Retirement— a sense of relief after years of hard work, the transition of shifting priorities. For some Retirement can be daunting, like ‘”What now?” People get confused as to how they will spend the post-working years which will make a big difference! Isn’t it?
Retirement can bring meaning and purpose to find freedom, flexibility to begin something new. Meeting new people, mastering a new skill, planning, and challenging yourselves. See…retirement can be an enjoyable phase in our lives.
Dr. Nripendra Nath Sarma, a retired Professor of Zoology Department of Former Bajali College, Now Bhattadev University, of Pathsala, Barpeta district, is the perfect inspiration for people who assume life after retirement can be intimidating and tedious.
Dr. Nripendra Nath Sarma, the retired professor of Bajali College, has built “The Fish Diversity and Heritage Museum” with the help of pension money. It has approximately 240 species of endangered fish and various aquatic animals so that the younger generation can see and learn.
In an exclusive chit-chat with Inside Chronicle, Dr. Nripendra Nath Sarma said,” Around 1980, Fish and Fishery (Postgraduate) Department, was established in Bajali College. Which is why I collected various Species of Fish for the department. Although I had a hobby of collecting Fish Species and aquatic animals. But later on, decided to donate those fish to the Fishery Department. “
Dr. Nripendra Nath Sarma retired from Bajali College in 2009, but he continued his leisure pursuit of collecting Fish Species from various places. Many times, Dr. Sarma guided Research Scholars informally. In this process, he grew an interest in this hobby.
Dr. Sarma further said,” In the process of guiding these research students and traveling places to places, I collected a good quantity of Fishes. Later thought of writing a book on this as our students have an incurious tendency about learning Assamese Fish Diversity. It took me around 6 years to complete the book. In Assam, books regarding Fish Diversity is very limited. In 2017, I published the book ‘Fishes of Assam’ which contains a systematic treatment of 224 species of Assam. It will be helpful as a guidebook for identification in the field and the laboratory by students, teachers, and researchers. It was published by Eastern Publishing House.”
He also said, “The book contains all the Fish species that I collected from various places with Photographs and also incorporated old references. It will be helpful for Fishery students, Research students who are working on nature and Biodiversity. “
‘Fishes of Assam’ received a good response but Dr. Sarma didn’t stop there,” In the process of writing this book, these collected species of fishes had to preserve. It might be helpful for students in the future.”
He also said,” Instead of any institution or organization, it is comfortable to establish the Fish Museum at home. Because institutions have certain rules and regulations. “
75 year old, Dr. Nripendra Nath Sarma, formally inaugurated “The Fish Diversity and Heritage Museum” on 26th October 2020. You can visit the museum at any time. Almost every type of fish is available in his museum. Some endangered species are not available in the market.
“Some (Fish) I have preserved in Bottles with preservatives and some I have kept in Aquarium. It is not possible to study fish in living conditions. Photographs are available where you can see how I have preserved those fishes in bottles with preservatives. “
“For this Museum I have spent my monthly pension, without any other financial help as this is my hobby.”
When asked what advice Dr. Sarma would like to give to the students, he said, “You can do a lot in life other than a job. A career is not limited to a job only as the younger generation can pursue occupations in various sectors like fishery, horticulture, Biodiversity, etc. Go Explore those walk of life.”
Dr. Sarma joined Bajali college on 27th August 1970 and retired on 28th February 2009. Besides ‘Fishes of Assam’ he has written articles for several journals. Dr. Nripendra Nath Sarma completed his Ph.D. from Zoology Department, Gauhati University in 1996.
Many people do not have a firm plan for their lives when they entered retirement. But, it is life experience and wisdom to the challenges where people emerged victorious on the other end.
After retirement enjoy plenty of hobbies, Read and write as much you can. It is the start of a new phase in life and now you can start a phase where you don’t have that responsibility anymore. No late hours, no being smothered by work.
But it is also an opportunity as some people finally work in a field they are passionate about after retirement. It is the time for possibilities when you actually get another chance to follow your passions, take up trivial hobbies, and let them go when you are done with them. The possibilities are endless!