Awarded the ONGC Merit Scholarship for Academic Excellence under Industry Academia Interface, on 30th December 2016.
Presented technical poster on Innovative concept Titled “Robotic Logging Technology: The Future of Oil Well Logging” in “The 3rd International Conference on Earth Science and Climate Change” held in San Francisco, USA and awarded the Best Poster Award on 28th July 2014.
The journey started on 27th of July 2014 when I stepped inside the Terminal Three (International Terminal) of Indira Gandhi International Airport. This was the first time I was going out on an International Trip and to add to that, I was travelling alone. So, I was a bit nervous at this very outset, but with time this feeling faded away.
I was travelling from New Delhi to San Francisco via Tokyo. This was a route less travelled by people while travelling from India to USA but myself being a lover of the Oriental decided to go the unconventional way!
So, here I stood in the midst of the passengers waiting to board the All Nippon Airways, one of the finest examples of Japanese Technology. I looked around me to find somebody to talk to. Most of the people were of Japanese origin. I had a light moment with one or two guys but they were going to Tokyo and not beyond that. Finally I met a lady who was going on the same route as me and guess what…she was an Indian. She told me her husband and in-laws are in San Francisco and she was going to visit them. I was relieved to find an Indian on the same flight and same route as me and followed the rules and regulations that you have to go through when you go outside India.
Now, as I entered the International Terminal it felt I was in a different world altogether; As if I had entered into a flood of people from all around the Universe. There were huge stalls of all kinds we could imagine of and the people were enjoying the transit time between their flights. I had couple of hours in hand and had few conversations with the people. It was superb to find people from different regions of the World who had come to visit India. There was this American Couple who had come for to see Indian Architecture and they told me San Francisco is definitely one of the wonderful places of the world to visit.
A girl from France who had come to India for trekking. She had hurt her hand in trekking and had it hung over by a sling. I asked her whether she felt disappointed as her trip ended with her getting hurt. But she said that she totally loved the trip as it was extremely adventurous and she would love to visit India again and again. I got it that she loved playing with dangers. And finally there was this businessman from Japan who said that he became a fan of Indian Hospitality and Indian Food!
I was seated in the window seat of All Nippon Airways. The plane took off and a sense of excitement ran through me as the Plane lifted from the Indian Grounds en route to Japan.
The cabin crew in the flight was Japanese and their hospitality was excellent. I was going through the menu as I was surprised to see the words ASSAM TEA in it. It feels wonderful to see the speciality of your birthplace in an International Flight Menu after all. Naturally I immediately ordered a cup of ASSAM TEA and savoured the drink in the skies of Japan.
The plane was descending into Tokyo, the heart of one of the most powerful nations of the world. Being an Engineer and a student of Technological backward I was overwhelmed when I saw a bird’s-eye view of Japan the global hub of Technology and Innovation. A chill of excitement went down my spine.
I went to the different stalls of Narita International Airport and got a small taste of Japanese cuisines, traditional lifestyle and hospitality. It was superb!
On the flight of United Airlines Inc. I was now on my way to San Francisco, one of the most visited tourist spots of United States situated in California.
I landed in San Francisco, California, United States of America.
I was surprised to see the brilliant, clean and well planned streets of the states. In my mind I hoped that sooner or later we will have roads like this in India and Assam.
The hotel complimentary shuttle took me to Double Tree by Hilton Hotel San Francisco. It was a gorgeous and wonderful place to stay and I got a warm welcome there from the organisers.
The next morning began with a massive breakfast! It would be more appropriate rather to call it a Feast!! Eatables of different kinds adorned the hall and there was no bar on the amount you could eat.
It was a wonderful conference! The Third International Conference on Earth Science and Climate Change (2014). It was a great moment to meet Geo-Scientists, Petroleum Engineers, Climate Change Experts, Professors etc. from all parts of the world- USA, Russia, UK, China, Nepal, Canada, Germany, India etc. I was the youngest person in the entire conference and I felt glad to represent Dibrugarh University and Assam in this prestigious conference. But also at this point I missed my co-author and very dear friend Rishiraj Goswami who could not be present here as he was doing his Industrial Internship in Cairn Energy.
The venue was filled to the brim with extraordinary personalities. Among the most interesting ones were Dr. Alexander Troffimov, from Russia (Director of a major research organisation namely ISRICA), Dr. Elena Lioubimtseva of Grand Valley State University and Prof. Nuha Elzein Mohamed, Faculty of Petroleum and Minerals, Al Neelain University. They were highly motivating and dynamic people and sharing ideas with them was an enlightening experience.
