1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – The Practical(s) : Civil Engineering – Practical rigours practically upturned into joyous occasions (!) – [1]

If the practicals of Electrical Engineering were an enigma to me, the practicals of Civil Engineering turned out to be acid test for my inherent sense of practical applications. I do not remember much of what we had done in the Civil Labs, but two outdoor field projects – the chain link survey and the theodolite survey. Of course, I should confess that I remember them for wrong reasons.

Chain Link survey that did not link in the end

I understand that one of the popular sites for the chain link survey field projects was Swastik Society, a upper-middle class residential society opposite H L College Commerce, in the Navrangpura area of Ahmedabad.

On the appointed day our batch duly assembled at the location. However, I am almost not able to recollect how we transported the hardware or actually conducted the survey, what seems to remain deeply etched into my memory are our (undeservingly) joyous holiday mood, the ire of the residents of the area and the goof up in the practical.

From the day the schedule for this field practical was announced, we had started looking forward to this major outdoor experience – not with the curiosity of putting our sense of practical application to the real field test, but with joy of one-day picnic. As a result, from the moment we landed at the field site, we were too raucously loud and noisy for any decent residential area. When I try to look back now, I can certainly visualize how loud that noise would be in the serene afternoon silence of an upper middle-class society. I do not remember whether we indeed chided up for this uncivilized crowd behaviour by our staff, and if we were we paid any heed to it or not. But I still very clearly recall the severe, but too decent for a rowdy crowd like ours to appreciate, chidings of some of the ladies of the society,  As I look back, I wonder how were we not banned entry forever for these field projects in the society!

Well, we did manage to run through the actual measurements on the field. However, when the results were plotted down on a scale drawing, we were aghast to know that the start point and the end points were so much off the mark that our end point would actually land up a couple of kilometres from the real end. However, it seemed that almost every batch would goof here, with some degree of difference. So, our teachers readily offered us some ‘practical tips’ to bring the semblance to the measurements vis-a-vis the reality.

Our friend Dilip Vyas, has captured the mood of such chain link survey practical so well:

Being admitted to Mech. Side, I had Civil for only one year. Part of almost introductory Civil Eng. was chain and compass survey which was I think done sometime in July/August period. Since group of students and supervisor cannot just go anywhere to do it, it was done around LD in nearby Government societies. As it happened, we had to do chain survey in H Colony which was just in our back yard. On the appointed Survey day, there was no regular college. The practical was to commence in the early morning. Being Mechanical students, we tended to take anything to do with civil lightly. Almost bordering on condescending negligence. With the benefit of whatever wisdom has come with age, now I realize how stupid that was. But when you are eighteen and have just entered the rarefied word of your first choice of college location and engineering branch (AM was usually first choice and usually comprised of highest marks getters along with AE. AM meant Ahmedabad Mechanical and was among nine choices offered. Three college locations – Ahmedabad, Morvi and Suart – and three Engineering branches were the order at that time), I guess you do tend to be somewhat fool of yourself !

So anyway, we finished the survey before two o’clock in the afternoon and decided to take advantage of free half day by going to newly opened Rupali theatre which had the added attraction of 70 mm. screen. It was showing My Fair lady. I now know that the film is considered a classic but, on that day, combination of having spent most of the day out in hot Sun, having missed lunch and watching the film had given me a severe headache. Later, to compound the misery, when we had to plot our survey in Civil Engineering drawing, final two points came out about two centimetres apart because of sloppy work we had done in the field. Luckily teacher in charge at that time was understanding (and as it turned out, was soon headed to US on Immigration Visa) and gave us a pass to adjust the error and project turned out to be Ok.  The drawing part of this, and other drawing projects later, are stories in themselves.

Now, I understand, that they do not need chain to measure the distance. I have seen surveyors doing similar work using laser like device which gives you a very accurate distance between two points.

Before I draw any conclusion, it would be in good order to recount the experiences of another field practical – the theodolite survey.

1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – The Practical(s) : The Encounters with Practical Electrical Engineering

As I started writing down this piece, I had had quite serious introspection about what would have happened if I had to continue my studies for the graduate degree of Electrical Engineering.

I must candidly admit that my introspection remained at the surface level only, One reason perhaps is that, at the back of my mind, I always thought that I am writing memoirs here, not the treatise on how I should, or should not, have taken up my studies. Another reason seems to be the fact that electrical engineering has always remained an abstract subject with me, even when I had had occasions to deal with the subject later in my career, so why to rationalize , or justify, that rightly or wrongly perceived abstractness!

So, rather than digressing into not-so-relevant areas, I will come back to the subject –

As I started ruminating into my memories of the electrical engineering practicals, the first thing strikes me even today is the awe that large swathe of space that the electrical lab presented, every time stepped into the lab building. Even today, I do not have any rational explanation for that feeling, because I already had had sufficient acclimatization with huge expanse of the LDCE campus, that of very large classrooms, large library and such other infrastructure as compared to my previous experience with the environment that I had had experienced at the schools.

I will take the help of experiences that Dilip Vyas has shared to build the base of my narrative:

“For me Electrical lab was a mysterious and a little scary place. My earliest memory of an experience with electricity was at about seven years old when during a Vastu – house-warming – ceremony at my Mama’s (mother’s brother) newly constructed home in Rajkot, a relative touched some switch and was immediately thrown off on the floor. People said Ramnikbhai was lucky because Rajkot had recently switched to AC current from DC, otherwise he would have been stuck to the switch and may have died!

“With that childhood traumatic memory, I walked into large Electricity lab on the east side of campus with some awe and lot of trepidation. Fortunately, our instructors also were either aware of our awe and inexperience or were scared that some stupid guy touching something and burning him or a machine. (By the way, it was all HIM at that time. No HER. ) And so, they were very insistent on not turning anything up without someone from staff did the final check on wiring connections and, even then, instructor will be the one who will do the honour of flipping the switch. I don’t know about the others, but I was more than OK with that arrangement.

“I do not recall any major up or down incident during Electrical lab sessions.

“There was also, just like CIVIL subjects, little bit of lack of interest (may be a smudge of disdain ? ) for ELECTRICAL. After all we were the chosen Mechanical branch students!! Though in reality, Electrical was on par with Mechanical and some students with better marks were opting for it with their choice. ( In fact, by the time of graduation, Civil Eng. Jobs were easier to find than other branches in those socialist time when Government was the biggest likely Employer of engineers. )

“Another contrast that I felt was that most staffers, and not just lab related demonstrators but department in general, on Mechanical side were more ‘fun’ than the Electrical side.”

