The first time I went for a long drive. 1

I had to wait a little longer than usual to get my Driving License. If you know of any precedence where people of considerable drawbacks got one you know how the system works in US. Personal preferences, prejudice, cultural misunderstandings and uptight behavior, day-light saving and strict adherence to rules and what not, but safety. I didn’t face any such situations although I had a feeling I wasn’t paid enough attention for my skills. I failed my license test the first time I tried, amplified by a little mishap.

I brushed, an over-protruding heavy sized vehicle parked end-to end to the slot where I was instructed to park in a matter of few seconds. While I had been informed by my trainer *in the test* I can park anywhere I wanted, it changed real-time just at the end of my 45 minute driving, with reasonably good driving. More…

Research Progress in 2004 Reply

17 Nov 2004, status update over VPI, KEK video link

10 Nov 2004, status update over VPI, KEK video

Presentation slides of research in experimental high energy physics More…

How I learned driving. 4

When I reached Virginia I decided to hire a professional trainer from a driving school. I called up the EZ training in Christians-burg after some deals of research. Some Mr Gerlind was the trainer and we fixed a deal. He would train me for 2 hrs everyday at $50 an hour. He would pick me up from my house and bring me back where he would take me from. He would train me for 5 days and on the day of the exam he would take me to a nearby DMV and let me take the test in his car without any extra charge. We struck a deal.

So Gerlind showed up at my house in Foxridge in Blacksburg … More…

A letter from the wizard. When he was really one? Reply

Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 19:09:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Manmohan Dash <>
Subject: caution, have patience – very long letter

Dear Utkalsantans,

I’m writing this letter to convey, in an introductory way, my ideas, why we’ve formed this group and my perceptions of how we should act in general. To place the situation more fittingly into the context let me start with the historical perspective of this blossoming group of patriots who dream to see their motherland rise to its past glory. I can only present my perspectives of the history of this baby institution we’ve started just now. I was browsing through Dharitri Online and I came to see a view by Pratikhya in the Reader’s right coloumn. It was really something that wet my heart, effectively due to her patriotic feelings towards Orissa where she lived only for six or seven years. Some days later there was a letter in the same coloumn by an Oriya from South Korea. I don’t want to hurt him personally but this gentleman wanted ‘Dharitri’ to open up a coloumn where in people of Orissa living abroad can let the poor brethen of theirs living in Orissa know what great things they are doing.

Perfectly legitimate friends. What good fortune will it bring for the common man of Orissa struck by poverty and corruption.To me these are only attempt to invent ways to acieve fame through self propaganda. Well of-course the foolish people that we are, (we) always make platforms for people even within India and orissa. We would take immense pleasure when celebrities inside India / Orissa come to use us as a platform for their self accomplishment. I’m talking of Political leaders, movie actors and commercial enterpreneurs as well as narrow minded religious self-styled leaders. We laugh at our own wounds when we talk of them after their arrival (or their statements) is flashed  in the news and media as if it were our most important business. They go back with their business done and we are left with our wounds. They would come to seek for votes and for a short time you feel as if you are very important for them and you know what happens after that. We’ve got, a bunch of fools, criminality as their weapon inside Orissa who are ruling us. Are my statements growing too much political. I should stop here.

I have lived in India for almost all of my life till now and for the last 4 months only I’m in the United States. I have lived in XXXXX for two years and the rest part in Orissa and I’ve seen how Orissa was first turning into a chaotic state like XXXXX. Thus I was naturally very upset at the said letter from South korea. I reacted strongly by replying back through the same columns. (See another post where I disclose that letter too, a reply to Dharitri Online editorial)

Immediately I got very positive responses from Prasan bhai (in Taiwan), Manoranjan (in Ind. Inst. of science) and Pratikhya. They all were with the very proposals. Prasan bhai proposed to open up a platform of the kind we are having now as also echoed in my letter to the editorial. Pratikhya was willing to go back to Orissa and work for betterment of Orissa in the aspects she has mentioned in her latest letter (5 jan) available to all of us. Manoranjan proposed essentially that we sort of make a platform where in we can boost the prospects of Oriyas getting into good institutions both in our country and abroad. He said they have an “army” consisting of 70 or so number of soldiers in IISc itself for this purpose.

Aren’t all these heartening for you all given your patriotic bondage to our neglected state?

I then sort of proposed Prasan bhai to open up an e-group where in we all can exchange our views and make our objective more and more definite and feasible. In the very first letter he mentioned about you all in terms that he is having contacts with you all in this direction. He took the responsibility and swiftly turned the proposal into the concrete structure that we see today and more appreciably at the cost of his valuable professional responsibilities. Although this is a baby institution now, I believe strongly that this will be able to disseminate the goals that we’ll set for it if only we all will be able to overcome the internal potential barrier associated with any organization which arises from the force of self-centeredness and lack of dedication.

