Dream Chasing
117 pages
English

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117 pages
English

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Description

In Deora, a remote village near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Shiva Balak walked 24 kilometres to and back from his school each day, only to be left wondering why there were no schools in his own village. A brilliant student, he struggled through extreme hardships, and achieved laurels by winning a scholarship to fund his post-graduate degree in geology in Canada.
'This book chronicles the journey of an extraordinary Indian who has the courage to be ordinary. I went to his village and came away humbled. Dr Misra turned his back on what the affluent West had to offer him, and returned to his country to serve the people of rural India. His is an underdog story of a young scientist from an Indian village whose credit as a discoverer was snatched by his Western colleagues . who had to honour him decades later. This book is a must read for every Indian.' - Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker
S.B. Misra became a star in the scientific community when he discovered 565-million-year-old fossils that were the oldest records of multicellular life on earth. However, he pondered over the long walk to school each day, which thousands of children were still making in his rural backyard. Abandoning a promising world of fame and recognition, he returned to India to realize his dream - a dream of education for young children in his village. This is an inspiring story of an ordinary Indian in rural India, where class barriers and gender discrimination still exist. This is a story of courage, determination, faith and the will to dream big and fulfill those dreams in the face of adversity.

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Publié par
Date de parution 01 février 2011
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9789351940098
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

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About the Book
In Deora, a remote village near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Shiva Balak walked 24 kilometres to and back from his school each day, only to be left wondering why there were no schools in his own village. A brilliant student, he struggled through extreme hardships, and achieved laurels by winning a scholarship to fund his post-graduate degree in geology in Canada.
'This book chronicles the journey of an extraordinary Indian who has the courage to be ordinary. I went to his village and came away humbled. Dr Misra turned his back on what the affluent West had to offer him, and returned to his country to serve the people of rural India. His is an underdog story of a young scientist from an Indian village whose credit as a discoverer was snatched by his Western colleagues . who had to honour him decades later. This book is a must read for every Indian.' - Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker
S.B. Misra became a star in the scientific community when he discovered 565-million-year-old fossils that were the oldest records of multicellular life on earth. However, he pondered over the long walk to school each day, which thousands of children were still making in his rural backyard. Abandoning a promising world of fame and recognition, he returned to India to realize his dream - a dream of education for young children in his village. This is an inspiring story of an ordinary Indian in rural India, where class barriers and gender discrimination still exist. This is a story of courage, determination, faith and the will to dream big and fulfill those dreams in the face of adversity.

ROLI BOOKS
This digital edition published in 2014
First published in 2011 by The Lotus Collection An Imprint of Roli Books Pvt. Ltd M-75, Greater Kailash- II Market New Delhi 110 048 Phone: ++91 (011) 40682000 Email: info@rolibooks.com Website: www.rolibooks.com
Copyright © S.B. Misra 2011
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in a retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, print reproduction, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of Roli Books. Any unauthorized distribution of this e-book may be considered a direct infringement of copyright and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
eISBN: 978-93-5194-009-8
All rights reserved. This e-book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated, without the publisher’s prior consent, in any form or cover other than that in which it is published.

