In Bihar everyone knows Basantpur as the village of Dr.Vasista Naryan Singh and if fate had not struck him down he would have been a well known celebrity in India and abroad. Born on April 2nd 1942, Vasista Naryan Singh was the son of late Lal Bahadur Singh and Lahaso devi in Basantpur village, Bhojpur, Bihar. It was a poor family eking out living with the income of Lal Bahadur who was a police man.
Dr.Narayan’s primary education was in a nearby village school. He passed his matriculation exam in 1962. He was State first in that exam and got admission in prestigious Patna Science College. During that time a great American scholar Prof.kelly visited the science college for world mathematical conference. The principal of the college knowing the exceptional talents of Vasistha arranged an interview with Prof. Kelly. The professor asked a number of questions on mathematical problems including very difficult ones for his age and he answered them all correctly. Seeing his extra ordinary talent Kelly decided to take him to U S A.
Thus he went to California as research scholar in 1963 at the age of twenty one, a very rare achievement for a Young man hailing from a poor family in a backward District of Bihar.
After his research on a science project he came back to India. It was a brief stay and he went again to States. He was in research during 1963 to 1969 and during the period got MSc and Phd in mathematics subsequently getting appointment in NASA where he worked until 1972.
In 1972 he returned to India. During the period his parents were pressing him to come to India and settle down . V N Singh himself felt an urge to serve India in whatever way he could. It was time of drug and hippy culture in U S . It seems Dr. V N Singh too fell prey to the drug culture though in a limited way.
After he got back to India he worked in such prestigious institutes like I I T Kanpur and Tata Institute of fundamental research until 1977. In 1977 he started showing symptoms of mental disease and never recovered from it fully to this day.
No one knows what triggered the mental disease, schizophrenia, in him. He got married after coming from States from a well-to-do family but ended in divorce soon. It had some depressing impact on him. The suspected drug abuse, his disillusionment with service to the nation, failed marriage and the inferior working conditions here compared to U S all have a share for precipitating the disease.
He is still under treatment and lives in his native village with his brother. The Government help comes in occasionally. Like all mentally unstable persons he lives in his own world.
A waste of a great genius, a great son of India.
Courtsey : Bhojpuriya.com