A life well lived indeed
Reviewed by Aditi Garg

Witness to an Era - An Autobiography
by Harkishan Singh Vallabh Prakashan. Pages 160. Rs 600 (Delhi),
Rs 630 (rest of India), Rs 1800 (Overseas)

Success is the biggest leveller. Wherever you may have been born, whatever your circumstances may have been; everyone is the same in the eyes of success. Humble beginnings stand no chance in restricting a person who has set his eyes high and is driven by hard work and passion. Mr. Harkishan Singh, author of Witness to an Era, an autobiography, started his life in a small village but that did not stop him from reaching dizzying heights in his career. As a scientist, he had the fortune of travelling far and wide; as an academician, he has worked at six national and international universities; has worked for the benefit of pharmacology and at present, he is working as a science historian.

The book is a treasure trove of glimpses into a bygone era. His portrayal of village life in days before partition are worth reading. His graceful style of story telling involves you deeply. Be it how he started binding books to earn some money or his exposure to death and hurt during the partition, every narration stirs up a range of emotions. The compelling story of his life is interspersed with pictures and couplets that make it all the more engaging. From learning English to taking up pharmacology, he took each step steadily, but surely. He remembers his teachers and contemporaries very fondly. Every travel abroad is detailed with interesting anecdotes and exudes a flavour of the times that transports you to the old times.