On the first half of the second day there was an electrifying workshop by Dr. Elena where I got a good chance to express my views and ideas in front of all the participants of the conference. I was very happy when the people present appreciated my school of thought; specially Prof. Suren N. Kulshreshtha, who shook hands with me and said to me “Good Work.”
On the second half of the day we had the poster presentation session. We, the one with posters presented our posters in front of the experts and the judges. They gave their valuable feedback to us and it was a healthy technical discussion.
Meanwhile I made friends with two most amazing people: Mr. Sergio Marcucci from Luxembourg and Miss. Madhuri Agarwal from New Delhi. We made an awesome “Trio” and in the evening we used to go out together in the streets of San Francisco on walks, went to dine in an Indian Restaurant, got lost in middle of San Francisco and also taught Sergio to do the Namaste. It was my friendship and association with these two people which made my trip extra special.
The next day myself, along with a three other Indians (Prof. Ramanathan, Dr. Shankar Dayal and Tara Pokhriyal) went out together to visit few places. We went to the NASA AMES Research Centre and Silicon Valley and had a great experience altogether. The high visionary of Prof. Ramanathan inspired us and boosted our spirits to an appreciable extent.
We came back right in time for the massive and delicious lunch. Then we had the final session. And then came the unexpected announcement, when my name was announced for the “The Best Poster Award”. The award was presented to me by Dr. Carlos A. Gonzalez Benecke from University of Florida (USA). It was indeed an enlightening moment! A moment to be treasured…
Just after the ceremony as a sign of courtesy I handed over the Information Pamphlets of Dibrugarh University to Dr. Alexander Troffimov, Prof. Nuha Elzein Mohamed and Dr. Homan Wong. Once again I felt a little elated to take the essence of Dibrugarh University to a global scenario.
The next day was the beginning of phase two of my trip. My brother (Pompu Da) who lived in San Hose came along with Bou (Sister in law) and their cute little son Aari to receive me from the hotel. I was surprised to hear the song “Pakeezah” by Zubeen Garg being played inside the car. I asked Pompu Da, “Do you people still listen to Assamese songs?” They laughed. “Of course!! We do everything the Assamese way.” -replied Bou.
We reached their beautiful apartment. Aari already began playing with the toy car I bought for him. He is definitely one of the most cutest kids of the world. An aroma of great food started tingling my nostrils. Soon Bou was all ready with a sumptuous meal. Once more, I was taken by surprise to see Maas Bhat in America!! So Bou was right after all. We had a heart warming conversation over dinner.
It was the warmest welcome an Assamese person could expect in the United States!
The next morning I accompanied Bou and Aari on his way to school. I found that the school and education system is very different here altogether. Then me and Bou walked a little around the place and went to the market. She is very smart and taught me a lot of things about the life in the states. I felt proud to have her as a sister in law.
The next day was my day out. I went to visit the Stanford University, one of the most reputed Universities of present world. Being a student of Petroleum Engineering I was naturally interested to know about the work being carried out here and I went to the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Stanford University. It felt if was a pilgrim on a pilgrimage and having reached my destination. Lately the Department has changed its name to Department of Energy Resources. I was lucky enough to meet Prof. Tapan Mukherjee who is an expert on well logging and gave me his valuable advices regarding my technical paper. I met post doctorate fellows at the University and discussed what kind of projects and experiments they were working on. The research they were undergoing was amazing and worth appreciation. I presented a copy of the Annual Magazine of DUIET, “The Duietian” of which I was the editor, to Prof. Mukherjee who thoroughly appreciated the efforts put into it and referred that it was of “World Class Quality”.
The campus was a sprawling one. Outside the Department of fine Arts the students were present, painting on canvases whatever lay in front of their eyes, deep seated in concentration. The paintings looked so real..as if the object was present right before my eyes! I took a visit around the campus. Naturally the ambience was such which can’t be described in words. I kept in my mind Hemanta Saikia Sir’s words “Think Global Act Local.” I thought in my mind how some changes can be brought to Indian Universities to take them to this level.
The next day myself, Pompu da, Bou and Aari went out early to visit the tourist spots of San Francisco.
And there I was…. on the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, one of the most famous tourist spots of the world. And undoubtedly one of the best engineering construction of the twentieth century. The look from the bridge was like paradise! From there on we went to The Fisherman’s Wharf. There I met my childhood friend Namrata Nath who was there doing her Internship. She also joined us.