I believe you all are firmly resolute in changing the prevailing scenario in Orissa through your energetic and thoughtful steps and equal burden lies on all of us to see this materialises.

We can’t change the ground reality in a very short period of time.Yet I believe you all have the same belief that we can certainly ignite processes in an efficient and promising manner into the body of the stagnant system prevailing in Orissa that will see us in a natural time span into a bright and less resistive system. Don’t you all have hatred towards the corruption prevailing in the most public of the offices in the country. Don’t you all know how difficult its on the part of a common man to get things done in an Indian office which are very basic rights to him..There are numerous examples which hurts all of us, we can’t certainly eliminate all of this but we can energetically ignite such processes as are practical and feasible given our will and resources which are not adequate yet considerable.  

My ambitions are rooted in the scientific development of our state. Each one of us might be having his own dream to say. But none is possible unless we are able to make the system less resistive through our own dedication. My practical suggestion for the moment sides with that of Manoranjan. We could help as many students from Orissa getting into good institutions as possible. Thats how XXXXXXXX work and they have virtually hijacked the whole scientific community in India. We are no inferior to them. What lacks is concern and information. The typical student (?) in Orissa indulges himself in gossip and other means of wasting time and the talents suffer given the corrupt practices in our society.

And this is a goal that no one can deny is possible. But we may simultaneously proceed with goals and ambitions set by each one of us. Once the baby starts crawling and walking you will see its power and success.

So I request you all to pour in your letters filled with your dreams, proposals and suggestions as soon as possible so that we’ll quickly embark onto our main business.

Manmohan Dash

A philanthropic letter to the editor of an online Odiya news paper. Reply

Subject: In reference to”From South Korea, November-16″
Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 08:23:26 -0500
From: Manmohan Dash <>
Organization: Institute for Particle Physics & Astrophysics, Dept of Physics,Virginia Tech

Dear Editor,

I’m composing this letter in response to the above mentioned letter from South Korea and I’d like to exercise my right in the capacity of a general citizen of the state of Orissa with a dream to see its fame being elevated in all dimensions, political, scientific and as one of the most resourceful states of India.

It’s heartening to know that so many Oriyas are staying outside Orissa. At the same time it’s more disheartening to digest the fact that Orissa, so boastful of it’s past heritage has failed to carve a map of it’s own in India, forget about the world. Fellow countrymen from other parts of the country don’t know where Bhubaneswar is, or for that matter if it’s the Capital of Orissa.

Believe me, frequently in conversations with friend groups I have found myself in disheartening situations when they ask me where am I from and quickly wondering to the answer ’Bhubaneswar’, which state its in, let alone recognize it as the Capital of a state.

It has got nothing to do with their being poor in Geography. They only know Orissa is just a state of India. It won’t take time of astronomical scale when we’ll be facing questions like “I’m running low in memory, Could you please help me figure out where exactly Orissa is?”.

Thousand years for the decline of status of a race boastful of its glories in the past, isn’t for that matter long enough to tell you back at this point of time that we are not in an agonising state of affairs.

A young girl, Pratikhsya could think about Orissa, our self centered political system could not.

(I’m still hopeful of a good number of good guys around in this system negligible in the race with the overwhelming number of power hankering people with no foresight)

The wayward student community can motivate itself to destroy public properties in the name of one agenda agitation”Break it”. The handful in the scientific community at decission making levels engaged in a war of self propaganda out of ego complex virtually yielding no productive result, could not.

(This is not to invite increase in the negligence of the potential scientific community by the foresight less elements in the decision making process of our political system)

The so called educated mass is failing in its duty to create the awareness. Talent is there in all dimensions. We are all having a typical ’pakhala khia nida’. I wonder if this isn’t long enough an email to be discarded on the basis of creating space problems.

Before quitting let me quote the statement in the above mentioned email that stirred my emotions to write something.

“people of Orissa will be happy to read/know the news that so many Utkalvasi are staying & doing great things Outside Orissa..”

It would be yet another forum of keeping aware the general mass of Orissa what their capable sons are doing outside the state country. Orissa is certainly an accessible state from both ways as far as exchanging information is concerned in this so called high tech era.

(Have you ever pondered, how that comes? Through the ingenuity of a handful of visionary scientists, engineers and a little more in number of hard working guys in all communities, be it through decission making, media coverage or the administration, indirectly)

Don’t choose to let others know what great things you are doing. Great things will find their way to the people of Orissa. Instead if we can, (then) let us start a forum where in we’ll try to elevate the fame of our motherland not through sear propaganda but through substance in our deeds.

Reverse the process and let the world know what we Oriyas are capable of doing.

Manmohan Dash

Doctoral Student
Institute of Particle Physics & Astrophysics
Physics Department, Virginia Tech

312 hunt Club Road apt # 4000k