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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

July 11, 2009

And quiet flows this Kaveri

I recently happened to meet the Director of Municipal administration in connection with a Business related proposal. The official happened to be someone I knew but never had the occasion to meet before. Her name is Kaveri & she is a KAS officer (Karnataka Administrative service). Some strange unusual anxiety gripped me going into this meeting , I had heard about her in the PG campus back in the University days and was in the NEWS for being the women topper in the KAS probationary officers exam back in 1994. I was one of those aspiring candidates then & had made quite a few friends in the campus from different study streams who took this exam. Some among those are still in touch, one is an Asst. Commissioner of Commercial taxes while another is other an Asst. Commissioner of police. Others have gone into oblivion.

Her office was located in the heart of the Central Business district of Bangalore in this strange & eclectic building called Visvesvaraya towers (named after the brilliant engineer & erstwhile dewan of Mysore popularly known as Sir M.V). The building looks quite Mod from outside but step inside & you’ll find it typical Goverment’ish, the usual environment characteristic of Babudom hits you. The elevators inside & its panel outside resemble straight out of a 1950’s Eastman color Sci-Fi movie. When I entered her cabin on the 13floor she was huddled with 2 other officials half buried in a pile of files frenetically clearing some of them before end of day. Govt offices have the luxury of closing at 6:00 pm, whatever may the urgency, it can await the Babu’s kind attention the next day. However it must be said that Yeddy (the CM) has been cracking the whip of late& making officers accountable on progress, so it is not unusual to see Bureaucrats sweating it out in the corridors of power. Sensing such a situation beforehand I had referred the name of a senior colleague before seeking an unscheduled appointment with her.

As I entered her cabin, she seemed to take a momentary pause from her pile & asked me what it was it about. As I nervously muttered about my purpose of visit giving a quick background to the meeting, she listened with a calm demeanour. But somewhere beneath the still countenance was some urgency & was not surprised when she gave me the number of another colleague who she said was in the concerned section and would be a better person to deal in the matter. So as I prepared to get up I asked whether she was from the 1994 batch of KAS.

A curious smile lit up her pretty face & she gave me a more attentive and interested look. She said 1997 batch but I immediately countered saying that was the result year and the exam year was 1994! That started a prolonged discussion. Her cabin was expansive and had one of the best views I had ever seen in Bangalore. To the immediate right was the Vidhan Soudha & Attara Kacheri at close range and beyond that the UB city interspersed in a sea of greenery(thanks to Cubbon park), all cloaked in a blanket of light drizzle on a cold dreary evening. I had imagined that the view from my 4th floor cabin at the ICICI towers on commissariat road was fantastic but this was even better.

Somewhere during the chat I propped up the question that I always wanted to ask; how the KAS career had been sofar? That question has always been of great interest to me, I had made a conscious decision then to give it a pass. In a plain matter of fact speaking she shrugged & said it had been Ok. No tinge of either satisfaction or disappointment left me even more curious but I did not pursue the point further. The purpose of the meeting had been different & I had to call it ends as the clock was ticking towards 6:00.
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