The planet Earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical fashion and the moon revolves around the earth in the same manner. If one were to view down from the top of North Pole, the earth spins around the imaginary axis in anticlockwise motion once every day. This accounts for the universal fact that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
What is a leap year ?
The earth’s axis is inclined with reference to the plane of its orbit at an angle of say 23.4 degrees. If we position ourselves high above North Pole, we would see that the earth revolves around the sun in counter clockwise motion & takes 365.26 days to reach the same position among the stars. This quarter day is added after every fourth year & the number of days in that year are 366 & the year is called the LEAP YEAR as per western calendar (Gregorian calendar).
It was 2000 years ago that emperor Julius Ceaser introduced Leap Year in the Roman Empire. The Julian calendar had one rule, any year divisible by 4 was considered as a leap year. This lead to too many leap years & could not be corrected until the introduction of Gregorian calendar some 1500 years later. This additional day is added in the month of February & the additional date is 29 February. In China who is born on this day has to take 28 February as his official date & in Hong Kong it is taken as 1 March.
This year (2012) we would be celebrating the 503rd leap year since the formation of the western calendar with leap years defined.
February 29 known also as leap day in the Georgian calendar, is the date that occurs in the year divisible by 4, however years that are evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years such as 1900 with the exception of those that are divisible by 400 such as 2000 centurial year. February 29 is the 60th day of the Georgian calendar & in that year 306 days are balance till the end of the year.
All American Presidential elections are fought in the leap years .
In India the most popular personality born in leap year is Mr. Moraraji Desai. Leap years are good or bad for those born is a debate & the answer can be summed up by the happenings of the events in the author’s life also born in a leap year.
Born in 1952, much pampered as the only male child born in the family with three daughters, here goes the flash back to all leap years in the life of the author… started going to school in the leap year 1956, first step out from the confined walls of the house, awarded first cup in school race in the year 1960, took the first board exam (Indian school Certificate from Cambridge University London )in the year 1968, entered engineering college in 1971 in mechanical stream as denied Chemical engineering , luckily in 1972 was allotted the Chemical Engineering course.
It was the year 1976 when graduated in Chemical Engineering & out to make the career in the industrial world.
Come 1980 & got into wedlock with the most sought after bride in family relations, a new responsible phase of the life started.
Come 1984, biggest loss in the life, sudden demise of Father, let down, alone, job, career stagnant. Suddenly a ray of light comes with a job in Country’s capital & designated as MANAGER (rise from shift engineer to manager). Got life’s first own conveyance, a designation & entry to Pharmaceutical (Active pharmaceutical ingredient ) sector ( a turning point ).
Come 1988 & out of blue got an assignment with the country’s best brand, professionally managed company with handsome salary & a responsibility to establish a API plant for betalactum group of antibiotics. Independently established & operated the facility & got recognition in the Industry, received promotion in every second year, credibility to take responsibility to establish plant after plant at different locations for the company, visited foreign locations to attend seminars, exhibitions, meet consultants, designated as Deputy General manager in 1996 ( dream designation of power & achievements ), best of professional & personal world achievements .
It was in 2000 the first leap year of the century, selected to head the operations of a 200 crore plant to produce 15 million cases beverages per year, visited Sharjah to see one day test match as incentive program for excelling in benchmarks set by the facility. A year where sourcing of raw material/processing/logistics/ to placing the product on distributor’s shelf were easily achieved & rewarded, life’s best increment /incentive were received in 2000.
With prosperity, fame, glory, achievements bagged in every leap year a big downward spiral twist came in the leap year 2004, one fine morning lost the job due to professional rivalry.
Leap years gave birth, entry to school, first board exams, career path, marriage, progress, name, fame, also gave the first push downward (except the first irreparable loss of father’s death also in leap year) in the year 2004, come again 2008, the downward trend continued, except that I came back to my native place after 10 years away from family, friends but at the cost of sacrificing my career.
Incidentally this year is also a leap year, only Lord God knows what is stored for me?????????????
About S.K.Sachdev: He is a Pharmaceutical & Beverages expert, for having spent major part of his career with Dabur and Coca-Cola. His keen interests are monitoring political and business news and can be reached on this forum for any discussion related to the country, pharmacy, beverages.