Civil Servants

A tribute to M S Dhoni on his retirement from cricket

Subhash Mathur

Editor's Note: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a former member of the Indian international cricket team, retired from the sport in mid 2020. Widely regarded as one of the best wicket-keeper batsman and captain in the history of the game, his retirement caused tributes by his many fans to come pouring forth. We are privileged to feature a small collection here.

  1. MS Dhoni, Captain Cool by Prem Prakash Sharma
  2. Tribute to MS Dhoni by Jitendra Sanghvi
  3. Tribute to MS Dhoni by Shriprakash Rao
  4. MS Dhoni, our Captain by Rakshat Hooja
  5. Dhoni the Strategist by Subhash Mathur

Memoirs and poetry

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 memoir of his aunt and a poem, both in Hindi.

  1. बूआ जी (संस्मरण)
  2. तुम्हारे प्रतीक

Lessons of life from my father

Prem Prakash Sharma

Prem Prakash Sharma (popularly known as PP) was born in Sikar, Rajasthan in 1959. He graduated in B.Sc. (PCM) from Government College, Neem ka Thana, Rajasthan. He went on to finish his education with a three-year law degree and masters in political science from University of Rajasthan.

PP joined Customs and Central Excise and was posted to several cities, international airports and sea ports across India in a career spanning 36 plus years.

Mumbai Deluge in 2005

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 which serves as a reference library for both tax officers and tax payers under Government of India.

On 6th August, 2020 the India Meteorological Department recorded 332 mm rain in the span of 24 hours in Mumbai, the heaviest one-day rain in August in 47 years.

That day of torrential rain in Mumbai took me back to the unprecedented rain and deluge of 2005 when hundreds of people had lost their lives. Many had choked to death sitting inside their submerged cars in the flood water while a few others had drowned. 944 mm rain in the span of 24 hours on the 26th July 2005 was said to be the heaviest rain in Mumbai day rain during the last 100 years.

Three Poems — Coronavirus and the Lockdown

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 and


  1. Lockdown
  2. Corona days
  3. Raksha bandhan

Essence of Indian Culture: Traditions and Creativity

Kamlesh Tiwari

Shree Kamlesh Tiwari joined the Indian Revenue Service in 1971 and superannuated in 2007. At an early age Kamlesh to play the flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath ji of Allahabad and his famous disciple Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia. Kamlesh was accepted as Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia's disciple after a stern test in 1972. During his service years Kamlesh got several opportunities to perform at official and informal functions. Kamlesh is currently a graded artist of vocal and flute with All India Radio (AIR) Allahabad. Music runs in the family. Kamlesh’s father was also an All India Radio artist at Allahabad. Post retirement Kamlesh lives with his spouse at Allahabad.

“Where the mind is without fear,
And the head is held high,…
Where the words come from the depth of Truth,…
In to that heaven of freedom my Father,
Let my country awake! "

These poetic words from Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore sum up the essence of Indian culture. That is how Swami Vivekananda and Maharishi Aurobindo Ghosh, the two great personalities define Indian culture; its deep Spiritual core!

My West Side Story – The Man with the Stetson

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.

Book Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Sadik Kidas

M.A. Sadik is the Founder Director of Smart Leaders IAS Academy. He has a bachelor’s degree in Physics and masters in History.

Sadik teaches history and geography. He has authored several books on these two subjects. He is a reader and traveler.

He has been mentoring and teaching students for UPSC exams preparations since 2008. He runs a YouTube channel called Smart Leaders IAS. His website is a treasure trove for students aspiring to write the UPSC exams.

About the book

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Title: Animal Farm
Author: George Orwell
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Publication: 2011 (First edition published 1945.)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0143416319
Pages: 104 (Paperback)
Price: Rs. 113

The visit of a VIP to a small town

Prem Prakash Sharma

Prem Prakash Sharma (popularly known as PP) was born in Sikar, Rajasthan in 1959. He graduated in B.Sc. (PCM) from Government College, Neem ka Thana, Rajasthan. He went on to finish his education with a three-year law degree and masters in political science from University of Rajasthan.

PP joined Customs and Central Excise and was posted to several cities, international airports and sea ports across India in a career spanning 36 plus years.

PP retired on superannuation from Jaipur in January 2019 where he lives with his elderly parents, families of two brothers, his wife Sadhana, son Vivek and daughter Niharika. Both his children are excelling at their studies.

PP is a keen follower of cricket played the around the world, having himself played competitive games at various levels. His favourite pastime post-retirement is to look after his family, play golf and listen to some soul-searching music.

Editor's Note: This is the second part of PP's memories about his childhood. The first part can be read here: A Journey of Our Days.

I dive deep into the memory lane of my childhood to recall the visit of a VIP to my neighbouring town, Neem ka Thana, in the neo-feudal era of Indian politics that began when Indira Gandhi won the elections in a landslide in 1971.

My Baby Steps into the World of Trekking

Shriprakash Rao

Shriprakash Rao attended St. Xavier's School, Jaipur where he was a sports enthusiast, with particular emphasis on cricket and basket ball. He was also a good short-distance swimmer.

Rao joined the Department of Customs and Central Excise as Inspector, and retired as Additional Commissioner in 2015. He traveled to many nations as a trade negotiator for the Central Government on several occasions for various trade agreements.

Rao is an avid adventurer who has under taken trekking expeditions across Himalayas in India and Nepal. He fancies his visit to Iceland to see the Northern Lights to be the crown jewel of his travels. He is a keen photographer while traveling.

Rao loves driving and has under taken many long drives across India, initially on his motor cycle and later on by car. He is an avid reader and a movie buff, especially of classic westerns.

Rao presently lives in Jaipur with his wife.

In 1985, I along with my friends, Roger and DC, went on a mountain trek to Nepal.

We boarded the Jaipur-Lucknow-Gorakhpur train, excited but apprehensive of the unknown. The journey took us twenty four hours. It was tiring and eventful but I shall leave it out for some other time.


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