+                                 +                                 +

Simultaneous with our electrical engineering lab practicals, in the First Year, we were being inducted into the basics of theory part of the electrical engineering with topics like ‘parallel’ and ‘series’ circuits and electrical devices like motors, transformers etc. Till then, my exposure to ‘the electrical’ was limited to switching off or on the lights only. I even did not any occasion to see even a water filling pump!

However, like the other ‘engineering’ subjects that also we were learning for the first time, I had started to mentally accept ‘circuit diagrams’ as one of the basic tools of communication in the electrical engineering and recognizing the symbols of resistors or motors etc and those for the way they relate to each other in a circuit.

However, at the electrical lab, my encounter with the same real, physical, objects of so much of a different dimension somehow added to the awe that I felt with abstractness of concepts of ‘current flowing into the circuit’ or ‘voltage applied to the circuit’

Here there were boxes lined up across one wall of the lab. Each box had several light bulbs fitted in slots in different rows. As we went closer to the box, we could see that each had several electric bulbs with different wattages. We could, at least, make out that sum of bulbs in different rows would give us different total wattages. We were informed that these are the resistors.

Then as we looked around, we could also see that there were copper-wire-wound coils lined up in different shelves. We were told these were “inductors” of different inductance capacities. I was so naive at that stage, even when I physically see these coils I failed to comprehend that the copper-wire-winding when charged with electrical current, it would ‘induce’ a magnetic field, and hence the name – inductor. I do not actually remember when this knowledge had lighted up in my mind, but today when I think back, I could see how inadequately I was geared up to take up the practicals as the structured medium of learning.

And then came up the most revealing part of the electrical lab experience – connecting the actual circuit. what could be easily squeezed in less than a quarter page of a notebook, was now spread here all across the lab. Between the two objects there were long electrical wires in place of a short line of the circuit diagram, anything from one to three boxes (of electric lamps) for one symbol of a resistor,  a couple coils at a different table as ‘inductors, and so on. And top of all these, the switch was a ‘big box’ with a handle, which we were strictly not permitted to put on or put off!

It therefore can hardly be any surprise that it took me quite some good exposure during the actual career that I could get the real difference between a squirrel cage and a slip ring motor! But, more surprising is the fact that I was already seeing the motors powering the machines in e Workshop practicals, and yet it never struck me to apply the knowledge of motor classification in identifying which type of motor is used for a particular machine!

By the time I had undergone a few more of such experiments, it seemed to me that whatever little I was able to understand in the theory had evaporated in the lab.!

However, before I came up to stage of seriously taking on the fight with that big bull of perceived fear of abstractness of electrical engineering, providence offered me a short cut! Before the end of the First Year, a notice was published that all the students of the First Year desiring a change into another branch can apply for such a change.

I immediately put my bet on the Mechanical Engineering – partly because that was the ‘in-thing’ at that time and partly because I could get respite from studying the electrical engineering for all five years. Early into the second year, lady luck smiled at me, and I got the transfer to Mechanical Engineering.

As I look back, it seems quite clear to me that I must have felt so relived then that I never ever gave a second thought to the possibility of how good (or bad) an electrical engineer been I had to continue with the Electrical Engineering.  Or for that matter, even was I a good enough material for the rigors of mechanical engineering?

I have a confession to make today – I am happy that I do not have to answer that question now !!?

Sudhir G Dandnayak – is always around

That in nutshell is how I would always recall Sudhir Dandnayak. As colleagues, our relationship, apparently, was always at the level of our official matters, but as a person he was always around whenever I sought his support, even when he may physically be not there.

Sudhir and I started our careers almost simultaneously, at Gujarat Steel Tubes Ltd., Ahmedabad. He had joined the Exports department after completing his post-graduation studies in export management whereas I was entrusted the role of setting up company’s first ever green-field diversification into manufacture of welded stainless tubes. As such, we hardly had any common ground that would provide a platform for us to know each other, even as colleagues. However, the fact that we were two formally educated novices naturally did connect us. As a result, we did interact with each other whenever some opportunity was available.

After a couple of years, I was entrusted the role of developing vendors of products other than steel pipes and tubes for exports, so that the company could attain the status of a ‘merchant’ export house. Sudhir was allotted the corresponding responsibility of developing the exports for such products. However, after some efforts, the company lost interest in this area. So, our relationship, too, could not go further. But, whatever few months we did get to work together, it was that unique charm of his personality that we had been able to build a rapport beyond the natural affinity that two professionally educated novices would have for each other.

After a decade or so, the destiny again brought us together – at Ratnamani Metals and Tubes Ltd. Here too he oversaw the developing the exports of stainless tubes and pipes, but initially, my area of work related to altogether a different product. But as the fate had indeed scripted some years of our lives when we could really work together, I was assigned the role of managing the plant operations of stainless-steel pipes and tubes.

That is the period when I came to know of the unique side of the personality of Sudhir Dandnayak. Professionally, we were two streams moving at cross currents.  The products that Sudhir could present for the exports required the mindset of goldsmith, whereas we, the production team, had the strong mind set of ironsmiths. In many instances, we could not measure up to the levels of performance that Sudhir would have expected of us in so far as developing the soft skills to manufacture the types of stainless-steel pipes and tubes that export markets he was trying to develop. When these differences would go too far, Sudhir would be quite firm in putting across his views, while fully empathising with our state of mental make-up and the physical infrastructure which we then had. Many a times when we would be put to extremely hot-bed positions, even when he would naturally be on the opposing side of the table, he never allowed any trace of bitterness into his approach with us, either during or after the incident. In fact, he would remain so equanimous that we too never felt any distance from him.

In my personal case, there were many instances, where he had no formal role to take my side or help me, but I found lot of encouragement by his apparently nonvisible presence around me. In many of the such cases, I was clearly able to discern his capability to smoothly navigate through the extremely unfavourable environment with deep calm and patience. It was tis unique side of personality that gravitated me to seek his counsel. He was always there to help me in such situations by enabling me to look at the situation form totally different perspective.

After I had left Ratamani Metal, we had had very few occasions to meet each other either professionally or personally. But whenever I was in extremely distressed state of mind, I always remembered his ways of remaining untouched by the storms around and could always find that solace that helped me to weather my storms.

