The Sharmas and Srivastavas (and Sinhas) in my Life
There are a lot of Sharmas, Srivastavas and Sinhas in my life- and have been. I have no idea why, but my closest pal in engineering college was Alok Srivastava, in Hyderabad. He and I hung around together, wrote the CAT and GRE together (actually he was the type who wore jeans in 1977, when we desi types did not know how to spell Levi’s), and went on to get a Ph.D. from the same place in the US-Clemson. It was all his fault. Anyway, he was a gem of a guy, and I feel sorry that he didn’t live longer-sorry for myself.
Then, there have been a disproportionately large number of colleagues, students and acquaintances with these surnames. Some I remember particularly vividly (hey, I haven’t lost it yet). I currently have an assistant whose surname happens to be Sharma. She has been a great help with the mundane aspects of teaching, such as grading, and technology interface. At IMT Nagpur, where I spent considerable amounts of time post (my turning) 50, I have had lots of students and a colleague named (Jitendra) Sharma. And a talented writer, Tanya Shrivastava, and a talented facebooker, Rohit, of the same clan.
Also some Sinhas. One is a budding photographer called Anuja who works in Chennai now, and another-Meghna- who I came to know as a blogger-student first, and has since moved to a corporate job in Delhi. Farther back in time, my childhood buddy and classmate was Sanjay Sinha (also called Tingu) in classes 5 and 6.
The only other categories of names that I have encountered more often in my life are the Srinivases. There were five in my engineering class of 60, so they were recognised by their roll numbers. So, I guess I owe a lot to all these people. The number of Guptas and Agarwals is mind-boggling, so I shall deal with them when I am less boggled. Also, a small number of Iyers- all that for another day.