A Technocrat with Teaching in his Blood

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I am Pratik Munshi, a 65 year old fit and active academician from Ahmedabad. I have done my BE (Chemical Engineering) from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat and have dual Masters degree from United States of America (USA), MS (Engineering) from Washington State University and MBA from University of Houston. At present I am working as an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Ahmedabad University. I have been working for the past 38 years, out of which 22 years in Information Technology (IT) Industry (mainly as head of IT / Systems department) and then 16 years in academics as an Assistant Professor. Teaching is in my blood, so I left a well-paying job in IT industry and switched to academics. I consider this successful and satisfying switch from IT industry to academics as one of my achievements.

My Interests

I like singing, reading, watching sports and listening to old Hindi movie songs. My favourite movie is “Pursuit of Happyness” which is based on a true story of a person’s struggles in making a career switch and overcoming personal and professional challenges, I very strongly recommend everyone to watch it. My favourite historical personality is Mahatma Gandhi, he is a person who lived by all the principles that he talked about. I have lot of love and respect for my Mother and my Maternal Uncle and they are my role model in life.

About my Family

I have been fortunate to be born in to a highly educated and cultured family and then getting married to a partner who comes from a similar background and is very understanding and compatible. She has always been there to encourage and support me through all struggles in life. All this has helped me in getting two post graduate degrees and then having a very successful professional career both in IT Industry and academics so far.

I am son of an honest Police Inspector and a highly educated, very hard working and loving school teacher. They are no more but their memories and teaching are in my mind and heart. They brought up me and my four siblings with lots of love and discipline. It was because of their love and affection that after spending six years in USA I came back to India to take care of them in their old age. I am happy that I was there with them when they needed me for physical and emotional support and consider this as one of my achievements in life.

I am happy that all my siblings are well settled in their life. I am happily married for the last 35 years and have one daughter and one son. My daughter is well settled with her husband and sixteen months old twin sons. Our son is engaged to his high school sweetheart and getting married in the next few months.

Childhood Memories

I come from a middle class family so financially we were not very rich, however, the love and affection which we five siblings had for each other and the love and care which we received from our parents gave us a great childhood.

Another important thing of my childhood is that I attended one of the best Gujarati medium schools in Ahmedabad which along with good education also gave me good values and life-long friends. It’s been 50 years since we passed high school. We are still good friends and are in regular touch.

Leading a Healthy Life

My wife and I lead a healthy and disciplined life for keeping ourselves fit and active. We eat nutritious, balanced food and we walk around 30-40 minutes daily for 4-5 times a week. We have followed this routine for the last 35 years. I try to avoid elevators / escalators as far as possible and use stairs instead. I also take one medicine which I am supposed to take twice a day without fail as prescribed by the doctor for my health condition. My wife and I always go for annual health check up.

Physical health has a lot to do with mental health. I am blessed to have a balanced mind and I like to read motivational and self-improvement books. My desire to keep myself professionally occupied also helps me in keeping myself mentally fit.

In my view an active senior citizen is the one who keeps himself physically and mentally involved in some activities that he likes according to his age and physical health. This can be professional work that he has done throughout life or some social work to help others or simply something to keep himself happy and occupied.

Future Plans

I want to continue my teaching job till my retirement and after that I would like to do some freelance work and some social work particularly for the under-privileged sections of the society. Also, I would like to visit those parts of India which I have not visited so far and then travel to other countries where I have not travelled so far. Last but not the least I want to spend some quality time with family and close friends and spread happiness and positivity among them.

My Message

Based on my life experiences I would like to give the following messages to others, especially youngster:

  • Money is important in life but beyond certain point money has no relation to happiness. So keep your needs to minimum to be happy in life.
  • Give benefit of doubt to people. Whenever anyone behaves in a strange way try to put yourself in that person’s situation and then decide your response for his/her behaviour.
  • Always believe in and put following verse from Bhagavad Gita in practice: karmaṇy-evādhikāras te mā phaleṣhu kadāchana (You have a right to perform your prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to the fruits of your actions).
  • Reading always broadens one’s perspective, so read books especially motivational and self-improvement books.
  • To lead a healthy life take balanced diet, exercise regularly, think positive, get involved in social interactions with diverse group of people and don’t get disturbed with trivial issues.

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