It cannot be a mere coincidence that his photograph in the obituary – which I have morphed in this article – epitomises his that facet of the personality, of being able to maintain that faint smile (of hope, composure and being at peace) even when the subtle lines of inherent tensions of the modern-day life could be discerned on his forehead.

We, the ordinary mortal ‘friends’ of Sudhir Dandnayak will be able to take solace that he was sent as an emissary by Him to provide peace, composure and commitment of conviction amid the turmoil’s of mundane life and has been recalled by Him for some larger mission there, because we always found him and will find him even now or in future, around us. However, the void that his immediate family will face of his that very personality would be impossible to be filled up even his presence will always be felt around them. If he was here, may be he would have some solution for it!

The Grace and Charm of Roger Federer – on and off the courts

Roger Federer (B: 8th August 1981) will be remembered as usherer of a new age of speed-power-and-grace style play in the annals of tennis in the first decade of 21st century, Once he bagged the first ever grand slam win – the 2002 Wimbledon Singles Final -, he so effortlessly seemed to dominate the next decade. The ease with which he could adjust his game to the demands of different surfaces, he seemed to effortlessly accumulate 19 more grans slams, with one Calendar Grand Slam as well as record 8 Wimbledon Singles to=titles, even while facing fierce completion form Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

His recent announcement of retiring voluntarily from the professional tennis spurs me to note down some of my memories of the game of tennis as well as some lessons that his career offers to all of us, for our personal as well professional lives.

My basic interest in tennis dates back to ‘60s, when I would read the whole of sports page in the English newspaper with a basic aim to improve my English. There,, along with news of cricket and cricket stars, I would get to read about exploits the then tennis greats like Rod Laver, Ken Rosewell, Roy Emerson, Stan Smith or the Indian greats like Ramanathan Krishnan, Premjit Lal and Jaideep Mukherjea.. However, I saw the real tennis court for the first time only when I joined L D College of Engineering, Ahmedabad in 1966.

Then came the mid ‘70s, when TV had started making in-roads into Indian homes. In that period, we would invariably make it a point to watch the live telecasts of the tennis matches, more particularly the Wimbledon finals.  Bjorn Borg, Ile Nastase, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, or Vijay Amrithraj of India are the names from that period that remain etched in my mind. Watching these matches also cultivated the understanding of the game of tennis. Then came Boris Becker, who cliched Wimbledon Singles title in 1985, at the age of 17 (the youngest to win the title) as an unseeded player. His ‘boom boom’ serve ushered in the ear of strong first serve as the major match-winning weapon. In fact, ‘number of first serve as aces’ then became a major parameter to assess the match performance.

By ‘90s, the tennis had started becoming the game of technique and power, with most games being decided on the first serves only. The charm of serve and volley, spins, dropshots suddenly started looking like relics form the distant past. However, games of players like Stefan Edberg, still, remained attraction of watching the full live matches.

By the end ‘90s, new star, Roger Federer, could be seen at the horizon of the tennis world. However much before Federer won his junior Wimbledon title in 1988, his father was able see that hidden talent in the boy. He used to motivate the young Federer to nurture the goal to reach the Top 100 so that he could earn the expenses of travelling for playing in the tournaments.

However, the adolescent Federer was feeling extremely home sick. Additionally, when he would match, he would keep crying, alone. He would try to copy some of the shots of his the then idols, like Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Boris Becker etc. But obviously once into the rhythm of a match these copy shots would not work. He would then grievously regret his such decisions.

However, his Junior Wimbledon title win in 1998 had created its own impact in the world of tennis. But his short temper was still a big hampering factor that seemed to keep consistency away from his game.  The 6-3, 6-3 straight sets defeat against Franco Squillari turned out to be the eye-opener for Federer. His own terrible behaviour on the court in that match hurt Federer so much that he vowed not to lose his cool ever again.

The manner in which he succeeded in maintaining the right balance between the hot lava’s flow of series of successes on the court and exemplary coolness of temperament on and off the court has placed the Federer’s subsequent professional career and his life in coveted a role model for a professional in any walk-in life. The way he could create the harmony between his natural talent and acquired competence could be seen in the smooth precision on the court that elevated him to status of (one of) the greatest player as well as a treat to watch for his fans.

However, what appears to be so simple in the way it comes across in these words, in was not all that smooth sailing for Federer. In fact, in the same year at Wimbledon, he suffered another defeat at the hands of Tim Henman. That defeat was the second eye-opener event in the life of Roger Federer.

He realized that along with the natural skill and acquired composure, the discipline also plays a crucial role in the success for a professional. He realized the importance of regular and dedicated training, reaching the venue o the match well before the scheduled time, a sound sleep of night and such other every single detail of a professional life.

The death of his mentor and one-time coach, Peter Carter, too made Federer realize what his destiny was.  Roger Federer realized that this untimely death was a sacrifice at the altar of his success.

His win at the 2003 Wimbledon Singles final, against Mark Philippoussis, was the first sweet fruit of his changed way of life. Every lesson that Federer learnt from the subsequent success, or defeat went on to add to the humility, maturity and burning desire for success on all types of surfaces.

His 2009 French Open title was perhaps his sweetest of all 20 grand slam wins. The way he transformed his game from a straight two set defeats and on the brink of a breakpoint in the third one, in the fourth round, is considered to be nothing sort of a miracle. That French Open title established him as the sixth ever male winner of career grand slam, after Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi. (His close rivals and compatriots Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also have achieved this success subsequently.)

In the age where changes in the ball and the racquet, tennis attire and gear, surface, post-match analysis rapidly started undergoing changes because of the pressures of the respective technologies, a very unique blend of Federer’s skill, style, commitment and razor-sharp intuition has played a key role in recognising him as THE trend-setter player of his time.  Never retiring from a match or the tournament in his long gruelling career also remains an unbeatable record.

The destiny had other plans for Federer as he mulled different strategies to continue pursuing his tennis career in spite of advancing age taking its toll on his physique. In aa freak accident in 2026, His left knee popped up when he slipped while running a bath for his daughters. He had to undergo a surgery he was avoiding all this while. Once he recuperated back to the fighting fitness, he went ton defeat Nadal in 2017 Australian Open final to clinch his 18th grand slam!