Dr S.B. Misra was born in 1939 in a remote village in Uttar Pradesh, from where he inched his way, armed with brilliant academic credentials, to faraway Canada where he discovered 565-million-years-old fossils that plugged questions in Darwin’s theory of evolution and made him an overnight star in academia. Four years on though, on the verge of fame and fortune, he quit that life and returned to his village where, soon accompanied by his newly wedded wife Nirmala, he set up a school that changed thousands of lives. He has since worked as a geologist and taught students in Lucknow and Nanital. He now lives as a retired professor in Lucknow with his wife. Both still run the school.
Neelesh Misra , Dr S.B. Misra’s elder son, is an award-winning journalist who has written four bestselling books, is a Bollywood lyricist with major hits to his credit, heads India’s first writer-led band, writes film scripts, is a photographer, has a hugely popular national radio show on which he tells a story every day to an estimated 20 million listeners from an imaginary city called ‘Yaad Sheher’ (Memory City). He is also trying to set up a rural call centre and a rural newspaper based out of the same village to which his parents dedicated their lives.
dedicated
To my wife, Nirmala
contents
foreword by Sam Pitroda
acknowledgements
prologue
a sickle and a dream
the long road ahead of independence
nearly wed
one hundred and twelve rupees
at a crossroads, a little blue mark
a village boy becomes a teacher
(first) flight of my life
a not-so mistaken point
a student becomes a discoverer
‘what is to be done?’
starting trouble
‘are your degrees genuine?’
‘the real hero is a heroine’
i conduct a wedding ceremony
the village of change
bringing up the kids. suing a journalist
a gangster’s son becomes a graduate
credit denied, again
a rock after my name
the arrival of a new visitor
epilogue
foreword
T he generation of Indians that left India for North America in the 1960s in quest of a better education and therefore, by implication, a better life all seemed to have been made of the same mixture of grit and naiveté. I know because I was one of them, having left a corner of India that would not even qualify as obscure.
While reading Dream Chasing: One Man’s Remarkable, True Life Story , the memories of Dr S.B. Misra I could relate to so many references from his early childhood in the India of the 1940s and 1950s that I felt that in some sense the story could well have been mine. ‘I had never owned a watch, never combed my hair under an electric bulb. And I could not speak or understand English properly,’ Dr Misra writes early in the book. This could have been true of so many others. In fact, it was true of so many others. Some of those managed to rise well above that.
The book has been consciously and somewhat self-effacingly described by the author as the story of an ordinary Indian. That sets it up for a compelling conclusion as Dr Misra, a geologist of repute, takes the reader through the drama of having discovered over 500-million-year-old fossils around Mistaken Point, Newfoundland, in Canada in 1967. What adds the twist to the story is how the credit for his seminal work on Ediacaran fossils was denied to him, not once but twice over a period of nearly four decades.
Dr Misra’s story is inspirational for those Indian professionals who toil away from the limelight only because they believe in something bigger than themselves. In a country obsessed with just Hindi cinema and cricket it is important to tell more such stories, if only to tell India’s 550 million below the age of 25 that there is so much more to explore and discover.
I have for long advocated the need for biographies, autobiographies and memoirs as a device to share with the future generations the thrill and romance of nation building. I hope Dr Misra’s book becomes an important part of that.
Sam Pitroda Chicago
acknowledgements
T he idea of writing this book was conceived by my son Neelesh Misra during a seminar in New Delhi. He heard stories of many individuals and organizations narrating their stories of social contribution. Without telling me, he went to his office and prepared a book proposal that he sent to Roli Books. I have always been reluctant to glorify myself either as a geologist or as a social worker. But Neelesh had given me a ‘fait accompli’ – I had to tell my story, I had no choice. This book is culmination of that idea.
This book is also a response to the curiosity of colleagues over the years – including eminent scientists both in India and overseas – over how the 565-million-year-old fossils at Mistaken Point in Newfoundland were discovered and what happened to my career in the years that went by. This book is for those who might be curious about the discovery and the discoverer, about conditions in the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland of those days and hardships and vagaries of climate then.
The biggest thank you is for Zara Murao who helped put the story together. I express my heartfelt thanks to her for her consistent effort at editing, data collection and re-writing of the manuscript of the book.
My wife Nirmala Misra has not only helped give shape to the fanciful dreams of my childhood, but also contributed in great measure in completing the book. Many of the faces I had forgotten, or incidents that had faded in my memory, were reminded by Nirmala who also helped interact with them to complete the story. My close friend V.V.N. Simharao has not only been a selfless supporter of my projects and ambitions for forty years; he contributed his impressions and wrote his life sketch that has been incorporated in the book. He continues to be on the same wave length as we are and understands our cause and commitment to rural education.
During the writing of this book, Prof. Hank Williams in the Memorial University of Newfoundland very kindly added to information about the university administration of those days. I have fond memories of his painstaking editing of my historic thesis that had reported my discovery.
Dr Penny Blackwood, Director, Alumni Affairs and Development, Memorial University was kind enough to help in locating some of my old friends and showed interest in writing a story on me in the LUMINUS, the university’s alumni magazine. Diane Guzzwell, Assistant to Department Head, Dept of Earth Sciences took the trouble to provide information about the department. I appreciate their help and cooperation. Donald J. Fitzpatrick, who had assisted me in the field during 1967 still remembers me and Inn Koh of South Korea. I remember them all with appreciation and warm feelings.
I express my gratitude and profound appreciation to Dr Hunting W. Brown, Director of Sustainability, Wright State University who helped me, always happily, in making lots of literature available to me.
And last but most certainly not the least, I would like to thank my childhood friend Ravi Shanker, who recently retired as the Director General of the Geological Survey of India. He shared many stories of childhood days including the ones I was either unaware of, or had forgotten.
prologue
T he huge iron gates opened and we drove in – a bit nervous, a bit fidgety, feeling quite small in the sprawling, palatial Raj Bhav

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