Civil Servants

My Narrow Escapes at Sea - Part 3: Caught in the Storm

Author: 
Mahendra Rathod

After completing his M.Com., Mahendra Rathod joined the Customs department in 1990 and won promotion to Superintendent in 2002. Having served at various stations in Gujarat, he is currently posted in CGST at Ahmedabad.

Mahendra is an avid explorer of places for wildlife photography, trekking and traveling. Reading, writing and painting are his free time hobbies. He is also heavily into long-distance running, working out at the gym and yoga.

My Narrow Escapes at Sea - Part 2: Boat Capsizing

Author: 
Mahendra Rathod

After completing his M.Com., Mahendra Rathod joined the Customs department in 1990 and won promotion to Superintendent in 2002. Having served at various stations in Gujarat, he is currently posted in CGST at Ahmedabad.

Mahendra is an avid explorer of places for wildlife photography, trekking and traveling. Reading, writing and painting are his free time hobbies. He is also heavily into long-distance running, working out at the gym and yoga.

Mahendra is the author of e-book Through My Lens: Wildlife and Tribal Culture published on www.inourdays.org.

Mahendra and Jyotika got married in 1995. Jyotika is a practicing dietician and yoga coach. Their daughter, Rucha, is a civil engineer and a state level table tennis player. Their son, Milind, is a computer engineer and a wushu, taekwondo and kung fu expert. Milind has been a great asset to his father in completing his e-book. His new passion is modelling photography.

My second narrow escape at sea made me realise how fragile our lives are. It was a nerve-racking experience.

I remember, it was a late summer time, with monsoon knocking on the door. In the wake of the monsoon’s arrival the sea on the western coast becomes very rough, with extremely high waves.

My Narrow Escapes at Sea - Part 1: Call of the Ocean

Author: 
Mahendra Rathod

After completing his M.Com., Mahendra Rathod joined the Customs department in 1990 and won promotion to Superintendent in 2002. Having served at various stations in Gujarat, he is currently posted in CGST at Ahmedabad.

Mahendra is an avid explorer of places for wildlife photography, trekking and traveling. Reading, writing and painting are his free time hobbies. He is also heavily into long-distance running, working out at the gym and yoga.

Mahendra is the author of e-book Through My Lens: Wildlife and Tribal Culture published on www.inourdays.org.

Mahendra and Jyotika got married in 1995. Jyotika is a practicing dietician and yoga coach. Their daughter, Rucha, is a civil engineer and a state level table tennis player. Their son, Milind, is a computer engineer and a wushu, taekwondo and kung fu expert. Milind has been a great asset to his father in completing his e-book. His new passion is modelling photography.

Prologue

I joined the Customs department in 1990 and started my duties in anti-smuggling unit at Porbandar at Gujarat. Those were the times when India had not embarked on major economic reforms to liberalize its economy.

Smuggling of goods including gold and silver was in full swing. Sea route from the Gulf countries to the nearest Gujarat coast was one of the chosen routes. Thus anti-smuggling operations were a challenge for the Customs officers posted in the coastal areas of Gujarat.

Luckily I was posted as a Preventive Officer at one of the coastal stations. I thus had a chance to fulfil my long time wish to explore the sea and experience its vastness and beauty.

While performing my duties at sea, I experienced some death defying experiences which not only made me stronger but also taught me the true meaning of life.

I am sharing a few such experiences via a trilogy, the first part of which starts below.


During my school days, I was fascinated to read stories about great sailors, pirates and sea adventurers. While reading, I was imagining the vastness and beauty of sea. This beautiful natural phenomenon, which I knew existed but had never directly seen or experienced.

In Our Days to Your Days (Part 2)

Author: 
M. P. Vasudevan

M. P. Vasudevan hails from a small village in Kannur district of Kerala state. After post-graduation in Zoology he worked on a research project at the University of Calicut that was aided by the Swiss Government. He joined the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) as a Preventive Officer through the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) exam. He started at Goa Customs in 1981 and was then sent to Mumbai Customs on deputation in 1988. He got his first promotion in 1996 and became Assistant Commissioner in 2014. He retired on superannuation in June 2015. Post-retirement he devotes most of his time to maintaining his website www.referencer.in which serves as a reference library for both tax officers and tax payers under Government of India.

[Editor's note: This is part two of Mr. Vasudevan's medical adventures. Read part one here.]

I do not know what had happened to me or how much commotion took place after I fell unconscious. When I opened my eyes, there were a lot of people standing around my bed. The duty doctor was checking my pulse. My mother was in tears, pleading with the doctor to save my life.

In Our Days to Your Days (Part 1)

Author: 
M. P. Vasudevan

M. P. Vasudevan hails from a small village in Kannur district of Kerala state. After post-graduation in Zoology he worked on a research project at the University of Calicut that was aided by the Swiss Government. He joined the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) as a Preventive Officer through the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) exam. He started at Goa Customs in 1981 and was then sent to Mumbai Customs on deputation in 1988. He got his first promotion in 1996 and became Assistant Commissioner in 2014. He retired on superannuation in June 2015. Post-retirement he devotes most of his time to maintaining his website www.referencer.in which serves as a reference library for both tax officers and tax payers under Government of India.

