I think my life at IITB changed significantly, when upon arrival as a freshie, I was recruited by Guruswamy and taken to meet Appaji as a candidate for NSO hockey. Over the next four years, Appaji played an important role in shaping my IITB experience. We met several times a week for NSO, and then later began traveling to Churchgate for the Bombay Hockey League games, and of course, to the various inter-IITs. As part of the preparation for the inter-IITs, we would also see and interact with Appaji over the month-long training camp in the winter. The highlights in the hockey achievements during my time were the silver medal at the Kharagpur inter-IIT and the elevation of IITB to the IIIrd division in the BHL (I would
also like to add on a personal note, the inter-hostel final in my first year where my hostel H3 beat H5 1-0; I had the satisfaction of scoring the winning goal. I remember Appaji was the referee for that match).
In all that time, Appaji provided a solid, dignified, mentoring presence. I
never saw him lose his temper, or even raise his voice at anybody. At the same time, he was an extremely efficient manager and was also able to be friendly with all the students, and took great interest in their personal and professional growth. I think there is no doubt that the fellow feeling among the IITB hockey community, past and present, is definitely due to the tone and example set by Appaji.
I consider myself fortunate to have come under the influence of such an educator,and try to put into practice what Appaji taught me, in my own work. I wish him the best on his 60th birthday, especially many more years of productive work.
With best regards,
School of Physics and Astronomy
Rochester Institute of Technology