Monday, February 27, 2006

Adventure 12

Tribute

I was a callow lad of sixteen, when I was first introduced to the magical world of JPNP. ML Khanna (and his famous mentor JN Sharma) introduced me to the sublime world of determinants, trigonometry and coordinate geometry. Slowly and surely I was weaned away from those voluminous tomes written by ancient Englishmen and Russian communists and idiotic Americans. I began to believe in The Great Indian Dream. Soon, AK Agarwal (oh...the delights of physical and organic chemistry) and Gupta & Gupta (clearing concepts in physics) also entered my life.

I was introduced to the world of Indian engineering colleges. I had to only see a 'problem' to identify it as an IITJEE, REE, MLNR, DCE, WBJEE or TS Rajendra type. Sigh...those were the days. Limits lived at my fingertips. My jokes involved complex numbers, and I dreamt of the day free radicals would rule the world. Grignard reagents, concurrent forces and the L'Hospital (sic) rule were my constant companions.

JPNP naturally had many competitors. Krishna publications, the biggest (literally) pretenders to the throne, brought out volumes that my wiry fram could barely support. Tata-McGraw Hill tried to bring out suave and urbane books on glossy newsprint for the urbane South Indian, who liked a challenge without being spoonfed the solutions, but nobody was fooled. JPNP ruled supreme. Others, knowing that they could never match the sheer might of JPNP, simply tried to pirate Prof. Khanna's epic. No use. JPNP promptly introduced a multi-coloured hologram, and also threw in a lucky draw coupon. They needn't have. Those babies did not need cheap gimmicks to sell themselves.

However, like all good things, we had to part ways. I attempted many of the above-mentioned exams (IITJEE, REE, DCE, KCET) and did not taste any success except in the last one. However, I spent the best two years of my life with JPNP, my constant companions. When in college, I spent many a sleepless pre-examination night without a suitable guide. But I knew, my friend, philosopher, guide and guardian angel was watching over me.

Forever.

Jai Prakash Nath!!!