September 21, 2018
THOUGHTS IN MY MIND ON 75th BIRTHDAY (16 MAY 2014)
I have turned seventy-five today.
75 is not an ordinary number in relation to age. It is a multiple of 25. Great Hindu thinker Manu has divided the age of a man into four phases of 25 each. According to Manu the last phase after completing 75 is SANYAS ASHRAM (सन्यास आश्रम). What I understand by SANYAS is complete renunciation of family and social relationship, move to some secluded place and keep praying and meditating all the 24 hours.
But I would not like to do it. I love my work would like to continue working in my profession till my body allows it. I spend over 10 hours a day in my study and this is the place in my home where I feel most comfortable. So I would like to continue it. I have already made a programme of work for my remaining years and there is no place for SANYAS in it.
Me at seventy five
“Fruitipedia” is my dream project. As it is a very big project, compiling information on ALL EDIBLE FRUITS OF THE WORLD (estimated to be 4500), so I do not think that I shall be able to complete it during my life time. But as the project is gradually getting known internationally, so I am sure that someone will continue and complete it after me.
I happened to visit Indonesia a few years ago and there I was amazed to see apples being cultivated at Equator. Thought immediately came to my mind that feat could be repeated in South India. I started working on it and could find an ex-banker Krishna Shetty and a journalist Shree Padre in Karnataka who were convinced with my idea. I sent them apples plants from Bajaura, Kullu, and got them planted at 18 locations in Karnataka to see if the idea was feasible. The idea had worked. Now there are around 4000 apple plants growing in Karnataka and Goa. Many have started fruiting. A large number of people there have become interested in growing apples. Last month, they also formed South Indian Tropical Apple Growers Association. Till now, we were doing it all by ourselves. But now, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore has evinced interest and they may soon start working on it.
There is no botanical garden or park at Mandi having a collection of local flora and some interesting and unusual exotic plants. Every city in Europe and America has one such park. In fact such parks exist in very few Indian cities. Very soon such park, first of its kind in Himachal Pradesh, will be coming up the Kamand campus of IIT, Mandi. Upon my persuasion, Prof. Timothy Gonsalvez, Director, IIT, Mandi, has agreed to have one at Kamand. Work has already been started and the first lot of 200 trees of 100 species shall be planted in July.
I have always been a fun loving person and Lord gave me ample opportunity to enjoy and have fun during all those years. To be honest, I would still like to continue it. I am fond of travelling and have already travelled a lot all over the world. I would like to continue it too. Next month or in July, I shall be going to Europe. There are two more trips in pipeline after that.
I do not know how my body will work during the coming years as I am having all lifestyle ailments and pop over a dozen pills a day. But still I have confidence shall continue pursuing my interests.
I love to work. Work is my only passion. I want to continue working till end like Dev Anand and Khushwant Singh who are some of my role models. I had even met Khushwant Singh at his place in Delhi and it was one of the most thrilling and inspiring moments of my life.
So I am NOT going to listen to Manu and opt for SANYAS.