Friday, January 2, 2015

Sikand's Precept - Repeat Telecast


There was a great teacher of Classical Physics by name M. S. Sikand at IIT KGP. He was 14 years older to me, and I learned a lot of Physics from him one-to-one, which helped me greatly in my own teaching.

But now at 72, I forgot all Physics, willy-nilly.

But he taught me something else in one brief sentence, which helped me more than anything else in life and which I never forgot till today. He said, apropos of nothing:

"Sastryjee, everyone from the sweeper to the Director has some power in them. Recognize it, respect it and use it for your benefit."

I returned to KGP along with my wife on a short visit 5 years after my retirement; and I deeply felt the wonderful fruits of his invaluable precept.



 MOORTHY said...

Hope your story continues as somehow I feel it is incomplete?

I wish you make more trips back to IIT KGP so that you get more remembrances to share with us


 Anonymous said...

I knew MS Sikand from a distance. He was never offerd a promotion and neither he craved for one. Campus children benefited along with IIT students as he taught both. But the Sardarji's dictum needs elaboration

 gpsastry said...

I visited Sikandsaheb, with KK, in the IIT KGP campus 16 years after his retirement. And many met me there 5 years after my own retirement.

Everyone of us have their own priorities, and seek their own destiny. Some feel contented while others leave with a bitter taste. I guess both he and me belong to the first category. Indeed one of the unspoken (and outspoken) queries to me and my wife in our recent visit there was: "Why are you jokers so happy?"

I saw Sikandsaheb for a good 25 years. He never did what he considered below his dignity. He was offered an instant promotion the day he joins the then HoD in joint guidance for a Ph.D. student. He refused point blank. Same with me.

But my luck differed from his.

He may not have conquered but he never compromised.

 Minu said...

Professor Sastry, I am M.S. Sikand's daughter. I happened to be browsing the web when this blog came up on the google results to my delight. I was very happy to read your post and the comments on it. My father lived and breathed Physics. He spent countless hours in book shops and libraries whenever he stayed with me in Chicago looking for books on Physics. He passed away in 2008 on one such visit here in Chicago. I was quite overcome upon reading your blog. Knowing that he left such a lasting legacy makes me very happy and proud.

Thank You and Best Regards

 Kinshuk said...

I remember Prof Sikand quite well - we used to play really bad pranks while he took our practical physics lab. One of them did make him very irritated. But he looked on quite kindly to most of them - with a knowing smile.

 gautam said...

Respected Sir,

I just discovered your blog from a IIT KGP friends Facebook update and I am very happy to have located this. I have read your post regarding Prof. Sikand. I never had the chance of interacting with him or be his student. But I know this that you were one of my most inspiring teachers and guide and if prof. Sikand has inspired you then all my respects to him.

Today I am a theoretical physicist because several of my teachers inspired me with their commitment, courage and example and above all with a vision of unparalleled beauty that was so addictive and you
Sir was one of the most prominent of all these legendary teachers.

It is said that the debt of Parents and Teachers can never be repaid. But I think otherwise, there is a way to repay this debt and that is to carry on their commitment conviction and impart their vision of beauty to your own students. I am happy Sir that I am able to do this.

With my sincerest regards and respect

Your's Gautam

Gautam Sengupta
Dept. of Physics
IIT Kanpur
 Anurag said...

I took IIT JEE Physics coaching from Prof. Sikand for a year before joining IIT in 1984. Working out tough problems from Irodov in his small batch of a few students lit a lifelong thirst for hard problems. Before this I was a happy-go-lucky student. Later, when I solved problems that had been open for over a decade while completing Ph.D. in Computer Science or hard technology problems during early days at and Facebook, I often traced the in-the-flow moments to solving hard physics problems preparing for JEE. Even now, I encourage my teams to lust after hard problems and hope my kids will be as fortunate.

Anurag Gupta
IIT Kharagpur Campusite
Graduate from BTech CS in 1988

If it is Physics at IIT Kharagpur, then it is my dedicated Brother in law Prof Dr GPSastry! Congrats to him for having produced sincere and intelligent scientists.
Past President
IMA, TN State

...Posted by Ishani


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