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In Retrospect (standard:non fiction, 2060 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Oct 31 2010Views/Reads: 2194/1920Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A biographical essay.
 



In Retrospect 

By 

Subba Rao 

Juggernaut was waiting for his turn to face the professors as part of
evaluation of thesis he submitted as part of his graduate studies. It 
was ironic, the examiner, a distinguished professor in the field was 
the teacher of Juggernaut's professor in the past. As he waited, he 
felt light headed and dehydrated from fear of unexpected questions and 
all he can find in the lab was a distilled water bottle which he used 
to quench his ever ending thirst. He kept reading the following thesis 
abstract again and again just to make sure he remembers everything. 

Thesis Title: “Inorganic Phosphate Transformation in Submerged Lateritic
Soil” (Submitted in 1971 as a partial fulfillment for M.Sc. degree at 
Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology, Bhubaneswar, Orissa, 
India.) 

“An acidic lateritic sandy loam soil was incubated under submergence
separately with ground rock-phosphate from 5 different sources namely, 
Missouri, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, Egypt and Udaipur 
(India). The change in soil pH, inorganic and available P fractions 
were determined at an interval of 30 days during 5-month incubation. 
Submergence caused an initial increase in soil pH in all the 
treatments.  An increase Al-p, Fe-P and Ca-P following submergence and 
rock-phosphate treatment was observed up to 60 days of incubation after 
which period a decrease was observed. Both Brays-I and Olsens P were 
significantly correlated with inorganic P fractions at some stage 
during the incubation period. Depending on the extractability of 
available P, the rockphosphates are arranged as follows: North Carolina 
= Egypt > India > Florida > Missouri.” 

Then he got a call inviting him into professor's office.  It was
comforting to see his own professor smiling and in a good mood chatting 
with the examiner. Juggernaut had no problem answering questions from 
the distinguished examiner but then he was asked a fundamental question 
about the amount of nutrient element used to incubate the soil samples. 
Juggernaut couldn't answer and looked towards his professor for help 
since he recommended the application level. To his surprise, the 
professor kept quiet. Sweat pouring from his head, Juggernaut kept 
silent since he has no clue to answer the question; after all it was 
his professor's idea.   After few minutes of dead silence, Juggernaut's 
professor gave an answer that sounded so lame, the examiner laughed, 
dismissing it altogether. Somehow, the test was concluded and the 
examiner congratulated Juggernaut for his fine work.  The irony here 
was, Juggernaut's professor who obtained a Ph.D., from a reputable 
University from Midwestern United States, with several years of 
experience teaching graduate students recommended a ridiculous low 
dosage according the external examiner, an authority in the subject 
matter. Years after, while going through literature, Juggernaut found 
that the level of nutrient used in his research was ridiculously low, 
no wonder why, he could not see significant trends to record during his 
research. 

Fast forward, three years later; Juggernaut tried his best to get away
from similar experience but no luck.  He landed in merciless hands.  
While his fellow graduate students having good time working on one or 
two soil types, his thesis supervisor in Trinidad for Ph.D., asked him 
to work on twenty different soil types collected from  five different 
depths, a total of one hundred soil samples.  To grind over 30 pounds 
of each of 100 soil samples took several weeks.  Other staff members 
were flabbergasted at the work assigned to Juggernaut by his supervisor 
Dr. Dayal.  At one stage, getting sick of grinding soil, Juggernaut 
thought of telling his supervisor to go f--- himself.  But instead, 
Juggernaut prayed Lord Vinayaka, the God capable of removing hurdles in 
life to let his supervisor get a better job in the United States, 
Canada or someplace like that.  Though Lord Vinayaka's transportation, 
a mouse, was slow but his actions were swift. Dr. Dayal got a better 
job in a faraway land and he left the island for good. The lab staff 
celebrated his departure with drinking rum and danced for calypso music 
like celebration of death of the wicked witch of the West in the movie 
Wizard of Oz. 



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