The Lal Bahadur Shashtri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), incubator of Union and Central services officers all across the nation and abroad, completed its 50th anniversary this year. A CD of archival photographs has been released to commemorate the occasion.
While browsing through the CD, I was pleasantly surprised to spot Papa in at least 5 of the 50 photos it contains. He was enrolled as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS)-trainee at the LBSNAA way back in 1969-70. And from what I've been told about him by his batchmates- including, most recently, His Excellency the Governor of Chhattisgarh, Mr Narasimhan- Papa was already showing symptoms of where he was headed: he made something of a record by serving three consecutive terms as President of the Academy's Mess Committee (the only elected office among trainees), topped his class in equestrian sports (horse riding, polo etc.) and shooting, and scandalized everybody by inviting the then very young- and if the photos are anything to go by, very pretty- Odissi danseuse, Ms. Sonal Mansingh, to dine at the high-table, which had thus far played host to only those above the age of 65. These photos, I believe, convey the joie de vivre of that time.
Many thanks to Mr. Gaurav Dwivedi, Deputy Director of LBSNAA, and Dr. Alaudin Farishta, our family doctor, for making the CD available. To download these photos, please visit my Gallery.