dehradun, often called me up and calmed me down.
My father dislocated his wrist and damaged his knee cap at the same time in the month of August while I was at Chennai. My mother had to take lead in helping the family handle cope up with the crisis. Mr Venkat, who is one of our former neighbours at Jabalpur and Sriraj Nair, one of my younger brother's classmates took turns to help my father at the hospital. It was too bad that all this had to happen just at the time when my father had to retire from his long service to the Indian government.
The month of October, with the grace of God, saw me relieved from the crisis and I finally returned to Kanpur. It took more than a month to settle down back into the environment and at the same time, I made good friends like Bhavna Bhalla and Saurabh who were part of the counselling service team. The « chemical canteen » often saw me discussing PhD research with them.
Amandine, our french teacher last year, and I became friends too. At the same time she chose to come back to India and take classes at NIT Warangal. Eugenie has found her « dieu italien » and is happily leading a new life. Sadly, Clementine and Kate, were caught amidst the firing in Mumbai and hurt themselves badly. Yet, Clementine plans to come back to India to complete her assignment.
As the year ends, and I look back at the events that passed through the year, my belief becomes stronger that God exists and however hard the situation be, He makes sure that the believers in Him are happy. I have, lately thus, started studying the religion.
I wish you Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year ahead.