Presently, Roger Federer, in sage-like decision, recognises the inner messages that his body has been sending in that enough is enough now. His body now has to be accorded its due after having fully supported his career over more than 1,500 matches in last 24 years hat his body cannot take more strains of the professional tennis, so he has decided to hang off his professional tennis gears.

As much as it is important to nurture burning desire to excel at each stage of life and put in all the energies to achieve that success, it is also a defining quality of a successful individuals to know when it is time to quit, gracefully, voluntarily, in planned manner. The great cricketer Vijay Merchant out it succinctly when he said, ‘Retire when people ask why and not when’.

Along with burning desire to always excel with matching approach towards the on-court play on different surface s and ability to adjust the playing style, one very major facet of Roger Federer’s tennis persona has been his very unique equation he has been able to maintain with his hotly chasing his heels compatriot competitors – Rafael Nadal and then Novak Djokovic.  On 3rd July, 2022, Roger Federer was in two minds to accept the invitation to attend the 100th anniversary celebrations[1] of the beginning of Wimbledon which was to be attended by almost all the past greats. In the end, his love for the game and the ground that gave him the unique status of eight, record-making, grand slams seem to have tilted in favour of the decision to attend the function. Importantly, one can so clearly see the unique chemistry he had been able to work out with the compatriot competitors and his respect for other greats like Stan Smith, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg and such other great legends. It is that quality of Roger Federer that puts him in to the league of one of the ‘aal-time greats’ from a simple great player of his time.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic essentially have very different playing styles, each having one more suited for a particular type of the surface. However, it is to their individual and collective credit that they have won 65 finals out of a total 72, played across different types of surfaces. If 2004 to 2010 was the golden period of Federer, it is Nadal and Djokovic who seem to have dominated the next decade.

Even when their on-court competitive spirits is quite fierce, the combative mood simply gets switched off as anon as the match ends.  It is this unique Coopetition ( a business strategy that uses insights gained from game theory to understand when it is better for competitors to work together) that has not only spurred each one of them to raise their game to sustained higher levels of performance, but also greatly benefitted the game of tennis at large. Every match between any two of these three has been a great event for not only the respective fans but has also attracted several other classes of essentially non-tennis loving public to the game.

If shattering of one record after the other in just one time period of the game is because of the great individual competence of each one of these three, a major part of the credit is also due to the strong stimuli that their cooperative completion. To better appreciate this aspect, let us go back a little in the past.

After a string of successes at clay and grass courts of French Open and Wimbledon respectively, Bjorn Borg was not able to crack the American Open title. After a fourth successive failure, when he suddenly announced his retirement from the active game, his words were:

“When you go out on the court, you should say this is great, I’m going to hit the tennis ball, I’m going to try to win every point, and I like to make a good shot. If you don’t think and feel that, it’s very difficult to play.”

There are two different explanations to this statement. One school interprets this as his frustration that he did not have that quality of competition that could help him to elevate his game for the hard courts of American Open. The other school looks at this feeling as Post-Prime Depression, wherein the symptoms include a bruised ego, growing awareness that the top spot in the ranking will never belong to you again, and a fear of the inevitable. It was perhaps a combination of both the factors that prompted Borg to suddenly call it a day.

In comparison to this, there hardly was a phase when any one of the three – Federer, Nadal or Djokovic – always would keep so much winning on a particular surface that other may simply lose all hope of ever winning again on that surface.

Roger Federer selecting the September 2022 Laver Cup as his swan song professional tournament, where he was to team up with Rafael Nadal under the captainship of Bjorn Borg, epitomises the true nature of that unique competitively cooperative spirit. Nadal was all tears at the end of the doubles which he and Federer had lost. However, these tears were not because the two greats could not win just one match, but were the natural reaction that he would never play that high-class, high-voltage tennis against Federer.

Federer has not only given back to tennis what he has got in so much abundance from the game, but he has put his earnings from the game to the care and education of the children across the poorer nations. An official statement at Roger Federer Foundation that he has set up for this purpose notes that the foundation has been able to reach out more than 1.8 million deprived children over last 18 years[2].

Beyond the game, Federer is also a brand ambassador for the Swiss tourism. A street each is named after him in Halle, Germany and Biel, Switzerland.

Federer was so graceful tennis player, who combined minimalist elegance with an abundance of flair, that it is said the even after a gruelling five-steer, he would hardly have shed a drop of perspiration and would be as immaculate as he was at the beginning of the match. His gliding movements across the court were so much a stamen of kinetic beauty that he was called ‘a poetic inspiration with the racquet’.  For many others watching his game was more of a ‘spiritual experience’.

In his farewell statement Roger Federer very emotionally states that “…..to the game of tennis: I love you and will never leave you.”

The words of Bjorn Borg, at the recent Laver Cup, aptly sums up the feelings that we all will cherish for Roger Federer – …. no one is bigger than the sport itself — but what he did for the sport all around the world, it’s amazing. We should all be proud.

[1]

[2]

1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – The Practical(s) : In Practice

As I sit down to introspect today, I am still not been to clearly spell out my relationship with the practical(s) during the five years of the study of engineering.  Whether it was lack of interest, or lack of aptitude, or lack of skills, lack of appreciation of importance of the practical(s) for an engineering professional, I can vaguely define that relationship as the degree of connect only to the extent that I had with all other subjects- be it its theoretical part or the practical part. When I reflect a bit deeper, I can possibly see conditioning of a typical mindset that the environment those days would tend to mold.

In most of the middle and upper lass homes, the atmosphere generally inculcated the belief that during the ‘student’ phase of the life, a growing person had to study as best as the facilities available. The evaluation of the learning normally always gross total of all the marks that a student gets for all the subjects during the studies. The emphasis on studying was so much that the children hardly were given any other assignments that would either develop their aptitude for multi-disciplinary learning. It was the sacrosanct responsibility of the parents and the family to make available best possible resources to help the child pursue the studies, Correspondingly, it was considered to be prime duty of the child to study as much as he/she can, till a particular age or till the family could afford the total cost of study for all the children in the family.

As I had seen, during my Democratic High School (Gomtipur, Ahmadabad – a residential area in the textile mills dominated locality of eastern Ahmadabad) days, the friends who came from working class families, used to double up for many daily family-support chores. However, for the elite student class of the society – to which we belonged at bottom of the pyramid strata – the only activities that could possibly inculcate some aptitude for the practical life was a school picnic her or a short vacation tour there. If any school induced the students to create some kinds of working models or develop any performing art skill was considered to an ‘enlightened’ school. These schools therefore were considered ‘experimental’ schools because they dared (or imagined creating) unusual educational methods that included the practical(s) as well to the historically developed educational model of the school.

