Susil Kumar Jena
Sj. Biju Patnaik alias Biju Babu was a man of masses & a visionary. As Odisha celebrates his birth anniversary on March 05, 2023, I would like to reflect on some of my pleasant memories with this great son of Odisha.
Thirty years back, I had the privilege of being in close association with him. In 1993, for my claim of solving a 350-years riddle in Mathematics (Number Theory), over a hundred of international, national and regional newspapers covered my story in their pages which caught the attention of Sj Biju Patnaik, the then CM of Odisha. I had invitations from both USA, England and France for talks to be delivered at their places on my new findings. Then, I was working as an Asst. Professor in the Dept. of Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering in the Odisha Engineering College in Bhubaneswar. I had scarcity of funds to cover my trip to those places. I was surprised when a white car sent by CM’s Office arrived at my place of residence to carry me to the Secretariat for a meeting with the CM.
When I entered the CM’s room in the Secretariat, he would stand up to greet me. I could not believe my eyes. I got humbled; and tears would well up in my eyes while touching his feet in reverence. The meeting took 45 minutes to be complete. Finally he exclaimed in his wet voice, “May be another Ramanujan born in this land.”
I had many interactions with him following this meeting, both telephonically as well as physically at Nabin Niwas. As the CM of Odisha, he wrote letter to the Consulate in Kolkata to grant my visa for USA. He called up SITA Travels in Bapujee Nagar to book my tickets for USA, England & France. He was a fatherly figure for me. I had felt his intense love for Kalinga & its people. One of my papers, “An identity Ramanujan probably missed” was presented in the International Congress of Mathematicians held in Seoul, South Korea during 2014 created ripples in the world of mathematics, and appeared in Colloquium Mathematicum, a journal of the Polish Mathematical Society of Poland in January 2015.
Because of his blessings, and subtle presence in my memories my mathematical quest is expanding. Like mathematics, for the last three decades, I am seeking the answer to human longevity through my continuous investigation in my new found field called “Astro-Homoeopathy”, getting promising results in hopeless cases.
My struggle in this new endeavor, still seeking his presence in this vast void of empathy. The “White Angel” knew how to make things happen, instead of explaining why it should not. In his birth anniversary, my tribute to this “Touching Stone” which has changed my life.
[The author is an internationally acclaimed Number Theorist (Mathematician); Member of American Mathematical Society, European Mathematical Society, London Mathematical Society, Indian Mathematical Society (Life Member), Odisha Mathematical Society (Life Member) and a dozen of scientific bodies in India and abroad. A Poet, and a Practioner of Homoeopathy & Astrology. He was a former Professor of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering at KIIT University, Bhubaneswar]