It seemed I had entered an endless carnival. Performers of all kinds- musicians, circus artists, painters all out in the open showcasing their talents, the ones we see in the movies. It was an overcoming moment. And then I came across a golden statue and a silver statue. Suddenly they came to life and started dancing and making poses around me. Pompu da lost no time to take a snap of this moment with them. We enjoyed at Fisherman’s Wharf for a very long time.
Then at night we went to this dinner party at one of the Assamese family get-togethers in California. I felt like I was inside an episode of the once popular show “Bidekhot Apu Manuh.” Needless to say it was an awesome night.
The next morning it was the time to return home. I felt sad. For a moment I didn’t want to come back. But, again my native place was calling me. Finally it was time to return home. Sadder, but wiser.
Pompu da, Bou and Aari baba came to leave me at the airport. I knew how much I would miss them. I waved them goodbye.
Back in Japan during my return journey I made friendship with a Japanese gentleman. He gifted me with a memento to remember Japan forever. I accepted his humble token with the word “Arigato” (Thank you in Japanese).
It was good to return home after a crowded week of glorious life. After all we don’t just say “Home Sweet Home.”
P.S.- I owe a special debt of gratitude towards Prof. Alak Kr. Buragohain, Honourable Vice Chancellor, Dibrugarh University and Prof. Subrata Borgohain Gogoi, Department of Petroleum Technology, Dibrugarh University without whose guidance and inspiration this venture would never have been possible. Thanks to DUIET & Dibrugarh University. Thanks to my family and friends. Thanks to each and every person whose efforts, guidance, ideas, help and care helped to make the entire experience a splendid and successful one!
Until next time!
A thing of beauty is a joy forever…. –John Keats
Art by itself is the inner essence of a person’s soul. It is the sum total of human mind’s trapped aspirations, emotions, wild imaginations and hence it has no definite boundaries. But in this article, we are specifically concentrating on the aspect of “Fine Art” or “Visual Art” which encloses basically painting, sculpture, collage, sketch, installation, calligraphy etc. And frankly speaking, all these forms of art have always played a dynamic and interesting role in shaping up science and human civilisation.
Art is not a concept new to us. It has been with us since the beginning of mankind. The burning proof and examples of these are the different figures drawn on the walls of the caves by early men. Not only have these helped men develop his mental horizons and potential by boosting up his imagination but also they have helped modern man to know various details of their ancestors by being a “dais of records” !!
From the time of its inception, fine art has evolved! Into various new forms and its credits also goes to different artists of different “eras” like Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Rabindranath Tagore etc. All of them have helped Art to engulf something “New” and also have helped out the “World of Art” to reach out to the general masses.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
Art have in true sense paved the milestone of development and scientific prowess. As an example, we can site the example of Renaissance artist Leonardo Di Vinci. He used “art” as a means to show through his drawings, different models of a so-called “flying machine”. Inspired by his figures innovators and engineers tried to develop a similar model and finally, the Wright brothers came up with the first ever Aeroplane!!
For some, art may be a mode of recreation, for some a hobby and for some, it may be the means of commercial profit or in rare cases the only source of daily bread and butter. Hence in today’s world, we often come to terms with the phrases- “Art for Art’s sake” and “Art for Life’s sake”. For a passionate painter who is eager to let free his inner self on a piece of canvas with vibrant hues, it is the former case and for a painter who sells his paintings or for an art teacher in an art school, it is the later. Nevertheless, there are also many who achieve both in a mono-stroke. It is similar to the old English saying of “Killing two birds with a single stone”. (In an optimistic sense of course!)
The present scope of art is vast and diverse. Realising its importance many institutes have sprouted up in different regions of the world providing various courses in fine arts. It is also considered an indispensable part of behaviour building and course curriculum of a student and hence all schools of the present day have fine arts as one of the subjects included in the syllabi. From commercial aspect also its value has gone up by leaps and bonds. Some paintings are being sold in auctions in the World market for millions of rupees.
In India also, art has always received a very special and honourable position since time immemorial. From the magnificent walls of Ajanta-Ellora caves and Mohenjodaro to Rabindranath Tagore’s paintings in Shantiniketan art has been a source of learning, pleasure, education and varied other fields. Indian painters like M.F.Hussain have been recognised and awarded at a global level. Newer forms of art like comics, animation etc. have not only helped in its rapid evolution but are also significant in the growth of new employment zones in a developing nation like India.
