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A JOURNEY TO REMEMBER: Memories & Reflections by J.J.Bhatt, PhD, Retired-Professor of Science

Presently, I am at the tail end of my journey and naturally it is good time to reflect and bring back some great memories and certainly in this respect student years at the UW- Madison was the beginning of my personal endeavor to go for the big dream that I could muster within my human capacity, of course. While pursuing my graduate studies at UW in the early 1960s, one of the first lessons I took it to the heart was what the great historian Plutarch so eloquently has expressed, ” the mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” Lo and behold, after graduating from UW -Madison, I had an excellent opportunity to teach nearly half-a-century to guide and to motivate over 10,000 young minds to explore the fascinating realms of the dynamic earth, mighty oceans and the challenging cosmos . Also, in the process I had a good fortune to publish nearly 60 publications including 17 books encompassing scientific,educational and literary fields. My published work covered such topics in addition to the Planet Earth its magnificent oceans, environmental challenges including energy and natural resources, world religions, world’s great thinkers (east and west), over 1000 poetic expressions, Essence of China, Essence of India ( the two giants of Asia) and so on.

My inspiration to engage in research,writing and teaching activities primarily was derived from great but tough mentors and high quality education I received at M.S. University,Baroda, University of Wisconsin,Madison , University of Wales, Cardiff,UK and the research opportunity at Stanford University,CA. These are the major sources that molded my career as a scientist, educator and an author. Indeed it is so true as Sir Issac Newton had aptly observed, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Well, it in this context, I hereby express my deep gratitude via this simple poetic expression that I wrote over a half century ago while at UW . It relates to the Lake Mendota which is certainly a jewel of the UW that has inspired over the years several thousands of young big dreaming Badgers including my siblings and friends. Thought it would be nice if I could share it with the UW-alumni.

Lake Mendota

Enjoyed the sail
Silvery waters of
Lake Mendota
In the year 1961

Sailing through
This realm of
Big dream

We’re jolted by the
Apoplectic waves;
Rocking our
Courage to its
Very core

We shrugged off
Fear and regained
Self-confidence in
An instant
While sailing through
Magnifique Mendota
We reckoned our
Prodigious depth
Yes, in that one instant…

(Poem modified from Rolling Spirits:Being Becoming / A Trilogy/ 555 pages, by J.J. Bhatt. A gift to the American Literature).

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