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|In Retrospect (standard:non fiction, 2060 words)|
|Author: Juggernaut||Added: Oct 31 2010||Views/Reads: 2147/1890||Story 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. Click here to read the rest of this story (224 more lines)
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