BUREAUCRATS handling pressure jobs at times sit back and ask: “Where was I?” and “Where am I heading?” Bishnupada Sethi, a 1995 batch Orissa cadre IAS who BoI had earlier termed “bureaucrat by mind but poet by heart”, tries to find answers thanks to his poetic zeal. In his third English poetry book “Beyond Feelings”, Sethi, currently the director of Census Operation in Orissa, attempts to answer: “Like the particles in air/and clay in waters/ in my mind, the heavier matters/ are all settling down.” Once conflicting matters settle down to the bottom of one’s understanding, one does not have to grope for such answers.
The breed of bureaucrat-cum-poet is growing and sharing their work. Like many bureaucrat painters, say Sudha Pillai of Planning Commission, who exhibit their talent, bureaucrat poets too are no longer lagging behind, and are publishing what they scribble pieces of paper.
Take the case of Amarendra Khatua, a 1981 batch Indian Foreign Service officer. Khatua is a diplomat with trade negotiating skills but poetry is his passion. His Ek Kavi Ka Khamosh Ho Jana is highly appreciated in the poetry circle. “Say it again, the familiar human touch can be so monotonous that one will prefer to stay back, at least knowing that shadows are after all shadows…” reads one of Khatua’s poems.
Only recently, Vajai Vardhan, a 1985 batch Haryana cadre IAS, has come out with his second book “Ibadat - the breath of my soul”. It is a collection of haikus which is a form of Japanese poetry. A principal secretary in Haryana’s environment ministry, Vardhan spends his spare time in researching Sufi culture. A post-graduate in history, he had earlier penned “Beyond the Great Beyond”.
It could be a mere co-incidence that like Vardhan, another Haryana bureaucrat Sumita Misra Singh also hails from Lucknow, has commands over Urdu and is a poet in action. She is a 1990 batch Haryana cadre IAS and currently the state’s chief electoral officer. Ms Misra Singh had been writing poems to herself till she was advised by author Khushwant Singh that she should allow others to appreciate her literary mind. A post graduate in economics, Ms Misra Singh recently published her poetry book “A Light of Life”.
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Action and Appointmentsa) Rajiv, a 1975 batch UP cadre IPS, has been appointed as Director General of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in the pay scale of Rs 80,000 per month till he retires on October 2013.