Seeing the World Go By


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Large number of  vehicles — buses, bikes and bicycles going by — some at great speeds some relatively slowly by men pushing  bicycle driven carts. Seeing them travelling right in front of own apartment in northern part of Delhi, it feels like life itself is going by. This area is next to the well known University of Delhi that is now 100 years old. It is a panoramic view of life itself that sometimes proceeds at great pace and often slowly, cumbrously.

Looking at the bicycles, scooters and other two wheelers, I remember the time I used to go on my bicycle to various Colleges and academic institutions while I was studying for my undergraduate degree more than half a century back. For Physics, I would go to the well known Department of Physics that used to have a distinguished faculty. There were two senior professors — one was named Daulat Singh, the other was named Faquir Chand. The former, in Hindi meant man of wealth; the latter meant financially a beggar.

My bicycle was a pathway to other institutions including a nearby well stocked food canteen that was always crowded with hungry, talkative students.

Not far away in the University, was a beautiful park that was full of greenery— both trees and flowers. Another feature of the park was that there was a statue of the famous religious guru–Swami Vivekananda–who had travelled to USA with financial help of several well wishers and had made that beautiful speech in Chicago in 1893. The opening words of his meaningful oration were ‘Brothers and Sisters of America ….’

He returned to India by ship, again with the financial help of his admirers and gave religious sermons in several places. Unfortunately, he died in Calcutta, when he was not even forty years old. But his religious thoughts and writings survive in India and elsewhere. Such a person is born perhaps once in an era.

Having studied and then worked in the Delhi University for many years, the apartment that I was living in, was located opposite the University. It allowed me to attend lectures on various subjects delivered by eminent scholars both Indian and international. Occasionally, after the lecture was over, one could interact with the speaker over a cup of tea.

Sometimes scholars from some European countries — Portugal, France, apart from the British who colonised India for 200 years, would visit the university and give speeches and mingle with faculty and ordinary students.

One well known person was Chester Bowles, US Ambassador to India, several years ago.

Another well known personality is Antonio C. S. Rosa, editor of TMS-TRANSCEND Media Service, who believes in Hinduism and admires Krishna — well known for explaining the tenets of Bhagwad Gita to the legendary warrior Arjuna.

Life itself is a cycle of joy, pleasure, grief.

Having referred to many incidents and personalities who made me wonder and gave me joy, I end my account of joyful pleasurable memories. I could write about some painful events but it is better to end on a joyful note. Let the painful memories gather dust.



Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 3 Oct 2022.

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