If they can, so can you – Blog 3

Vishu Mahajan – IAS 2016 Batch

“I was working in an Intellectual Property Consultancy firm in Bangalore after graduating from IIT Bombay. But it felt like my job needed no skill; I created no real value. And then it all changed. On a trip with some friends to Ladakh a year back, we had casually pondered over the futility of the average corporate job and a friend, vaguely inspired by Rang De Basanti dialogues, suggested Civil Services. A year into my job, the topic came up again in a phone call, and without an iota of an inkling about IAS and the work it entails, I took the plunge and resigned within a week. I am glad I made that choice, it gives me an opportunity to do real tangible work that means something.

I have really grown up in a cocoon- I went to military school which was a world of its own. All my life I have lived in big cities. The LBSNAA training changes you in the two years. I was exposed to rural life for the first time. In Tamil Nadu, my cadre, everything was new – the culture, the place and the language. If there is one quality that I would have to pin down that training instills in you through interaction with the diverse peer group, it is self-doubt – an uncertainty about one’s otherwise rock-solid beliefs, a respect for the other person’s point of view and the very real possibility that maybe, just this time I’m wrong.

For me, the batch vibe, the togetherness, the friendships- it was all very energizing. It is a fitting reminder of the centrality of LBSNAA in the life of an officer, that our careers are seen as 5 Phases of training interspersed with work. And while you move from one phase to another, you imbibe so much without even realizing it. LBSNAA was also special because I made a conscious decision to utilize my time better unlike in college. It has such good infrastructure, such vibrant cultural programmes – I enjoyed myself through a lot of firsts. As we parted ways at the end of Assistant Secretary-ship in Delhi, it was only the thought of meeting all my batchmates once again in Phase 3 that accounted for the tears that did not fall.

Vishu Mahajan – IAS 2016 Batch
Tamil Nadu Cadre



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