I always regarded myself to be strong both mentally and physically but it lasted only until I landed in the ICCU (Intensive Cardiac Care Unit) of Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, a super-specialty, new-age, private hospital, on the 18th July 2015. My admission to ICCU was due to a few extra beats of my heart which refused to recede, commonly called palpitations. In medical terminology this condition is known as atrial fibrillation.

Poem — Helen of Troy

Author: 
S K Bhatnagar

Shri S.K.Bhatnagar was born in 1937 and brought up at Beawar, Rajasthan. After post-graduation in Botany from Ajmer, he dabbled in agricultural aesearch for a couple of years and then became a lecturer for a short period. He started his career as a civil servant in the Rajasthan Administrative Service. He joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1961 and retired in 1999 as the President of the Customs Tribunal.

Shri Bhatnagar's interests lie in the field of biology, literature and mythology. Under the pen name of Santosh Ratan, he prefers to write on scientific topics in poetic format instead of prose. He likes to draw illustrations from Indian mythology and that too in both English and Hindi. He has published 6 books so far — two in English and four bilingually, including poems on the natural wonders of the world. One of his books, Jeev Jagat Ki Aadharshila has been published in paper format while the others are online at http://santoshbhatnagar.weebly.com/ and https://www.scribd.com/user/379765454/S-K-BHATNAGAR-SANTOSH-RATAN.

Helen of Troy

It was the dawn of civilization
Lo Sun had risen in the west!
Beauty of the streaks of red light appearing
On the horizon, was simply enchanting
A gentle refreshing breeze, blowing
through the green hills and dales, was cheering
the hearts of handsome Greeks, and sending their spirits soaring
higher and higher, in the blissful blue sky, lining
that land of the beautiful and the brave
as they were enjoying merrily bountiful nature’s blessing.

My Muse - Karan strikes out on his own

Author: 
Subhash Mathur

Subhash Mathur was born and brought up in small towns in Rajasthan. During his school and college education at Jaipur, he was keenly involved in sports, journalism and public speaking. His civil services career has given him a platform for spreading his ideas about modernising tax administration to benefit the common man. Post retirement he is devoting his energies, along with his wife Tilak, to public and humane causes.

The trip to San Jose filled Saritha with lots of hope and frustration as well. She couldn’t swallow the near miss meeting opportunity for a long time. But the phone number in her possession filled her with hope. She kept her fingers crossed her fingers and decided to move on in life.

Life in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun

Author: 
Sunil Choudhury

Born in a village in what is now Jharkhand, Sunil Kumar Choudhury did his graduation and post-graduation from Ranchi University. He joined the Indian Army in 1964 and was commissioned with the Rajput Regiment. He was assigned to 15 Rajput in 1965. He also qualified as a Commando from Infantry School, Mhow. After being released from the army in 1970, he served in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in West Bengal.

Sunil joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1971. He married his batch mate, Komala Raghavan, in 1975. After retirement on superannuation in 2002, he along with his wife Komala settled down in Bengaluru. Komala passed away in January 2018.

As I mentioned in my first story I felt the impact of 1962 Sino-Indian conflict and it changed my life in a big way. Serving with the armed forces of the country was never in my mind but the events of Oct-Nov 1962 pushed me towards taking steps to join the Indian Army.

One chilly early morning, a bunch of us looking not sure of ourselves arrived at the Dehradun Railway station. We received a warm reception by a team of uniformed men waiting to ferry us to the Academy located at the foothills of the Himalayas.

Mundra

Author: 
Arun Jain

Arun Jain has been working with Customs and Central Excise since March, 1992 and is presently posted as Superintendent of Customs at Ahmedabad. He is a post draduate in Physics (specialized in Electronics) and also did his Masters in Business Administration, both from Gujarat University.

He has been writing small anecdotes in a Facebook Group called Anand Sabha and has come forward with similar writings to be disseminated by the readers of this esteemed and widely read E-Magazine under inourdays.org also.

कच्छ नहीं देखा तो कुछ नहीं देखा – अमिताभ बच्चन

That was well said by Shri अमिताभ बच्चन जी during promotions for Gujarat Tourism, but for us, Kutch has been a significant part of itinerary in our postings – sooner it comes, the better. Mine came at such a phase of life when I did wanted or did not want to be away from my family. I wanted because of the reason that I was fed up with monotony of working in the same field for a quite few years and wanted to venture in the areas where I was supposed to be on my toes and that too on major Sea Port.

Young Men at Sea: Seeing Death in Slow Motion

Author: 
Sanjiv Jani

Sanjiv Jani is a resident of Rajkot in Saurashtra, also known as Sorath of Kathiawar peninsular region of Gujarat. By profession Sanjiv is Superintendent of Central GST but is a man of varied interests such as stage and TV artist, writer director of short films with social message and an activist. Saṇjiv has taken up many social causes like campaign against noise pollution etc. Sanjiv is passionate about his favourite causes and ever willing to go the extra mile to fulfill his dreams.

Have you ever seen a real hell of a danger in your life coming towards you in slow motion? If an accident happens, it is mostly a matter of fraction of seconds. But what if you are about to witness those seconds stretched into time seem immemorial?

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