Five Minutes of July 22nd, 1969

Rashmi Kant Nagar

Former General Manager, National Dairy Development Board

Father’s Day is a new celebration for most Indians. We in India do not earmark a specific day to remember our parents- be it Mother’s Day or the Father’s Day.

Shri Hem Shankar Nagar

For us every day is the ‘parents day’ or it used to be so for my generation until the western influence separated it and assigned a day of the year for each parent.

Be it as it may, being old school, I continue to cherish the memories of my parents day after day, especially their teachings that shaped my life, my thinking and the way I have conducted myself so far.

“The only time he ever directly advised me was on 22nd July 1969, a day before I was to leave for Anand to join NDDB. He gave me three important tips.”

My father was a man of modest means but a generous giver, generous at heart as his meanswere limited. He never said ‘No’ to anyone who came seeking help. As a teacher-educator, he helped his subordinates, many of whom just peons educate themselves while in government service and saw to it that they make a career in teaching. He provided them books out of his own earnings and didn’t expect even a word of gratitude from the beneficiaries. He willingly and happily transferred our ancestral home to children of his deceased brother while his own family lived in rented accommodation. All this while also supporting children of a number of near and distant relatives pursue higher education. And he was not ashamed of himself living under tremendous financial pressure. He happily dressed in worn out shirts that had clumsily mended collars. His contagious smile and cool manners were enough to carry him anywhere with confidence and a commanding attitude.

He never interfered with our choice of a career. He gave us total freedom to choose a career path that made us comfortable and happy. The only time he ever directly advised me was on 22nd July 1969, a day before I was to leave for Anand to join NDDB. He gave me three important tips. Although he left this mortal world 47 years ago- on 13th May 1975, his words are so fresh in my memory as though they were spoken only a day before.

He told me, “Rashmi, in a couple of days you will enter a new phase of your life away from home. You will be in a new environment with new people. The new phase will require adjustments but in the work environment what I am telling you may prove very useful.

Remember that:

1. Learning never ends. It is a continuous process. So be open to learning and the best way to do it is ‘observe and learn’. If you keep an open mind, you can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime.

2. Treat all your colleagues with respect irrespective of their status in the official hierarchy. Everyone is a human first.

3. For every Rupee that you are paid, put in Rs. 1.25 worth of effort. This way you will end your day with a feeling of utmost satisfaction, you will sleep well and that will always keep you healthy. A good night’s sleep is worth more than a million applauses.

Over my working life, I tried my best to stick to these fundamental teachings of my Dad and I hope that I lived to his expectations. If I have, then no tribute to him can be greater than my following his “5 minutes of 22nd July 1969”, and ‘Father’s Day’ has nothing to do with it.



  1. Jatinder Kumar Sood Avatar
    Jatinder Kumar Sood

    At the outset, got emotional. Well written and articulated story. Really Loved reading this and then tried to draw parallels with teachings imparted by my father and mother. Thanks for sharing.

  2. H.M.Singhvi Avatar

    In Indian culture we always respect and remember our parents and formally do it during pitra paksh. I don’t see any reason in discarding our tradition and blindly copying west.

  3. Prem Kumar Shrivastava Avatar
    Prem Kumar Shrivastava

    I adore such parents, who would be so visionary, so compassionate, so clear and precise in offering tips for life.

    Those days, when the means were limited, we tried joining hearts, what if it is in work place? That yielded Mr Nagar, though I never ever communicated with you drying my 30 years in NDDB working, but I had been copying your way of working and communication.

    I got benefitted several times. Salute to such parents who gave such precise n practical tips for life, that too when the wisdom storm through social media was absent, probably they took practical lessons from actual events of life.


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