Finally, we can say that the arena of fine arts is infinite and ever increasing. As the human brain cells will evolve art will take more new avatars and will continue to have a strong impact on life and livelihood.
Let us paint, let us draw. Let us fill up the barren parts of the world with bright colours using the magical strokes of the brush. We shall now unleash the unlimited powers of the mind through art, we shall stir up a revolution to bring a political change through our sketches, we shall break free from every chain and every barrier on the canvas…like a splendid white horse.
Hence, I end this article with an appeal to everyone to let the latent artist in us to come alive and let us experience the mysterious! This way the glorious world of Art shall continue to rise, to unparalleled heights and unspoken horizons…
“If you want to understand optimism, immerse into the world of art..In it, everything is positive, nothing is negative…”
On 18 September 2017 I got an email from ITM University Gwalior, inviting me to deliver a talk to the B.Tech students on 11th November 2017 as a part of their Annual University Fest-IMPETUS 2017. The organizers promised to provide all necessary arrangements to conduct the session “Expert talk on importance of all the engineering sectors in oil and gas sector”. Seeing this as being beneficial to young students and 11th being a Saturday (no office), I decided to go for it. On further query to the organizers they said that they would take the full responsibilities of the trip like, travel expense, food facilities, in city travel, car pickup facility, hotel accommodation etc. Hence, after taking due permission from my Senior Authority in OIL, I gave my agreement to visit Gwalior and deliver the designated talk.
I reached Gwalior on 10th November 2017. On reaching there, few organizing committee members from IMPETUS received me and took me to their University through the city of Gwalior.
Brief about Gwalior and ITM University: Located 319 kilometers south of Delhi, Gwalior occupies a strategic location in the Gird region of India. The city and its fortress have been ruled by several historic northern Indian kingdoms. From the Tomars in the 13th century, it was passed on to the Mughal Empire, then to the Maratha in 1754, followed by the Scindia in the 18th century. Gwalior was one of the major sites of rebellion during the 1857 uprising. Post-independence, Gwalior has emerged as an important tourist attraction in central India. Before the end of the 20th century it became a million plus agglomeration and now it is a metropolitan city in central India.At the heart of Gwalior is Gwalior Fort of the Tomara dynasty.
This formidable structure was reputed to be one of the most structurally sound forts of India, having been improved by Raja Man Singh Tomar.The next famous tourist spot is the Jai Vilas Palace, the residential palace turned museum of the Maratha rulers of Gwalior – the Scindias. It is in the heart of the city. The palace has notable collections of antiques and also some of the old time gadgets and collections that can’t be easily seen. The museum is one of the largest in Madhya Pradesh and has the world’s largest chandelier and the complex is a mixture of British as well as Hindu architecture. The palace was made in 1874. ITM University is one of the largest and most popular Universities in Gwalior and Madhya Pradesh. IMPETUS is their annual techno-cultural-management festival.
Nevertheless after reaching ITM University, I was offered to judge their Fashion Show also, which I accepted. It was great to witness the budding talents showcase their designs, glamour and poise. I was presented with a bouquet and memento. It was a worthwhile experience.
The next day, on 11th November I was to give the talk. I was taken by a group of students to their auditorium. There I washonored to meet many of the faculty of ITM University. Moreover I was delighted to meet Kalpa Da (Mr. Kalpajit Hazarika) who was my beloved brother and senior from M.Tech, Petroleum Technology, Dibrugarh University. Presently he was working as Assistant Professor of B.Tech, Petroleum Engineering. I was happy to see a huge gathering of B.Techstudents waiting eagerly for the session. I gave a presentation on Role of Engineering Students in Oil and Gas Industry. The students seemed quite interested and bombarded me with a lot of questions, to which I answered to the best of my knowledge. Happiness at that time was to witness the wonderful response of the students to the session.
Next, I was told that I was also given a position as invited guests in the Valedictory ceremony. The ceremony was a grand one and some eminent personalities gave inspiring speeches. I was presented with a memento for holding the academic session at their Annual Fest. Finally there was a group photo with the Vice Chancellor, Deans and Chief Guests. All in all it was a great experience. I came back to Delhi on 12th of November 2017 (Sunday) and resumed office from 13th Novemeber 2017.
This experience will be an addition to memorable experiences of my life.
– Nitin Lahkar
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