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Dr. Sanjoy Kumar Pal

The 3 Mistakes of my Life


After reading the novel of Mr. Chetan Bhagat - The 3 Mistakes of my Life, I think that we all make many mistakes in life that we regret later. I too made many mistakes in life; however, there are some that I really regret now. I would rate the 3 most regrettable mistakes as:

1. My first mistake was not appearing in all the exams of the Pre Medical Test (PMT) in Bhopal. I prepared seriously for the exam in 1985; however, I did not see the exam schedule properly. There were 4 exams in total. The first two exams were from 2-5 pm and the next two exams were from 10 am to 1 pm. I appeared for the first 2 exam and I really did forget the changed schedule for the third exam. So I missed the PMT Exam.
The second mistake was regarding my job. I went to attend a meeting in Bhopal Memorial Hospital (BMH) in 2004. There I came to know that the newly established Molecular Biology Dept. are in need of fresh staffs, I talked to the VC, Prof. Indranil Mitra and he told me that the positions will be advertise shortly and I should respond to it. There were 5 position of Assistant Professor advertised, I responded to it & sent my CV. After few days I received the call letter for the interview. There were 7 candidates, except me all were fresh. By then I had over 10 years postdoc experience. So I was expecting that I should get through as I was the senior most and experienced among all the candidates. However, I was disappointed to know that I was not selected for the post. I was very upset with this and lost interest in BMH. After few days a fresh advertisement came from BMH for a position of Associate Professor, I saw it but did not respond, thinking that it may be advertised for someone. Later I came to know that it was meant for me, Prof. Mitra wanted me as Associated Professor; however, I could not read his mind & missed the opportunity completely.
My third mistake was in the negotiation interview with the Ethiopian recruitment officials in 2010. I was demanding UDS 2000 and Associate Professorship; however, they could convince me that Ethiopia is a very poor country and people like me would be of great asset for the university, but they are unable to pay more than USD 1500 and offered the position of Assistant Professor. As I was naive & did not have any prior experience about such interview, so I consented. Later I came to know that I could get USD 2000 & associateship had I negotiated, they were desperately looking for a person like me and was ready to offer USD 2000. After reaching Ethiopia I came to know that many people much junior to me got more salary just because of negotiation.