Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Eternal err English August

As the days pass by, my appreciation of the eternal ‘English August’ keeps on increasing. It has been good twenty years when the novel was published, but not an iota has changed in the districts. I wonder when the trickle of trickle down theory will reach the interiors of India.

I got married recently. I know this, my colleagues in office know this and I doubt entire Bankura district knows this. So from all the corners I receive the query “Is your family staying with you?” Family, which family! I do not understand how I can create a ‘family’ after two months of marriage.

I have received official mail addressed to “The AS, IAS”. Well, well, well I am happy. There is The Himalayas, The Ganges and to and to give competition to all there is ‘The AS’.

I live in a palatial circuit house. Bathrooms here are almost equal to the room size. And there are some co-inhabitants too. At least eight lizards live in my room and the count is still on. Everyday my meal becomes a little spicier because of the 5-6 ants that mistake my daal for their swimming pool. You see, I live in perfect harmony with nature.

For those of us who have lived in cities, rural India presents a completely different picture and you have to live it to believe it. Add to that a different language and a different cultural milieu and that leaves me pondering if I actually know India.

Reading ‘digital divide’ in newspapers is one thing and feeling it on the ground another. I have to go to 50kms to another district to watch a decent movie in a mall. It was hard for me to explain to my driver what internet is and his sole idea of internet is examination results.

Otherwise Bankura is a beautiful and different place. Here bicycles outnumber the automobiles by many times. For the first time I have seen saree as a school dress and girls as small as in class sixth wear sarees. The taste of Rosogulla is beyond words and even other sweets are way better.

The natural beauty of the district is very good. In case you want to see some pictures of Bishnupur in Bankura, you can see them here.


JULIE said...

Hi Anurag! That was a nice post. Congrats on your 'family' status and the increase in 'formic acid' (curtesy ants) in your circuit house dinners!! So...., is your family with you in that huge new home?!!
You have a lot of Civial Services-fan following--sometimes some of your fans bump into my site!! I feel nice being in the shadow of the famous.
Yes this move of mine is laced with some nostalgia and sadness. I will take time to start being funny again!! Kids are taking time to adjust although this place visually is like being in Kashmir foothills sans the humidity. Its a fantastic view from every window. You cannot escape the mountains. But friends, school and teachers cannot be replaced. So my kids whine and pine and I join in! Much time goes in rehabilitation and hence internet and blogging has taken a second seat.
Hope your chauffer learns more than exam results from www and your food gets less spicy. Remember to switch off those huge fans when you walk out from Room 4 to Room 15!! Cheers and good luck.

Pranav Pathak said...

Hi Anurag,

Nice blogs buddy. I have been reading your blog since sometime now and I have started blogging too. I am newbie in Civil Services prep. Will be good if you can have a look at http://pranavsthoughts.blogspot.com and leave your comments about content and quality etc.


Hari said...

Hi Anurag,

Another beautiful post.

U laced up so many things and i was left with a feeling that the post could have been bit longer.

Anyways Keep blogging and continue to share u r experiences.:)

Vikash Shahwal said...

hell of an early experience in "the services" !!!!....
Your current "karmasthali" is an amazing place (yes! i saw the pics in picasa web album......)

Anurag Srivastava said...

@Julie: Thanks a lot :)

@pranav: I saw it. Best of luck for your preparations

@Hari: The truth is I am still not in blogging mode :)

@vikas: yes bankura is amazing :P

vikram singh said...

Well now you people will start developing this beautiful place and make it as unnatural as any major city of India. I wish the Beauty stays forever.thanks for the post.

Satish T J said...

Hi Anurag ,
Now since u have had some field experience and have seen the pros and cons of the position u hold .. Howz it ? Or rather If "God" himself comes down and blesses u with a position paying couple of lakhs a month in a big metro .. or some "special" tool which enables you to reach out to people .. What would you choose ?

What in ur opinion is the real cause of poverty in villages ? Is it that they depend on agriculture ? Or is it the lack of financial advice they get ? This also I have pondered a lot .. Generally govt gives the compensation to the people who r rehabitated ..but most of the time these people .. who r moved out of their land/house never know how to lead the life !! I guess a financial advice along with compensation would prove lotttttt better ...

Also many a times I have thought all one needs to know and understand is "Life of money" --the financial knowledge ..different instruments ... to get over poverty ..

Kindly do share ur opinions ...

Satish TJ

Anurag Srivastava said...

@vikram: Keeping them 'natural' also means that those people will not have access to good health, education and other facilities of modern life. So unfortunately we will have to do our bit to develop them :)

But yes I understand that indigenous nature has to be maintained.

@satish: Don't you think I have already made my choice, three years back I was almost earning the amount you mentioned in a big metro.

I am not an economist but according to me cause of poverty is poverty. Its a cycle. Also in this world special skills are rewarded, and agriculture is not that. So if you a connoisseur of wine and no one can rate wine like yoy, you will be paid more. On the other hand if you are a driver and driving can be learned by anyone, you will be paid less.

And its not lack of financial advice, its lack of any kind of advice. So if a villager is educated, has access to all modern aids of world, he can do well in economic sector too.

About compensation part, yes government does not give advice, but you know much more than 'advice' is required. A complete hand holding support is required and that is too demanding. But it is the responsibility of the government and it has to do that.

And friend, they need knowledge first. After that they can themselves learn financial knowledge or any other knowledge they want to. So either its overall development or nothing.

Anyways, I still have to learn a lot, so treat them as my intuitions.

Cosmic Voices said...

This is one thing I envy about your service. You get a lot of feed to blog. Our field training is pretty boring in this regard.

Pradip Bhattacharya said...

Anurag, my daughter who is in Delhi directed me to your blog. You write so well. Congratulations on getting married. Where's she from? Wish I'd known so that I could wish you in time. The ATI has a blog on its website called "Continuous Learning Project". If you would like to log in, just email dirati@vsnl.net or dirati@wb.nic.in requesting access. There are very interesting entries by WBCS probationers and BDOs on how the training they received is helping them in tackling problems in the field. You can get very useful insights.
My very best wishes,
Pradip Bhattacharya, Director, ATI W.B.

Anurag Srivastava said...

@cosmic: I think my aim of maintaining a blog is achieved :)

@Dir sir: thanks a lot for the comment sir. I have mailed you requesting an access.

Ankit Agarwal said...

Just Love Your Blogs Sir. Simple and Clear are the two things which come into my mind when i read them...Hope to read more of your works...Do keep Writing....

shitanshu shekhar said...

hi anurag... congrates 4 being married...:)nw i got 2 knw y u were selected in yo very 1st attempt...dats yo fabulous writing skills.. dat has fetched coveted ias seat 4 u..hats off 2 you.. 4 ur sensible writing ..:) i m actualy pursuin ma engg frm banglr vl b appearin in civils in 2013..hv started a blog.. hotproblemsofindia.blogspot.com wud lk 2 knw yo views..best wishes 4 your speedy promotion..:-) tak care..