-Commodore SR Sridhar (Retd)
Amidst the bustling IIIT-B campus on a typical admission day in 2018, a sea of eager parents and aspiring students swarmed around, seeking admission. In that whirlwind of activity, I found myself momentarily dumbfounded when a parent and his son caught sight of me and, impetuously, bowed to touch my feet. Amidst the multitude of parents, fellow colleagues, and budding students surrounding me, a twinge of embarrassment enveloped me.
The slender gentleman, with tear-filled eyes, revealed that I had been his Guru back in 1989 when I served as his Divisional Officer on the Indian Naval Ship Valsura—a cherished naval base dedicated to the training of electrical sailors in the Indian Navy.
In the vast expanse of my naval career, I had the honor of serving as a Divisional Officer to an innumerable multitude of sailors, imparting training through the diverse postings I undertook. Naturally, identifying this gentleman, Satya Narayan Sahoo, amidst the sea of faces presented a formidable challenge. However, with profound humility and genuine warmth, he introduced his son, Ankit Kumar Sahoo, to me, stating, “Sir, you are now his Guru as well. Teach him.”
Although my role as Registrar at IIIT-B (I joined after I hung my uniform in 2016) was predominantly administrative, those heartfelt words resonated deep within me, evoking a surge of comradery and pride that every soldier carries within their core.
Satya Narayan Sahoo, still serves in the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer in the illustrious Indian Navy. Never could I have fathomed that life would weave such delightful surprises, nor did I envision that the son of one of my earliest trainees would stand before me, bridging a temporal chasm of nearly three decades.
In the realm of seafaring, where the Master Chief Petty Officer traverses the vast expanse of high seas, steadfastly defending the nation, family time often becomes a scarce commodity. Thus, it was with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that this stalwart guardian of the seas witnessed his son’s triumph—a testament to his dedication and perseverance. Clearing the JEE with resounding success, his son secured an impressive all India rank within the top 7000, thereby securing a coveted seat at the prestigious IIITB.
On July 02nd, 2023, Ankit Kumar Sahoo, following an arduous journey spanning five years within the realm of the Integrated M Tech program at IIITB, emerged triumphant. This student hailing from a lineage of an illustrious sailor, achieved the pinnacle of academic success, proudly earning a dual degree of B Tech and M Tech in Computer Science from India’s prestigious citadel of information technology education—the renowned IIITB.
On the day of Convocation, a moment of profound sentiment and touching connection unfolded as I again had the privilege of encountering the esteemed Master Chief Petty Officer and his wife. In the midst of commemorating their son’s remarkable achievement, a wave of emotions washed over me. It was abundantly clear that Ankit Sahoo, armed with his boundless potential, would undoubtedly render his parents overflowing with pride as he embarks upon the illustrious journey that lies ahead in his career.
I stood and took a picture alongside the Sea Warrior, his graceful spouse, and their son. As our smiles intertwined harmoniously, that poignant moment encapsulated the profound truth that by gracefully passing the baton of success to the next generation, we weave an enduring drapery of boundless growth and extraordinary accomplishments.
शानो वरुण: & ज्ञानमुत्तमम्