Yes, I vividly remember him as my very first ideal. He spoke with his both arms extended and throat choked with emotion, “Save our country, give everything”. I still hear the sound of ornaments being thrown on that exalted pedestal placed in the center of that large town-hall ground. On that day, I learnt the most valuable lesson of my life – you bet, nothing else that I learnt thereafter was so impetuous, so remarkable. Rather, so powerful was this learning that the chaos and noise of all other information of the world failed to undertone this beautiful music since recorded in my sub-conscious mind. I was so moved that I ran back home and begged my mother for one of her ornaments in order to throw into the hands of the General. The pain that I could not fulfill this earnest desire of mine mingled with the yearning to play my part, came to be my core life force – my penchant to complete an unfulfilled task someday.
I was indeed fortunate to have realized early in life that the joy of living lies more in contribution than consumption. Since my childhood, which I had spent in the rural towns of Bengal, I was blessed to learn from a galaxy of some wonderful and sincere teachers the principles of simple living. Those were the early days of our country’s independence. Bengal having been the hot seat of the freedom struggle, the spirit of contribution was still quite fresh and alive. I clearly remember how I felt the energies of Tagore, C R Das, Netaji, Swami Vivekananda, Vidyasagar and many others, which were richly mingled in the air, which I used to breathe.
No, I did not become a contributor yet; rather, I did grow with my own spirit of ambition, name, fame, prosperity and other worldly things of the like. But, beneath all these accomplishments, I had always serenely nourished a calling for a more meaningful purpose in my activities. However, I still had no idea about what these activities were be.
It was much later i.e. in December 1989, when my dormant dreams seemed to peep out from the window of my soul in the form of a discerning mission. That was a turning point after which I did not look back. However, following this crucial turn-around, moving into the new orbit was far from easy. I was demanded a heavy price – these were in the form of a coveted job, family relationships, physical comforts, financial securities and more. Apprehending the nature of this new order, I had named my own new venture as ‘Tuff Trak’ in November 1993. However, in the private quarter of my heart, I did relish a feeling of freedom amidst all this toughness. This discrete sense of freedom was to bring forth some natural evils in the forms of a few financial and emotional extravaganzas, which in turn seemed to challenge the very cause of my purpose. Now, I was faced with yet another dilemma. My crisis, this time was the need to harness some of my own weaknesses and inadequacies which were contrary to being entitled for successfully running a crucial mass movement. In fact, I was humbled by a series of ferocious attacks of physical, emotional and financial setbacks.
The strike was much harder than before. In fact, the blow was so tumultuous that I was grounded well before I could prepare myself to receive it. Last time, I had voluntarily given up those who counted upon me, but this time, I was given up by those upon whom I had counted the most. It was about the same time when I lost my father. Though, a blind man, I reckoned him as a big banyan tree over my head.
My faith almost dwindled and everything around seemed dark. I asked myself ‘Am I to perish?’ ‘Is everything over?’. There came a firm answer from within myself,”Certainly not Asit! Just wait a little and stay on – the tempest will blow away soon, the ice will thaw!” I held on to my feet. Help came from some unexpected quarters and consequently, I felt some favourable breeze blowing. Life began returning the treasures it had apparently taken away from me. As abruptly it took, so steadily did it return. I had enough time to preserve and restore these invaluable gifts of life. Among them were my contact with my children (which I never imagined will revive) , my lost honour and glory and above everything else, my own sacred self – a purer and more evolved one, and of course, absolutely determined to strike back. I had only learnt that life takes a heavy price from a man who wants to excel. That, it even returns in greater measure, now came to be the most astounding revelation. It was the break of year 2002, when I wrote a poetry ‘The New Dawn’ for my dear ones.
Initially, my mission was to work for developing positive attitude in people. With the passage of time, this idea was crystallized in the form of a vision of establishing a pioneering Attitudinal Research And Training Institution (ARATI) through which this mission can be actualized. Alongside, I was inspired to initiate a movement for creating a nation-wide awareness on positive attitude. This name ARATI was spontaneously discovered, as if dictated to me from some unknown quarter. I preserved this title silently in the deepest corner of my heart. I had always recalled this titled ARATI with utmost sanctity and adoration, as any Indian would, for it emanated from our mother language Sanskrit and suggested our traditional way of worshiping God by lighting oil wicks in small earthen and metallic pots. The name ARATI means even more to me personally. ARATI was the name of a very favorite elder sister of mine, who apart from being a prolific English language teacher-cum-principal was a fountain of love and left for her heavenly abode quite early in life. All these sentiments contributed in adopting ARATI as the name of my dream institution.
My faith in life is firmly restored. My heart is only filled with enormous gratitude and trust in life’s ways. It is my conclusive conviction that you need no extra talent or resources; if you have a genuine purpose, a relentless will and an undaunted faith – you bet, life is on your side.
I am now all set to dedicate myself for the cause of establishing ARATI as a unique institution for development of human potential. This is a massive project to be executed in phases and, of course, requires huge resources. I have strong conviction that the success of any venture, regardless of a business or social enterprise, depends on people. If people are inspired for a noble purpose, their energies are streamlined; they can carry out any mission. Yes, just anything!
I earnestly request all my friends and well wishers to read this write-up sincerely and write me back, with their blessings and good wishes. I shall appreciate your special comments and assurances in terms of the support you want to render for ARATI.
My poetry titled LIFE almost spontaneously flowed out of my pen on one of those evenings when I was trying to see through the chequered route of my life I have traveled sofar.