My dear family, students, friends and colleagues,
After being a boarder in St. Stanislaus, Bandra, during 1961-63 in stds VI-VII, I joined St Mary’s (SSC), Mazagaon, and was there during 1963-67 in Stds VIII to XI. I passed out from school in 1967, winning the Esso Prize as the best all-rounder. I got my first pair of long pants to wear at the prize distribution ceremony and Vullu Uncle gave me a Sowar Prima wrist-watch, as a present.
I finished my B.Sc. with Chemistry from St Xavier's College in October 1971. In December, the war broke out with Pakistan, resulting in the formation of Bangladesh.
Then, I took a break from my studies.
From 1973 to 1983, I worked as a full-time volunteer in Maharashtra with:
1. a rural development agency in some drought-prone villages (1973-77)
2. a science popularisation organisation (1978-83)
3. a trade union and a slum-dwellers organisation (1977-83).
By 1970, ie, the third year of college and at the age of 19, I had had decided, on ideological grounds, that the competitive “rat race” was NOT for me. Since then, I prefer to compete only with myself. So the spirit of cooperation, team-work and peace pervades what I have done during the last 40 years, am doing and may do in future.
I moved to Pune in 1983, after getting married on 26 January 1982 to Kalpana Joshi, a Pune girl. I stopped chain-smoking, as a wedding present to my beloved wife.
Our only child and the loveliest daughter of my life, Pallavi, was born on 23 October 1987.
You can say I am based here in Pune – for now.
Since 1983 to 1996, I worked with Maharashtra Herald (MH), the one and only local English daily in Pune - and one of the greatest local dailies the world has known, if you fondly imagine (as we did at the old MH) that "Pune is the centre of the world".
During 1990-93, we were in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, where my wife did her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. I took three years leave without pay from MH, to take care of our daughter, who was three years old then. I recommend such a sacrifice to all fathers.
During 1996 to 2003, I was part of a team that set up the Corporate Communication Dept at Deepak Fertilisers, Pune, and was editor of
its unique newsletter "Mile Sur Mera Tumhara (MSMT)" for seven years.
Then I went back to print journalism, as editor, Gomantak Times, Panaji, Goa, during 2003-04.
Side by side with working at the Desk in Maharashtra Herald, since 1987, I have also been teaching print journalism as regular visiting faculty
in the Pune University Dept of Communication & Journalism and other mass communication institutions, including Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC), in Pune. I teach mainly “Editing” and also Feature Writing, Current Affairs and Development Communication.
I have hundreds of journalism students, all over the world. But only a few of them, I call “my sincere and serious students”. If you are my student, you can earn this honour, by starting to awaken and listen to that inner voice, namely, your conscience.
Today, my wife Dr Kalpana Joshi is Reader, Dept of Electronics at S.P. College, Pune. She also holds eight (8) patents -- three US and two European -- in microwave engineering.
Pallavi (23) is working as a software engineer with Marvell Semiconductor in Pune, since July 2009 -- her first job.
My mother was killed, on 2 May 1969, in an accident, before she could turn 44. Out-living her by 34 years, my father died on 26 March 2001, five days after he celebrated his 78th birthday in hospital.
Since 2 August 2005, nearing six years now, I am with Bharatiya Jain Sanghatana (BJS) as master trainer, in designing, developing and delivering, training and empowerment programs for trustees of educational institutions; principals and teachers of schools.
I survived a heart attack on 2 September 2006. Now it’s over four years.
And I’m OK -- lucky to be around and still be here with you, my family, students, friends and colleagues.
On 5 March 2011, I complete 60 years, on the one and only beautiful earth we care for.
Have a look at my blog “Against the Tide”. Especially read “Memoir of my Mother” and give me your comments. I plan to bring it out as a book.
This post is a copy of the catching-up piece that I prepared for my school-mates of the Class of 1967, from St Mary's (SSC) High School, Mazagaon, Mumbai, while we were planning to hold a reunion on 11-1-11. This is also for the record.
Your support is my strength.
Peace and love,
- Joe Pinto.
Pune, Friday, 4 March 2011.