By Dr. Hari Vachhani (Ex-Vice Chancellor Bhopal University)
(Unedited version – Editors are invited to edit the blogs)
I was born on 21st February, 1937 at Darbelo, Dist. Nawabshah, Sind, Pakistan (formerly INDIA). From !5th August, 1947, to December, 1947, it was difficult to live in Pakistan. All the time there was a threat of looting , rape cases of Hindu women and worst of all danger of being killed innocently. My parents decided to leave Pakistan. At that time, we were living in Samaro, Dist, Tharparkar and I was 10 years old boy. We were required to catch the train to India from Mirpurkhas. To reach Mirpurkhas was a problem in itself . In the city of Mirpurkhas, we saw several people killed and their bodies lying on the roads and footpaths. Somehow we reached the station and boarded the train to Freedom so called India( a country with liberty, no fear and no danger to life). At Marwar, we changed the train and got down at Jaipur station, not knowing where to go. First three days we stayed in the Verrandah of a Primary school till such time we got hired accomodation and purchased the beddings we needed. Soon, my father got a job in Head Post Office, Jabalpur. My parents along with my two sisters and grand Ma left for Jabalpur. For the sake of my education I went to Ajmer and stayed their with relatives.
In 1952, Central Board of Secondary Education, Ajmer declared the results of High School Examination. From Govt. High School for Sindhis No.2, Ajmer ( Husband Memorial High School afternoon batch ) I was the only student getting distinction in 3 subjects out of 5 (except English and Sindhi not getting the top position in the school). I had come to Jabalpur in March 1952.
For the first two months I had to struggle for admission to First Year Science in Mahakoshal MahaVidyalya ( Robertson College).There was dispute of equivalence of CBSE Examination with CP Board. Our college started on the last Saturday of June 1952. I had walked almost all the main streets and areas of Jabalpur. The places which fascinated me were MadanMahal, Gaurighat, Bhedaghat(famous for Marble rocks on the both sides of Narmada River. We were living in grawala rented house near Tularam Chowk in Andherdeo Area. Daily we used to cross Ghanta Ghar (Clock Tower), Victoria Hospital. My daily routine was to go to College and attend the classes regularly. In case I miss the class I was to lose nearly Rs.2, being the day’s merit scholarship and fine. (Our fees were Rs.15/- a month for nine months only). Fees being nominal, a major portion of my merit scholarship was utilised towards family expenditure. The college was nearly 9 km away from our house. There were two routes. First one was from Tularam Chowk to Victoria hospital, Ghanta ghar, Kutchery Chowk, Railway station, Jackson Hotel, South Civil Lines, GCF Road, GCF, GCF Bridge, Gokalpur, Robertson college. Other route was via Ghamapur which was around 8 km which was crowded. At last the first year results were out in April1953. Before we could know the results we had to appear before a Board of Examiners along with Principal. The first candidate to go inside was Mr. Agrawal (Alphabetical appearance). As soon as he came out he fell down and became unconscious. We found our Professor of Chemistry coming out, he asked me to bring a bottle of ammonia from the Chemistry Lab. After inhaling ammonia, he immediately got up. I did not disappoint the Principal who was kind enough to give me admission as I stood first.