The studies till 11th standard those days, generally, was all about theories. The schools that offered multi-disciplinary education during primary, secondary, and higher-secondary stage were far too few. Most of the students of that period would see a laboratory, as part o the regular studies, only when they reached the level of college studies. Even at this stage, the ‘practical(s)’ were treated more a part of a given curriculum. One would study, or teach, the practical as all other subjects were being studies all these years.

As a result, I would tend to conclude that most of the students of those times were hardly aware that the structured studying was as much widening of the learning as it was developing the reasoning.

I, too, was a typical product of that system – certainly somewhat better than the then average – who had reached the level of studying engineering in course of the regular development of the life. That did not necessarily mean that I was attitudinally competent, or ready, to appreciate the importance of ‘the practical(s)’ in the pursuit of the engineering studies. I was not even aware that I will need to consciously cultivate several changes in my natural aptitude in order to really absorb what I was to learn during the course of my engineering studies. As a result, whatever shortcomings came up during the course of studies, my typical response was to accept them as it were rather than try to improve upon it.

In the retrospect, I do realize that It was only when I entered the ‘earning’ phase of the life that I could actually realize the importance what we were made to study during school and college. But that is a subject far beyond the scope of the present endeavor.

My memories and experiences of the practical(s) that will come up in my now to follow narrative should present that side of apathy. I candidly admit that the above disclaimer is not an effort to justify that apathy, but a sincere effort to present my perspective of that reality.

I plan to take my ‘(Mis)connections at the Electical Lab’ in the next episode.

1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – Commuting – to and from the college : My second vehicle promotion

The memories that Suresh Jani shares with us of his commuting by route no #47,  is typically very sketchy, but enough to rekindle similar memories in our minds:

My second vehicle promotion – from two wheels to four large-sized wheels mode of transport

Diwan Ballubhai Secondary School, Kankaria, Ahmedabad, was hardly a couple of kilometres from my home. So as was the customary practice of those times, walking was the natural mode of commuting to the school. But when I entered the 11th standard (SSC) class, I was awarded my first promotion – from two legs to two wheels mode of transport – of commuting on a bicycle.

I had joined Gujarat College (Ells Bridge, Ahmedabad) for my Prescience. The college was around four kilometers from my home. So, I continued to use bicycle for commuting to the college.

After my Inter, I joined L D Engineering college, which was still at more distance from my home. So I got my second vehicle promotion – from two wheels to four large-sized wheels -of traveling to and from college by AMTS bus service, by the pair of circular routes of #46 and #47.

I had to take my Kalupur Station to Delhi Darwaja-Income tax office- side route of #47 for my ride to college. I would walk up to the Sarangpur Garden bus stop, just outside the Sarangpur Gate. Even though the bus route was a circular one – one that does not have a specific terminus point for the reverse journey – we used to get almost no-passenger-situations when we would board the bus. After two stops was the Kalupur Gate stop, where two other colleagues, Bhupendra Doshi and Vinod Solanki, would join.

Bhupendra Doshi went on to reach the position of Chief Engineer at Aryodaya Ginning Mills and had retired from a senior position from Delhi. Vinod Solanki had risen to become professor at the engineering college.

Presently, our bus journey would progress towards Dariapur, where at Upadhyay would join us. He went to reach the position of Superintending Engineer at Head Office of Gujarat Electricity Board.  When our journey would reach Shahpur, Pancholi would join in. Unfortunately, I do not recollect the full name of Pancholi, nor have whereabouts of his career progression. Both of them normally had to travel standing till Income Tax office bus stop, from where they generally used to get a seat till our last stop of Gujarat University.

Many other contemporary LDites also used to join in this bus service during the whole route. However, since they all belonged to other classes, our relationship remained at the level of high-hello stage only.

We used to remain fully occupied with some or other topic of discussion during the trip every day. The topics would range from the films that we may have seen of late or filming the skits of our teachers. The actors of those films or our teachers would be awarded with most innovative fishpond titles as part of our story sessions. During the ‘submission’ season, the discussing would remain focused on the woes of meeting the ‘submission’ targets, duly interspersed with any improvisations that anyone had had benefit to try out to ease the load.

The return journey from college to home was on the pairing circular route of #46 service. The return journeys were invariably the standing ones for most of the part of route. Many a times we must have felt that additional burden over hectic studies of the day. Sometimes, in order to beat that boredom of travelling in standing mode, or just for the sake of fun because that would also cost us 5 paisa, we would choose the longer route of #47 service that would take us Paldi Jamalpur etc. The bonus of that longer route was company of many other friends who normally travelled by that route. Unfortunately, I am not able recollect more details of them.

Of course, after the graduation during the service, I was beneficiary of company-provided Royal Enfield motorcycle, which wen onto scale up with my own scooter and company-provided car too.

Post-retirement too I have been rewarded with a car gifted by so lovingly by my daughter and son-in- law. Added to this is frequent long-haul air travel to USA and India once every few years, the share of promotions of travel means seems not to end…

But,

Nothing of these luxuries would stand any chance with the innate pleasure that 5-paisa student concession travel that route #47 had provided……..

An aside memory:

That takes me back to my bus travel to commute to Democratic High school during early 1964, because of our mid-academic year shifting to the H colony, a government servant residential facility opposite the then Secretariat. I would normally take Lal Darwaja to Polytechnic route (#43) for one leg of my daily commuting. That route, as well many buses of routes #46 and #47 had Leyland model known as “Tiger cub’.

The Obvious difference of this bus was its seating arrangement. Its ‘out’ gate was right at the front wall of the body. As a result, the first the first passenger seat in the left side was so close to the front wall that when sitting there, you can feel that the traffic ahead is just a hand away. Even at the age of 15 /16 years, that feel gave me a great thrill. However, I still remember those buses for its another feature, At the start, when the driver would engage the gear, the bus would get into the motion with a very soft jerk. Then, once it would gain speed, it has a very different rhythm. Interestingly, today, when I ride the modern Volvo or Mercedes buses, with their ultra-modern automobile engineering, I get the same feel of rhythm!

