Teachers’ Day : those memories of Winter, 2002

I can still remember the excitement and sense of achievement in our lab at Nehru Science Center, Prayagraj. We all were given a music file generated from a DNA sequence… DNA music. The task was to find the association among them. Year 2002′ month November.

The lab was part of an assignment given by Prof Ashok Kumar Gupta aka our favorite Gupta Sir. Winter of 2002 in Uttar Pradesh was typically cold and we had an intense cold wave for a few days, but despite all the only subject which had maximum attendance and no off days was the one by Prof Gupta. He was one of the most stylish professors, he would come to class with matching pairs of an ascot cap and front sleeve long woolen shirt and a bunch of OHP slides. Yes, those days OHP was more premium and convenient than using PPT.” – Memory Lane His dedication to teaching, profound wisdom, and genuine care for his students left an indelible mark on our academic journeys. Due to his pursuance, we got the best computational unit that could be provided to a student in those days. Desktop with 2 GB RAM in those days was like having a GPU cluster in recent times. The hardware component arrived in boxes and we have been told to assemble the entire system on our own. It took a whole night and with all the nervousness (because of the possibility of damage) we were able to assemble the system. Later we came to know it was an idea by Prof Gupta to force us to learn things from scratch. 

The lessons he taught us reached far beyond the classroom, shaping our character, instilling in us a love for learning, and igniting a lifelong pursuit of knowledge. My friends used to say that Gupta Sir’s passion for exploring new insights was so contagious, that we all spent most of the nights learning from Research Articles given by Prof Gupta rather than going through Text Books. I can still remember making queues in front of Nalini Photocopier at Katra, to get the Research Articles photocopied. I have kept a couple of those spiral-bound sets of articles, each with the signature of Prof Gupta on the front page top right corner. His ability to create an inclusive and nurturing learning environment fostered a sense of belonging and encouraged us to excel. Apart from being an amazing teacher, and an amazing mentor who always motivated us to give our best and think beyond, he was an amazing human being.Recently our beloved Prof. Gupta left for his heavenly abode.  

On this Teachers Day, I am remembering the great soul, who imparted knowledge to me and my friends nearly two decades ago. Although time has passed, the impact he made on our lives and the education he provided still resonates with us today. As we mourn his loss, we find solace in the memories we shared and the knowledge we gained under his guidance. Professor Gupta’s legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched and the ripple effect of his teachings.