Travel with the author, a former civil servant, on a fascinating journey from a childhood spent in the infancy of free India, growing up in a former princely state, to traipsing into the Indian Administrative Service with childlike optimism. Enjoy a renaissance in the University of Cambridge, and a mellow cadence of a fruitful life in a modern Indian city, juxtaposed with a view of the transforming rural economy in Punjab, a state at the heart of India’s Green Revolution.
In Beyond the Trappings of Office the author offers colourful vignettes of events behind the drab doors of officialdom. He depicts the successes and failures of governments and individual protagonists in attaining power and sustaining it. While being part of the system, he chose not to succumb to the temporal power that goes with it. He describes members of the community of bureaucrats as well as politicians, and their foibles, with a gentle, disarming irony.
The way and the extent to which they, and myriad other characters, shaped the author’s personality is shared in his selfeffacing, yet charming, writing. His interests ranging from tennis to classical music, yoga to civil society organizations, make for delightful reading. Personal memories, accomplishments, heartache, and battles are woven into key historical events, as the author’s path crossed that of ordinary, unknown people he was employed to serve, whilst encountering the dignified, the famous and the powerful.