Civil Servants

Vivek opens with a medley

Author: 
Vivek Shrivastava

Vivek Shrivastava was born and brought up in Jaipur. He is a Science graduate but chose to do his masters in Economics. He has a Diploma in Functional Urdu from the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (NCPUL). At present he's in the third year of his law degree.

Vivek joined the Central Board of Excise & Customs and is presently posted as Superintendent GST. His expertise lies in enforcement of laws relating to money laundering and foreign exchange. He is a visiting faculty for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) at the Rajasthan Police Academy and the Central Detective Training Institute, Jaipur.

Vivek is a prolific writer of poems and stories, many of which have already been published in various journals. He’s associated with several poetic forums. He presented his story ‘Tyakta’ at World Hindi Secretariat at Mauritius which won the third prize of $100 and numerous other felicitations.

Vivek's flair for writing and speaking is well noted and he often anchors high-end functions. He currently resides in Jaipur with his parents, his wife, Rashi, and children, Rudransh and Shivansh.

Editor's Note: We are privileged to publish a medley of Vivek's here: a poem in English, a short story in Hindi and some Urdu poetry.

  1. When I became a father
  2. शर्मा जी का लड़का
  3. जज़्बात

Hosting the Indian cricket team in New Zealand

Author: 
Bal Anand

Bal Anand was born in 1943, in a village about 20 km south of Ludhiana, in a family of saint-scholars who practised Ayurveda. On graduating from DAV College, Jalandhar, he did his Masters in English Literature from Govt. College, Ludhiana. After a stint for a few years as a lecturer, he joined the Indian Foreign Service. Having served in nine different countries he retired as India’s High commissioner to New Zealand. Now he reads, reflects and writes in his nest in Delhi, on the East Bank of Yamuna.

During my limited overs innings as India’s High Commissioner in New Zealand—May 2002 to November 2003—I had the most pleasant privilege of hosting a reception at my official home, called ‘India House’, on December 4, 2002, in honour of (Dada) Saurav Ganguly-led Indian cricket team. The Indian team had arrived on the tour of New Zealand for the final round of warm-up matches in preparation for the Eighth ICC Cricket World Cup, 2003 organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and to be hosted jointly South Africa, Kenya & Zimbabwe in February-March 2003.

बचपन के दिन भी क्या दिन थे

Author: 
Babu Lal Soni

Babu Lal Soni was born in 1954 and brought up in Beawar, Rajasthan. After obtaining a Masters degree in Zoology from Government College, Ajmer, he joined the Department of Customs and Central excise in March 1977 as Inspector.

From mid-2001 to March 2002 he was on deputation with the International Narcotics Control Bureau in Vienna, Austria. From August 2003 to March 2007 he was on deputation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime as Project Coordinator for Precursor Chemical Control at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 2012 he took voluntary retirement from civil service as Additional Commissioner. He is currently engaged as technical advisor to the New Delhi-based publication, GST Law Times.

Babu Lal lives in Jaipur with his wife, Sushila, who is an expert cook and religious-minded.

Babu Lal has keen interest in photography. He loves listening to music. Lately, he has shown an inclination towards drawing and painting as well.

बचपन ... यह शब्द अपने आप में कितना सुंदर व मीठा लगता हैं. सुनते ही मन पुरानी यादों में खो जाता हैं. अगर बचपन दुबारा जीनें का मौका मिले तो फिर कहना ही क्या!

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.

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