IASbhav means “become an IAS”. It is a blessing similar to Ayushmanbhav which means “live long”. One difference, however, is that the later one was invented many years back by Gurjis when kids used to learn in Gurukools and Kings used to run the countries while the former one was invented by my late Naniji when I used to go to an English medium school run by Sisters and Fathers. Sadly the blessing was for me. That is what she used to bless me religiously when I bowed down before her everyday. That was part of the ritual, that also included eating one leaf of Tulsi without chewing it, me and my brother used to follow before going to school.

So she wanted me to become an IAS. And hence everybody in my family dreamt that I will one day become an IAS officer which basically meant being a district collector. Always getting a first rank in my class kept this wish of theirs alive for many years. Meantime my Naniji continued to shower me with her blessings – IASbhav till she passed out because of ill-health when I was in my second year.

It was the time of dotcom boom when everybody wanted to start a dotcom company and change the world. Companies having not even a single penny in earnings and zero assets were valued at millions of dollars. Entrepreneurship was the buzzword and in all these IITian dreams, I dont know when the echoes of IASbhav got washed away.

But now, after so many years and perhaps too late, I feel sorry that I should have given an iota of thought to the wishes of my family. It was a completely closed chapter from my end. I rationalized this by thinking that being an honest officer is next to impossible and aspiring to make a change in these bureaucratic systems is a very tough task. I hailed capitalism and admired JRD Tata, Bill Gates and Micheal Dell. And I still feel that way.

With this blog post, I intend to say sorry to everyone in my family, specially my late Naniji, who cherished the dream of me becoming an IAS. This is an obituary to that dream of IASbhav and it makes me little sad.

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