While in the Allahabad University, I used to compose and recite poetry and gazhals. I was particularly biased towards the works of Jagjit & Chitra Singh. Student life and uncertainties back then led many to believe in such verses.
” ऐ ख़ुदा रेत के सहरा को समंदर कर दे; मेरी चादर मेरे पैरों के बराबर कर दे “
I also, used to stage dramas, skits, and short plays. Fondly remember conceptualizing, directing, and staging the skit based on Hari Shankar Parsai’s satire on our Police System “Inspector Mata Deen Chand par”. I played the role of Inspector Matadeen in the skit.
After the play, a teacher lovingly remarked “Arvind, you did the play so well. You can make an excellent Police Inspector”. Hearing this, my Head of the Department (HOD) Mr. HM Jain remarked “Why Inspector? he will become an Inspector General!”. This was during my final year of post-graduation.
After completing MA and while preparing for UPSC, one evening I went to pay my regards to Mr. Jain, the HOD. At the outset, he admonished me for not having visited in long. He then asked me if I would like to teach in the department. I did not quite understand. He went on to explain that there were vacancies in the department and if I were willing to teach, I could be considered. From the very next day, I joined the teaching faculty and started teaching ‘Indian Polity’ (Indian Constitution, etc.). Even after selection in the IAS, Mr. Jain tried to retain me in the department. When I did not agree, he said ok you can come back here any time!