Adieu to Late Shri P P Vora – Refreshing the Memories from The Early Phase of My Career

01-10-1943 | 05-08-2022
Ex-CMD – IDBI |Ex-CMD- NHB

As I read the news of demise of Shri P  P Vora, my mind silently slipped in to time machine and went back to the period of 1974 -1976.

Gujarat Steel Tubes (GST)Ltd was directed by ICICI Ltd to approach GIIC Ltd for their term loan finance requirement of around Rs 40 lacs. GST’s approach to GIIC then led to further GST’s additional relationship(s) with GIIC., one of which was the term finance for a green field project for manufacture of Welded Stainless (SS) Tubes at GST’s wholly owned subsidiary Neeka Tubes Ltd (NTL). The fate had destined me to steer these activities as the then incumbent Project Officer at GST.

That project envisaged in-house manufacturing of the tube mill line, and as I had expected soon became the core discussion topic during the project finance appraisal process. I had just been able to present the case in a manner which paved the way to look at that matter now from financial angle as well. The then Technical Head of R S Dixit (I believe I remember the initials correctly), himself introduced the subject, and me, to Mr. P P Vora – the then Head of Finance at GIIC Ltd.

Mr. P P Vora very carefully, but fully professionally, guided me to develop a model of recording and documenting the cost of in-house manufacturing the SS tube mill that would be not too to complicated for us to build and maintain and which will also be independently verifiable while also meeting the points of views of accounting norms of the Companies Act and the Income Tax Act.

Mr. Dixit and Mr Vora both led the entire appraisal process in such a manner that I never felt any discouragement at any stage and was also in position to show the management and colleagues of NTL that it was I who was successfully navigating the whole process.

The way that process was so naturally executed, I was also able to realize then that even as I have been successful in bringing up my theoretical knowledge so effectively to steer a highly unconventional idea to the world of hard-core reality, I always could maintain myself to the planes of reality that whatever I was able to accomplish was not because I was right , it was the right sagacity of vision of these professionals who held the torch of guiding, supporting and encouraging the entrepreneurship, that created environment where I could see my ideas fructifying into reality.

Moreover, the way these two gentlemen expounded our the then limited perspective of the macro world of SS Tube industry also was to play key role in the way we navigated through those uncharted waters.

In the retrospect I do realize now that their whole holistic approach of evaluating the viability of the project over the life span of the duration of the term loan, unconsciously instilled that habit of looking at any given issue from angles different than the obvious.

When I read the news of passing away of Shri P P Vora, it was perhaps natural that these memories would come to the surface of my mind as my humble tribute to that true to the core entrepreneurship development professional.

I also take this opportunity to record my most sincere acknowledgement of the roles that all those individuals have played at different stages of my 38-years of career wherein the destiny was to help me to groom that idiosyncratic ideal spirit of creativity of mine throughout the career such that I am able to look back at all my failures not with a sense of despair but with the satisfaction that I did I sincerely felt was right for me to do then.

1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – Commuting – to and from the college : The Walk Commutes

Walk commuting to the college was not uncommon to the college-going class of our H/L government-servant colony locality in those days, since most of the colleges like St. Xaviers and MG Science Colleges or Gujarat College; LD Arts or H L commerce College or even HA Commerce college were within a distance where travel by AMTS bus or walking probably would take the same time. Those who could afford a bicycle did opt for that mode.

When I joined LD Engineering (1966), my close childhood friend, Kusumakar Dholakia, three years senior to me, had already entered SE (the second year of 3-year degree course). And of course, our other close friend, Mahesh Mankad too was pursuing his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, So, he too was a natural member of the walk-group.  Since they walked to the college, it was natural that I join them too.  I think we had couple of more friends from our area who also used to join the walk-group commuters to LD Engg.

In those days, LD Engineering was almost a crow’s flight path-like walk form our homes at H/L Colony. What is today a densely packed residential area was a barren ground those days. As such, once we crossed the first man-made modern landmark, a main road connecting (the then) Sachivalaya – The Secretariat – presently the Government Polytechnic – with ATIRA, then a bloc of Senior Government Officer’s flats would come into the sight. Our L D college was just behind these flats. As result, our walk would traverse the shortest possible straight line thereafter.

The walks used to be so casual to us that I do not even remember whether it took us half an hour or even some more, nor do I remember what topics we had had every day to keep us so mentally occupied during that walk that we did not feel the distance. When I reflect over it now, I realize it was that strong, informal, bond of (real) friendly comradery among the same-age group persons of those times that bonded us so cohesively during our walk to the college. I would positively recollect that the topics never touched shoptalk of either our studies or our residential area issues. Even though we hardly could have major other- extracurricular – interests in common, our small talks would keep us so occupied that before we would realize, we would be entering the LD Engg campus from the rear side.

Another very striking feature of the bond among our walk-commuter group was the sense of timing, In the days when even now the almost the relic of the bygone area, landline phones, was a rarity, beyond most of us, each one would invariably reach the usual meeting point simultaneously, with a clockwork precision a minute or two gap. If someone had not made it till that time, it was simply presumed that he would have some other plans for the day. So, the group would never wait for that person, or even would not casually inquire the reason thereof the next day. It was ‘time and tide do not wait for anyone’ in real practice.

The current oft-heard phrase – water-logging – was almost unheard of in those days. Wherever the human intervention of planned town planning had not spread its shadow, most of the rainwater would easily flow away through the natural waterways. The open ground between end of L Colony and Sachivalay-Atira main road did become too muddy sometimes. When that would happen, we so easily ‘suffered (😐)’the inconvenience of taking up the ‘little longer’ route of Sachivalay- L Colony caol-tar-paved road !

Most of the walk-rides back home in the evening would be solitary. If there would a couple of others in the company, it was more a matter of chance than that of design. I now wonder, why the members who would so automatically get together at one informally appointed time would never have attempted to ascertain who would be leaving when in the evening so that there would be some company in the back-home journey. I think the real answer lies in the strength of that informal bonding of those friends.

These small pleasures of life then that had made our lives so wonderful to live!

If my recollection is right, it was from second year that on some random occasions I would get to coast along anyone of our professors S/Shri N V Vasani, P K Patel or N R Dave who also used to live in our area. Of course, the chance meeting would hardly last more than a few minutes of formal expression of our respect and then a deliberate increase in speed of our walk so that we would drift away as naturally as we had coasted along.  To the best of my memory, ono one our daily-walk-commute group had ever tried to reach these professors at their home for seeking any help or favour or even for a social call on the traditional festival days of New Year. Neither these professors had expected that of us.

