Shri Mihir Kumar Mishra
The previous post on friends ended with his name. It’s natural to start this one with the same. Mihir was undoubtedly my best friend in my B Sc and M Sc years. He was from a place near Madhubani in Bihar and one of the very few non-Biology students who had taken admission that year. The proportion of the non-Biology students had always been low in Agriculture, and our batch was no exception. Debashish and Ashutosh were two other friends of mine with the same subject background. Actually Debashish had befriended the other two in his practical classes and had then introduced them to me. I remember the exact place too. We juniors were trying to avoid the customary introductions and were in hiding under the horticulture garden shed, by mulberry and passion flower plants. It was under that shed that we had met.
The first semester was a bad semester for Maths students as they were being exposed to the fundamentals of Agricultural Sciences that is a branch of Biology. There was one paper of Maths in which we Biology students performed ingloriously. In fact, I had got my career minimum in that paper and had barely passed. Many Biology background students had actually got year back due to that Maths paper. In comparison to us, the Maths background students had definitely done better in papers that were new for them, and in later semesters they had performed equal to anyone else.
The last post in the series had mentioned the caste politics of our institute and the people who stayed away from it. Well, Mihir’s choice of friends and room mate had sealed his fate. Swamiji was his room mate and I his best friend. Nobody from his caste (that was mine too) involved in caste politics would trust him fully, as the people around whom he was seen were totally and openly against it. He was against it too, but he wouldn’t throw away the benefits that came his way. And we didn’t hesitate sharing the notes and old question papers that he used to get from the seniors from his caste or language base. He was pragmatic, but never believed in caste himself. Among his good friends were Brahmins, Thakurs, Bhumihars, Lalas and those from the Scheduled Castes and Tribes of India.
He was an exceptional person. Along with his room mate. Swamiji, he would perform puja in the morning every day, even on the days of exams, and we found their sparing time for anything else on those crucial days as something superhuman/abnormal. We used to be the average middle class guys with clean past and habits and we passed through our undergraduate years without any misadventures. His hostel room was mine too, as my two best friends used to occupy it. So, I used to reach the hostel before our classes started, during the lunch break and after the day’s classes too. We had some real good time in those years; good friends too. Priyank was definitely one of them.
Shri Priyank Srivastava
I had met Priyank and Raju for the first time in our first practical class. I can remember still Rajnish Khanna, Sunil Singh, the two Srivastavs and I in the Agronomy field, uprooting Parthenium and throwing the uprooted weed plants like rockets, the root part with its soil forming the nose.
Shri Seemant Kumar Jha
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