OLD REMINISCENCES —(1)
Here are some old reminiscences of forty years back! I read physics and landed in an accounts job! After my B.Sc in physics, mathematics and chemistry I wanted to enter university and later to do research in physics. But all plans changed after our dear father (a highly learned scholar in English literature and ancient Hindu philosophy)died . There were some other difficulties too. I failed to get through the tough university entrance exams twice . I felt dejected and as a temporary arrangement for one year I thought I would join a job . I joined the post office with an idea to remain only for an year in it.When I joined the post office my brothers severely warned me and asked me why I chose a job entirely unrelated to my study even for a short period. But I was bored and badly wanted a change and wanted to see the world! Some old reminiscences.
Right from beginning the work in the post offices was suffocating and heavy. It was so even in the head accounting offices and the central administrative office where I worked later. For two years I worked at interior towns managing work of subordinate rural post offices. Soon I found I could not leave the post office and try to exchange the postal environment for a physics laboratory . I was fast losing interest in trying for such change . However my interest in physics ,chemistry, astronomy etc did not decrease even by an iota. Every day I referred to my physics, chemistry and mathematics books. This unbroken link with science later led to my interest in becoming a science writer. I write “popular science” articles on the Internet for school children. Science has always been part of my daily thinking.
I never liked a school teacher’s job. So I remained in the postal accounts work for full thirty five years. The complicated postal accounting work was created on sound accounting and banking principles by the British colonialists 150 years ago . The work is very intellectual and stimulating. So I soon developed much liking for it just as for theories in Physics! I also had great interest in English literature and international political events. Working in a post office provided me(a book worm) with a rare and most lucky direct contact with the thousands of simple minded traditional people . Ours is a land of great ancient traditions. This contact with hundreds of common people through my post office job was for me an exhilarating experience. I was till then a book worm living in my cocoon reading my science books ,editorial pages in English newspapers, foreign news reports and of course my most favorite classical English novels.
In those days when we entered the post office there was no Internet and digital phone. None ever thought that the digital phone networks and the cell phone (based on those digital networks) would try to edge out the post card and postal letter . They latter did plot and brought out demise of the famed Telegram. The post bags in those days before the digital age were still bulky even at village post offices. Now the emails and “cash transfers” by Internet are becoming quite common. There are now powerful high security software to protect every type of data. Even in villages the cell phone and SMS service have become common and very safe. The email address is as important as postal address . Many countries have an idea of giving the postal work in villages to petrol bunks, malls etc because the “foot traffic” is very less !
Earlier I was pouring over books of physics, chemistry and mathematics. After joining the post office i saw that common people too can be very rough and abrasive. It was really very interesting to to realize this!After I stopped with my college degree I was slowly coming down to earth from the philosophic heights of science ,English literature and international politics.In this process of coming down my job with post office greatly helped. Here i should say that though I was always immersed in science our family was a very traditional and highly religious middle class family immersed in study of the immortal epics Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Being from such a traditional family I could easily understand the traditional mind of customers at post office and I greatly respected them in my heart. I was quickly drawn to the utter simplicity, philosophic, resigned attitude of common people.The common people are of many castes,races,religions and cultures .They are traditional but highly disciplined and philosophic and always helpful and understanding unlike some very arrogant youth of the cities. Indian people are trained in high morality for last 2000 or 3000 years by great mythologies teaching highest levels of morality, piety and philosophy. They appear to the city folks as simple and dull-witted but are most clear-headed people on earth with a spiritual and practical view of life. I should say I quickly liked the simple minded semi-literate post bag carriers working at village post offices. They are poor and hard working and stick to the small village post office and village routes for decades in difficult conditions but are ever smiling with a resigned philosophic way. They perhaps even know that they are being unjustly treated by the society and take it philosophically.
I read my English literature books and science books with the same interest as before. In addition I am now addicted to read the “New Science” —the computer science . I read with great interest the database technologies, the digital network technologies, the architecture of the digital computer and the structure of highly mathematical “computer languages”. The computer languages have truly military-type discipline.I also often have especially great regard and liking for classical English novels .Many are so moralistic, spiritualistic and rational. I feel many would qualify as a good base for the new world literature of coming centuries. I now mastered the computer and so am able to compose science and philosophy articles on the system( i.e. Computer) and publish on Internet and in my blogs.