RSP Reddy is the 23rd IRTS batch mate I met during the course of this fascinating journey. We were a batch of 42 who joined the IRTS following selection in the 1980 Civil Services Examination. Since the late 1950s such a large number in a batch was unique. However, in the next two years the number got trimmed to 34 following the resignation of 7 who joined the IAS and another who joined the IPS. A death, a resignation, a superannuation, 2 movements to PSUs and 4 Voluntary Retirements over the past nearly 30 years means 24 serving batch mates. I tried to meet as many as I could during the journey; I missed some due to poor information and a few due to non-availability in their HQs. I took particular care to meet the serving batch mates for I derived immense delight in thanking them for my daily bread – it is their labor and the sweat of their brows that put monthly pension in my bank account!
RSP Reddy holds a unique position in the batch in that he resigned from the organisation without ensuring the golden parachute of pension. Meeting him last evening gave me the opportunity I had waited for – to ask if he ever regretted his decision to leave the Railways. I was happy to hear that he enjoyed what he did outside the Railways and hence was a contended person. It was remarkable to hear from him that he had very little need for money and was engaged in meaningful service to society. It is people like him who should populate the political highways so that society and its constituents get their fair share. Four hours waltzed by sharing side splitting anecdotes and personal experiences.
I met Mr Krishnamurty at the security desk in an airport nearly 10 years ago. I was amused to hear him telling the security guards to keep the chocolates he was carrying for his grandchildren when he was told to open the wrappers to prove that they were not security risks! We got talking thereafter and I learnt that he was returning to Mumbai from London, where his daughter, Suchitra, and son-in-law, Shekar Kapoor, were based. I called on Mrs and Mr Krishnamurthy, who spend most of their time in Bangalore, and discussed at length the problems and concerns of parents as they grow older and the children move on to establish their own nests. When I took leave Mr Krishnamurthy presented me with a fashionable watch, which he felt my wrists were ‘built for’.
Anita produced a fabulous spread for lunch. I am amazed at this lady’s efficiency and the number of tasks she juggles. She has time for everything and everybody. You want to shop, Anita is there for you. If you want to move house, Anita is again there. You want a shoulder for comfort, Anita once more. The way she keeps her house could be a matter of envy to many. Three cheers to you lady. Ajay and I feasted as if there is no tomorrow and demolished some chocolates too before we left.
I think it was Lin Yu-Tang who famously said, “All women’s dresses are merely variations of the eternal struggle between the admitted desire to dress and the unadmitted desire to undress.” When I see youngsters in shopping malls I think that fashion these days is all about the inverse of the famous quote: ….. it is the admitted desire to undress and the unadmitted desire to dress. The brazen public display of branded lingerie is a case in point. To showcase one’s ‘high brow’ fashion designers trimmed the shirt, dropped trousers to just above the unmentionables and created a statement with branded undergarments. I feel the fashion statement would have had greater punch if the undergarment had been worn as an ‘over garment’.