That was the level of respect we the students would have had for our teachers and that was the level of decorum befitting their status that the teachers those days would so easily maintain!

Even after I was bestowed with a bicycle in second year, I used to walk with our group. If I had some planned need for the bicycle in the day at the college – which I plan to take up separately a little later – I would walk with group with my cycle too ‘walking (!)’ alongside!

1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – Commuting – to and from the college : The Cycling Perspective

Cycling mode of commuting had its own glory and glamour, apart from it being a conveniently available mode of intra-city transportation. Many of the contemporaries of our (government servant) parents used to cycle to and from commuting to the office. Primarily because it saved the ‘cost’ of bus travel, which was not that insignificant ‘saving’ in comparison to theirs the then take-home salaries. Moreover it saved the commuting time and was also useful aid for shopping other day-to-day domestic requirements.

On the other hand, during the years of my 10th and 11th standard years, at Gujarat Law Society High School (GLS), Ahmedabad, we had at least two classmates who were sons of millowners, one was son of a newspaper baron and two were son /daughter of the leading legal luminary, who easily could have used cars for commuting to the school, but they rather preferred the cycle option. Maybe it was the glamour factor of bicycle riding, even when the bicycles were simple vanilla design variants.

Purchase of a cycle, perhaps his/her first independent possession, as the son /daughter steps into the college life was certainly a moment of pride for the parents and the ward too. However, for the college going students it was a very convenient mode of maintaining communication link with their partners of budding love relation. Occasions to manage surreptitious double ‘sawari’ pillion ride had their own charms. Even the films of those days used cycle to depict developing love story between hero and heroine. In fact, the songs filmed with cycle as love-carriage do happen to be some of the most adorable romantic songs of Indian Cinema.

Apart from mine, the other two other very interesting variations in the way we got our first bicycle, by the way, are perhaps the classic case studies of acquisition of a cycle in the then middle-class family.

Vasant Pujara[1]  had one bicycle in the family. The priority over its use was obviously for his father, for commuting to the office as well as for other domestic purposes. Moreover, the shortest route from his home, near Sharda Mandir Bus Stand on the South-westerly corner of Gujarat College, those day was via Gulbai Tekra (Tekra is a small hill in Gujarati). He found it difficult to manage the uphill journey in that passage. So, he opted for commuting by bus. However, in spite of some the rare luxuries of those days, perhaps the difficulties – over-crowding during college timings and additional time in waiting for the bus to arrive – he “got tired of bus journey in two years, got company to go by bicycle and luckily father got transferred to Education Dept. at Gandhinagar. So, I switched over to bicycle journey. …. It was nice company of a two-years junior student of mechanical branch of our college, who wanted to learn engineering drawing. In three years of cycling my legs got stronger. Moreover, as an add-on bonus, I learnt complete dismantling and assembling the bicycle, especially to know the construction of freewheel.”

Aside trivia: One of our co-travellers of pedestrian mode of commuting to the college, and one of my other three chums friends, (now late) Mahesh Mankad, joined a factory at Naroda after completing his studies. Soon he purchased a Rajdoot motorcycle.  He had formed a practice to open up one or other assembly of his motorcycle every Sunday c during his self-service routine. Of course, most of the time, the motorcycle had to be taken to a mechanic to refit that opened-out component and put the motorcycle back to normal working condition!

However, his never accept any failure spirit led him to rise to the level of IAS cadre in his career. We always saluted him for his never-say-die spirit!

However, there were many families in our social strata those days where the cycle would a first major purchase as the son (to the best of my memory, not the daughter, normally those days,) would enter college study level. Even as it was considered a prized possession, the actual purchase was not that easy, as is so vividly narrated by Dilip Vyas:

“When I was in SSC, my parents had told me that if I get percentage over 70% and get into Xavier’s, they will get me a bicycle. Well, I did secure more than 70%, and I got admission to Xavier’s as well. Butt in those days, it was not easy to manage ‘huge’ payment of around Rs. 275 or so needed to buy a bicycle. So, when college started, I had to decide. I tried commuting by AMTS for the first couple of days but it did not make any sense because one had to walk to Sachivalaya bus stand, wait for bus and travel standing, and then walk from University to Xavier’s. So, I decided to walk and save 10 paisa as well to enjoy a packet of Chinai sing (salted ground nuts)! Walking was not much of a problem but since I had no one else to walk with, it was a drag. And then a miracle happened.

As you might remember, Bhavan’s college had opened that year. But for some reason that I can’t remember now, their science side got disapproved by the University just before commencement of the term. Therefore, to accommodate Bhavan’s batch of some 200 first year students, University approved four other existing science colleges in the city to add 50 students each over their limit. So, H-L Colony friend Girish Makwana luckily got in to Xavier’s with 55 %! Now I had company. More importantly, he had a bicycle. So, we commuted ‘double Sawari’ – two-seater ride on bicycle – for most of the year. Just before the end of the year, my parents finally managed to get a bicycle for me and then we commuted together for next year. When I got to LD, it was again just me commuting by myself but now on bike.

Just before BE, another miracle happened. My father had for some reason registered for a scooter under government quota (those good old quota days !! ) many years ago and his name came up. After debating what to do, he applied for a loan and we bought a Vespa! My father never even learned to drive but me being Prince of Wales in the family got the first dib on it. Commuting to college was not allowed because petrol was very expensive (I still remember Rs. 1.75 per litter. Including oil.) but I managed to sneak on to it, occasionally, to commute to the college”.

In my case, several other factors played the role of the final push for purchase of the bicycle.

We had opted for Gujarat Government’s loan scholarship scheme – Rs. 850 per year – to finance my engineering course education. During the first year,

I got my basic study instrument aids like drawing board, the drawing toolbox, the slide rule etc. from my uncle (husband of mother’s sister) and a few textbooks from the free-to-rent-study-books scheme being operated by the association of our community. So, halfway through the second term of the first year, we could see that there was some surplus from the first installment of the loan scholarship, and no major expense appeared in the horizon till the next installment would be received next year. So, one day, my parents decided to purchase a bicycle for me. And lo, that evening I was riding my own bicycle to home from Pankor Naka, the (only) market where goods like bicycles were available those days, through THE traffic of Ellis Bridge.

