This article was overdue, overdue for about five years I guess. Words are the mere expression of gratitude to this wonderful human being, who once worked with us in our Mumbai Office. This is the tale of humility, simplicity and humane nature embedded in all our us, but, shrouded with layers of ego, arrogance and false attitude. Very few people are blessed with the power to remain without these shrouds. Mr.Sanatan Sahoo is one of those lucky souls.
Mr.Sahoo was an Assistant Director working in our Office some six-seven years ago. He carried an aura of positivity with him. Whenever, one asked him how was his day, his patented reply used to be Excellent. Once, when I asked him how he could remain so positive and how his day could be excellent every day, he reasoned that the fact that we existed today is infact an excellent reason to celebrate, all other issues we face in our day to day life are minor irritants he used to say. Mr.Sahoo never discriminated with anybody. For him all were equal. When one works in Government Departments, people work in a structured manner and create artificial layers around them based on the designations, posts, seniority etc. Mr.Sahoo was a wonderful exception.
Mr.Sahoo was very popular in the office and this was not to the liking of his compatriots. There were Officers who disliked him and played dirty politics over minor issues. They tried to sideline him, pressurize him. However, Mr.Sahoo would never mind it and took everything in his stride. He would handle such situations tactfully.
A highly qualified officer, Mr.Sahoo was selected to the post of Principal Director and he left for his career progression to Agra. We missed this person and just everybody remembered him. Sometimes, even his haters.
It was 2011 and we were on vacation to North India, we were on sightseeing to Agra. One of my colleague asked me to call Mr.Sahoo to see if we can meet up. We were traveling towards Agra and were on the mighty Yamuna Expressway. Incidentally, Mr.Sahoo was traveling in the opposite direction towards Delhi for some work. His first reaction was of anger, he asked us how we could travel to Agra before informing him. He canceled his travel plan and waited at a local Dhaba for us. We were good one hour away from the Dhaba and this person waited for us there. The joy that we saw on the face of Mr.Sahoo on meeting us was incomprehensible. Incidentally, while departing the batteries of our van failed to start, Mr.Sahoo with his people helped push the van.
People as they grow, their egos grow, they start thinking about themselves as being if they are from the different planet altogether. They love their fake paradise and look down upon others. So, this time around when we visited Agra with our colleagues, I thought that Mr.Sahoo would have changed at least an ounce. How wrong I was ?.
We reached the guest house at around 6.30 in the evening and Mr.Sahoo reached there at 7.00 pm. He was super excited to see all of us. He hugged us, laughed and with a childlike innocence talked and talked. He took us to his house and introduced seven of us to his family. The Sahoos are very simple family, with no hype at all.
Mr.Sahoo spent major part of that evening with us and had dinner with us. He remembered each and every story. Again, the next morning at around 7 am, Mr.Sahoo was with us having morning tea.
Mr.Sahoo is thePrincipal Director of one of the leading institutions in India, Central Footwear Training Institute, Agra. He is ranked amongst the top 100 Directors in India. During last twenty years of my government service, I have seen many Directors in our department. Those directors look like pigmies when I see this simple, humble human being. Mr.Sahoo justifies his name in real sense, Santan, the eternal one. He has lead the life in such a way that he is in touch with the eternal one.
Hats off to you Mr.Sahoo.