We are here with Mr. Narayan Samant, a pioneer of the shipping industry. In the industry of marine, Samant sir hardly needs an introduction. He has got a sailing experience of almost 24 years and a teaching experience of 19 years, so far. A self-made man, a sailor, and a teacher. He is a man of his own principles and an inspiration for every seafarer. A man full of life, knowledge, and energy.
The Marine Express team was fortunate enough to be a part of his 72nd birthday. Our sub-editor, Shivam Sargam, grabbed a chance of getting a sneak peek into his life. Transcript of conversation between Samant Sir and our Sub-editor.
Q. Sir why did you choose the marine field? Was it your choice or you were inspired by any person or incident?
It was not my choice! I belong to very poor family background. So after my graduation BE Mechanical I chose the Marine field. To get the family and life on track you have to be making money.
I too had to earn money and had to come up in my life. There are some people who dream for success, I was the one who worked hard for success. Life hasn’t been easier for me either, but I am happy that I enjoyed all phases of my life and sailing.
Q. Sir how much have you sailed? How was your first experience of sea life?
I started sailing in 1976. My first ship was SCI MV Kanishka. It was a bulk carrier of 35,000 DWT, Japanese built. I was very happy on board, as all my seniors were helpful. Before joining ship, I worked with Heredellia Chemical- Juhi Nagar, Navi Mumbai. I was familiar with most of the ship machineries and safety measure that gave me confidence to start my sea life. The experience was overwhelming. Throughout I have sailed till the year 2000.
Q. How was your experience of sailing? Was there any point of time that you found it difficult or adventurous?
I like sailing I was much happier when I was sailing, but because of my health issues which started coming up with the age. I had to leave the sea life. During those days sea life was really enjoyable.
“If a man can be obsessed with something, it has to be sailing.”
Working hard and enjoying every moment on board that was me. I was very happy with the sea life. I left the sea years back, but it hasn’t left my soul.
Q. As a sailor what is the thing that you appreciate most about your profession?
My profession is a practical profession, there you work and you get the results. There might be many people who have more talent than you have, but when you start working hard, you definitely get the reward. In this profession you are not doing anything that’s vague. It is like a practical education. You do the job and you get the reward. You are responsible for your own work and whatever you are doing. The independence of my job is the most appreciated thing for me.
Q. Seafarers onboard mostly encounter with depression and fatigue. In your view how can this be avoided?
Depression comes up with expectations. Until one is a bachelor, they hardly have responsibilities. Once getting into conjugal life, your spouse, your parent, your children, they all look up to you with expectations. There are situations you are loaded up with the responsibilities. Fulfilling everyone’s wishes isn’t possible, especially when you are thousands of miles away from the family. This certainly leads to depression.
Q.So it is also the responsibility of the family?
Yes, of course. “A sailor’s family is like a life jacket for him in the stormy weather.” Especially, the wife of a sailor. The family must understand that you are too far away from the shore. So conveying each and every detail of the home won’t help in getting to the solution. Being miles away, you cannot solve it. Rather than complaining about the things it has to be sorted.
A sailor’s wife is like a support system for him. She has to be stronger than the rest and smarter at her best!
A sailor’s job isn’t easy, it looks fascinating, but at every step, the whole family needs to work as a team.
Q. There is so much of difference in the day’s you sailed and the present era. What do you think sailing was difficult in your days or it is easier now?
No sailing was much easier in those days because we were doing physical jobs. Nowadays rules and regulations are so stringent that you are always under the stress. Any small mistake and you will be put under the law. In those days physical work was more but the enjoyment was also there. Nowadays you cannot go ashore. During those days it was not like that, you do your job and in the evening you are free.
Q. How do you keep yourself motivated and engaged? You have turned 72, yet so active.
I love to teach. Being surrounded by my students keeps me young and energetic. Age is just a number when you are happy from within. I have enjoyed my life to the fullest. Talking to my students, even joking with them, and giving my knowledge to them keeps my mind and heart still feel and live young. Other than that I maintain my routine. Morning walk keeps me quite busy and healthy.
Q. Message for the young seafarers.
Shipping is a very good profession. Only thing is there that these days difficulties have been encountered because of the IMO rules and regulations. For the exams of DG shipping, I would say, there is no hard and fast rule. The luck and of course, the labor, both things count. So don’t get depressed, if at all you don’t pass the exams just keep yourself motivated and keep trying and you will certainly get through it.
Life will always reward your actions!!
Thanks a lot, sir, for sharing your life experience with us. Each word of our conversation will be an inspiration for us. We wish you all the best and very happy birthday!