I very firmly believe in the power of destiny to control our lives. My decisions and actions have been certainly controlled by my destiny. In 1960, I was to choose a topic for my M.Sc.Dissertation, I intuitively chose my topic ” Offshore Prospecting for Oil & Gas . I did not know why. It was just like that as I was dictated to choose this topic from unknown sources to decide the future plan or course of my life. I searched the literature in the library, and came up empty handed as nothing much was published on the subject. I was utterly disappointed as in the absence of literature on the subject. My research guide and adviser was Prof. R.S. Rathore who had recently joined back to the department after several years of research for his Ph.D. in the USA. He was a very knowledgeable and nice person. He liked me the most. I was the only one who could dare to visit him at his residence. Disappointed with my research topic, I requested him to change it to some other topic, but knowing nothing about the subject and without listening my reason, he simply refused to change and asked me to continue.
Fortunately, I found a few recently published papers by CB Officer, perhaps only expert on the subject at that time. I very humbly requested him to send the reprints of his research papers, other suitable material, and if he could help me to get some more material from others in the field. He very promptly sent me a lot of material and requested others on my behalf to send me the suitable research material. So from his kindness I received a lot of material from several people. There was nothing of any use for me at the library. I needed to look into this heavy stuff to get my material. I prepared my first project report of about 200 pages and presented to my supervisor, Prof. Rathore. Without looking at it, he asked , ” How many pages ?” I said very happily and proudly ” two hundred pages Sir”. He returned my report with the remarks to reduce it to 100 pages. I just could not understand what he meant by this. Looked again and again and reduced to 150 pages to the best of my understanding. Once again, I presented my report for his review. His style was his own and very different from others , perhaps, he only knew the best , reasons himself. The same action, and told me to come back only with hundred pages. He also gave me a copy of his PhD thesis submitted in one of the top Universities in USA , supervised by the top authority in the area of his specialization. This thesis was also of less than 100 pages.Finally, he was happy, appreciative and satisfied with my work of one hundred pages. The idea was to learn the subject very well and that was the way to learn. Yes, it was a nice idea..
This work really shaped my path of life:
This work brought me a very good score which improved my overall score to get my First Division in my M.Sc. Examination.
Since this work was quite unique and very timely when everyone has been thinking of offshore prospecting. This gave me an opportunity to get my job with ONGC with the first attempt itself. The Chairman of Selection Board, Dr. Hari Narain was one of the external examiners of my dissertation. He was so excited when looked at my dissertation that he told other members about it, and then only at that moment I came to know that he was an examiner of my dissertation. He was very appreciative about it. I got the indication then and there itself that I got the job; So my career was settled with ONGC.
I got a letter from Prof. AE Beck from the University of Ontario, London, Canada offering me a research opportunity for a Ph. D with him in the well established department of Geophysics. He mentioned that he was one of the examiners of my dissertation and he was very much impressed with my work. All thanks to Prof. Rathore guiding me for this excellent work. My destiny played a role again. For my own reasons and circumstances, I could not avail this golden opportunity. One can just imagine, if I would have accepted this challenge then in 1961, how my life and career would have been so much different. Another very interesting incident happened in 1973 when I wrote to the Registrar of The University of Western Ontario exploring the possibility of research in Information Science with my new qualifications. I got a letter again from Prof. Beck asking me if I am still interested. Perhaps, looking at my resume, qualifications and experience etc, the Registrar forwarded my letter to the Department of Geophysics. Incidentally, Prof Beck was still there and he attended and responded to my letter.
The topic of my dissertation, Prof. Rahore as my research guide, selection of the examiners for the dissertation etc. and not availing the research opportunity in Canada in 1961 are not my choices, decisions and actions. They were all dictated by my destiny to happen the way they did