I started using the cycle in the normal course of commuting to the college only next year, because our preferred commuting mode was walking – which I will deal with a little later.

Apart from the benefits of commuting by cycle, there were a few more, fringe, benefits, at least, as far as I was concerned. But these will have to wait till I link them up later with the relevant main story

I would end with the present part with a very pertinent observation made by Ramesh Doshi – now settled in USA – while we were returning from our reunion luncheon of Ahmedabad-based LDCE71M batchmates in November 2011. Just  as we passed the present BRTS bus stand of ‘L D College’ he spontaneously recalled that those days this track was heavily laden with fin-dust, ground under the repeated crushing under the tyres of the AMTS buses. He then seemed to sleep into reverie of those days as he said: the movement buses had created two, relatively, clean tracks. It was a challenge to drive through that track as we used to continue talking among each other, in the company of others, while riding the cycles. It was not uncommon to get the wheel of the cycle stuck in the dust, get down, lift off the trapped wheel back on to the track, and commence the ride again, While the victim got his act together, the others had to ride on, for if they would stray off a look at what had happened, they also will be down to the dust.”

I do not recall if Professor Kellogg, of Machine Design, who would not tolerate getting late to the class – his was the first period of a day – unless supported by a reason, other than the time-worn excuses like bus got late or the cycle had a puncture etc., accepted this reason for the late coming!

Do You? If the reasons not accepted and reasons accepted could come up live presently, that itself would have been an episode in itself!

[1] Vasant Pujara is one of the key active links in reuniting the LDCE71M batch after a good 48+ years. It was his catalytic role that prompted Ashok Thakkar to prepare our “Selected Life Stories-LDCE Class of 1971-Mechanical”. That has further promoted me to collate the present memoir.

1966 to 1971 – Those Anecdotal Five Years …. – Commuting – to and from the college : By Bus

One activity that did not catch much of our attention in those days but had had a very telling effect on the way the years @ LDCE shaped up was to and from commuting from the college.

The most used modes of transport were either public bus service (Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service- AMTS) or bicycles. I do not really remember that possibly barring one or two students any used scooter those days. I, and my friends at L colony, near the then Secretariat building complex of Government of Gujarat, did commute by walking down to the college, but that was as more an exception as it was more convenient option.

Our senior friend Shri Suresh Jani, as he has narrated earlier, had been critically ill in the first year. After three months of convalescence from that illness, he could resume going to the college. With a weakened body, commuting by bicycle was ruled out and so the choice was that of using the bus. He could manage a seat, but he found return journeys an ordeal.

Except for some exceptional circumstances that some like our senior friend Shri Suresh Jani was placed, the commuting by bus did appear to be an enjoyable experience, as may be observed from the following narration of memories of 9.38 AM trip of route #60 by Ashok Thakkar –

We used to live in Maninagar, a large, and quite a noted eastern, suburb of Ahmedabad. As such, a fairly large number of students used to commute to the (Gujarat) University area. The public bus service, managed by AMTS, was quite efficient those days. Whereas a normal ticket from Maninagar to University would cost 50 paise, the students were eligible for a ‘concession’ charge of just 5 paise!

The number of students travelling to the University areas was so large, that three bus routes – 52/2, 52/3 and 60 – used to ply from Maninagar to and from the University. There used to a morning service of route # 60 that would leave Maninagar bus terminus at 9.28 and would reach University by 10.00 o’clock, in just 22 minutes flat! Comparatively, the two other two routes – 52/2 and 52/3 – would easily take around 45 minutes.

One aspect of this jet-speed travel was that the bus would be so chock-full of the students going to the University, right from the Maninagar bus terminus that there was no need for it to stop any where along the route, thus making the journey a non-stop whistle journey. Moreover

the driver of the that service, apparently an elderly person, would be so energised by the boisterous crowd of young students that he would drive the bus at the top speed through the entire route. However, in order to reach the University in 22 minutes, one may need to stand in the queue at the first stop for almost same time!

Our the then close-knit posse consisted of LDites Suresh Desai, Mukesh Parikh, Mukul Parikh, Bharat Desai, Umesh Parikh, Sushant Mehta, Jitendra Shah, Arun Shah, Jitu Bhavsar, Pamu Parikh, and of course me. There were a few of seniors also as the regular co-passengers, besides students of science and commerce students. Every trip was an experience in merriment, except that it always used to an all-boys trip, notwithstanding even the students of science and commerce stream!  Apart from me, other batchmates, Suresh, Mukul and Mukesh have settled in the US. Bharat Desai, from the Electrical Engineering discipline, too has settled in California. I am getting so sad to note that Umesh and Sushant – of the electrical branch- and Arun – from Mechanical – have travelled out for the final journey.

Sushant Mehta was fondly addressed as ‘Mama’ – the uncle, mother’s brother. Our ‘great’ Mama was a sole exception to the practice of cooling the heels in the queue for that 9.38 trip. Compared to all of us, he used to stay quite near to the boarding-stop. But he so much abhorred the idea of waiting in the queue that he would so fine tune his start from his home that just the bus would take tun at the corner, Mama would be there. Our driver was also so considerate of him, that only time in the trip, he would slow down the bus just enough to enable Mama yo jump in the running bus. This had become the most happening SOP for Mama and the driver, too. Both had so mastered the art of implementation that, to the best of my memory, Mama had bever missed the trip any time during the five years!

As I end my present anecdote, I recall one more sweet memory. In our final year, some time in December 1970, Mera Naam Joker, of Raj Kapoor, was released in the theatres of the city. The songs of the film were released two/three months prior to the release of the film. In the days when portable tape-recorders were things from the Mars, one day someone alighted the bus with his own portable tape-recorder and kept playing the song – Aye Bhai Jara Dekh Ke Chalo – from the film. I so much got liking to the song in that trip that, even after a good fifty years,  it remains one of my most favourite song.

That 9.38 trip – full of all kinds of jokes, pranks, sharing of experiences that Suresh Desai so fondly recall even today – remains one of most charmed experiences of my life.

How one would wish that clock would turn back so that we can happily go living in those sweet capsules of time!

I am sure many of us will have such sweet memories to share. I invite you to please share them here before I take up my memories of commuting on foot and /or bicycle in the next episode.