Nervousness is a natural eventuality when one encounters rarity. This is what we discovered on meeting the multifaceted personality, Dr.Nirmalya Sinha over some cups of coffee at his plush residence in Gurgaon. The watch read 7 pm precisely. And the day was the 11th of January 2009. A rare day when we met the Scientist, Choreographer, Corporate Honcho, Social Thinker and a fellow Bishnupriya Manipuri….
BM Org: Sir, how was life as the son of the great Mr. Nilmadhab Sinha? How were your childhood days?
Dr.Nirmalya Sinha: Privileged I must say. Being the son of Nilmadhab Sinha is indeed a matter of great pride. I must thank God for that. You can call me a thorough Tagore bred. It was a natural process. You see being Girok Nilmadhab’s son, I was growing up in a very Tagorean environment. I did not just pick up the culture, but having been living there, Tagorean culture became a part of me.
BM Org: Is that how you picked up Bengali?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: True. It was a natural process as I said. But I must add, I regret not picking up the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, as I was not taught the language as a child.
BM Org: Yes we also strongly feel that a person needs to pick up his mother tongue at an early age….what about your roots? Have ever gone to your original home? Where were you born? Our readers would be interested to know…
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: (smiles) I was born and brought up in Delhi. I remember when I was around 11 years old I have been to, Hingari in Silchar, Assam where I got a taste of my ancestral Zamidari home. Can never forget the love and affection people showered on me. On that visit I had a first hand glimpse of our Bishnupriya Manipuri culture. It's extremely refined. Dance, culture, tradition… we are a beautiful community.
BM Org: We are very curious about one thing. How come you became a scientist? You know given the environment that you were in….being the great Nilmadhab's son how did science happen?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Bent of mind you can say. I had a natural flair for science. My schooling was in Bharti Vidya Bhawan, Delhi. After that in some years I graduated from Hansraj College, Delhi with an Honours in Chemistry. Followed it up with M.Sc in Chemistry from Delhi University. Post that I decided to do my research….
BM Org: In what field?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Related to Nuclear Energy under the guidance of Bhaba Atomic Research Center (BARC)
BM Org: Interesting…from which University?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: MS University, Baroda. Now, let me share with you some interesting facts.
BM Org: Sure sure…
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: I finished my Research and while waiting for the reports on my Thesis, I had a stint at the Cement Research Institute of India I got an offer… you can say a hard to resist offer! It was in 1987, IFCI was looking for some people from Cement Research Institute of India to go to Assam for a project. Fortunately I was chosen. That point of time getting such an offer where I was given a bungalow, a car with a driver and a cook in the middle of luscious green Umranshu on my first very job, was indeed tempting! I took up the offer.
BM Org: That was the way you again visited Assam. Very interesting…very tempting too.
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Yeah.But the excitement was short lived. I was getting home sick and then after completing all my responsibilities I returned back to Delhi. By that time my Thesis report had come and I got a call from Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited as a Scientist in one of their prestigious R & D Center. In fact the best in the country.
BM Org: Ranbaxy is a pharmaceutical company and you have done your research in a field related to Nuclear Energy….
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Yeah but remember I have done my Major in Chemistry. Besides let me add, wherever I have been, I have been lucky to be accepted everywhere.
BM Org: It's said, you were also into corporate administration while in Ranbaxy.
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Very true. See I wanted to develop a lot of skills and aspects apart from being at R & D. Like administrative skills, corporate skills. I managed to keep myself multifaceted all through my career. Soon I was promoted as a Sr.Manager and then to a General Manager. That is when I resigned from Ranbaxy after a long innings of my professional life in the pharma major.
BM Org: Then?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: I got calls from some prestigious pharmaceutical companies in the world but did not take up any offer although those were pretty lucrative. There are certain priorities in my life – my parents, my wife and my children. Next comes work. It was then, that I got a call from ACL Wireless Limited, an IT Company.
BM Org: An IT Company! Now that's a surprise.
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: (Laughs) As I said I managed to keep myself multifaceted. Also I mentioned earlier, I kept on developing my skills. Always. Currently it's quite a shift from what I have been doing at Ranbaxy. But as I said, I am lucky to have been accepted always.
BM Org: We also came to know that you are a choreographer. When did you train in dancing?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: No. I am not a trained dancer. But I fuse Tagore dance with other Indian dance forms. And I have been presenting shows in Delhi for quite sometime.
BM Org: Fantastic. We are a bit awed by the fact that a person can have so many qualities and excel at the same time. Who inspired you?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: My sister, Nilima Sinha. She was a winner, a multifaceted personality. I looked up to her. My sister was my idol who constantly encouraged me, inspired me.
BM Org: An important question. What do you feel about Bishnupriya Manipuris coming to the capital?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Definitely it's a very good sign. Not just Bishnupriya Manipuris. People from other parts of the country should come to the Capital and explore the opportunities. But there is one thing I would like to say to all the youngsters. Please don't get carried away by cosmetic glamour of cities. Enjoy that. But at the same time develop yourself as good individuals. Grow as human beings too.
BM org: Completely agree.
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: (adds further) Also there is a notion among the urban Bishnupriya Manipuris or those Bishnupriya Manipuris who come to the cities, the youngsters. They feel there is a lack of groomed, intelligent 'to-be spouse' in our community. I feel that's horribly wrong to say. I was least expected to marry someone within my community. But I surprised even my family by marrying someone who is a Bishnupriya Manipuri.
BM org: We can't agree more on this. Now can we get into our BMQ round?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Sure sure. What's BMQ?
BM org: Bishnupriya Manipuri Quotient! First question. Name a Bishnupriya Manipuri dish apart from…
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Irolpa
BM org: That was fast!!! But our question was name a Bishnupriya Manipuri food item apart from Irolpa!
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: (Laughs) You have to give me sometime for that. Next question.
BM org: What’s your Lokei?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Lempa Lokei.
BM Org: Name a famous Ishalpa
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Kalashena.
BM Org: Great Sir. It was indeed a pleasure meeting you.
(With that we came to end of the interview. As we were about to leave suddenly..)
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Hey. I remember that food item now.
BM Org: What is it?
Dr. Nirmalya Sinha: Chinchu!
That was Dr. Nirmalay Sinha for you. A rarity. Not only is the man an achiever. He is also as we discovered, like many, a wonderful human being. Down to earth, simple, no nonsense.
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