I was in LucknowUniversity in B.Sc. in the year 1958 when some department in the university had organized a debate competition on cooperative farming. I had been a popular speaker in Government Jubilee Inter College of Lucknow where my debating companion used to be Ravi Shanker who recently retired as the Director General of the Geological Survey of India. Two of us used to win shields but this was a new platform for me. Just a week before I had undergone an operation for a boil in my chin that was in the process of healing. My face with bandage was looking funny but I had decided to speak, and speak against the topic. When my turn came and my name was announced, I stood up to move to the podium; the student gathering in the A.P.Sen Hall had a big laugh, apparently due to bandage. Without looking left or right I went straight to the podium and glimpsed at the crowd. Then without going into formality of addressing the chairman or the judges, I thundered a village saying “Sajhe ki kheti gadahau na khain, khati khati khain to koi hanke na jai’ (shared crop will not be eaten evenby donkeys and in case they do eat, no one will go to chase them away). My voice was so loud and clear, the same crowd applauded instantly. I continued and got applause several times during the speech.
Recently when LucknowUniversity felicitated me for my contribution to science and society, the function presided by Prof. R. P. Singh, the Vice Chancellor was held in the lawn facing A.P.Sen hall. Seated with the distinguished alumni of the university on the dais, I remembered the incident and smiled.