IAS officer’s book is all about soul-searching

Adityanath Das’ book is titled ‘Dancing with Dreams – Journey from Me to Myself’

A book titled ‘Dancing with Dreams – Journey from Me to Myself’, now adorning book stalls, has come as a pleasant surprise having been authored by none other than Adityanath Das, an IAS officer, who, after a 34-year stint, retired as Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh recently.

Dreams appear to have danced in him as visions, as he came across the people of varied social backgrounds through the years, each one carrying a tale of human agony or ecstasy.

IAS officers donning the role of writers is not new but what distinguishes Mr Das’ book is its sublime content. Each of the 41 poems conveys a deep but perspicuous meaning, leading to soul-searching.

Padma Bhushan Sitakant Mahapatra, a Jnanapeeth awardee, in the foreword, says the verses “touched the core of my heart. The reader laughs, also weeps”. Ashok Vajpeyi, former chairman of Lalit Kala Academy, on the other hand, states that the verses are “a joy even if wounded”.

In this part of the country, IAS officers excelled not merely in writing but in other areas too. D. Murali Krishna carved a niche for himself as “king of qawwali” songs, while many others — from J. Bapi Reddy to J. C. Mohanty — brought out anthologies on different subjects. P. V. R. K. Prasad made Tirumala Hills a paradise for visiting pilgrims. K. Madhava Rao, former Chief Secretary of undivided AP, received acclaim for his translation works of poet Jashua.

S.R. Sankaran had offered his monthly salaries to the poor. His is the only statue of an IAS officer installed anywhere in the country. His life-size statue is on the premises of East Godavari Collectorate at Kakinada.

In his book, Mr Das converses with God through monologues and cross-checks with his own innate self. “My soul is imprisoned by the shrieks of afflicted and soaked in the tears of helpless.”

Now appointed Adviser to AP Government in Delhi, Mr Das hails from Kanakapura in Madhubani district of Bihar. His negotiating skills were such that Maharashtra had to finally yield and approve Pranahitha-Chevella, now named Kaleshwaram project.

He emerged as a trouble-shooter when the AP government and its former Election Commissioner were locked in a brawl.

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