My civil services interview, popularly known as viva voce those days, happened in May 1971. It is of no use as guidance for the aspirants of today but perhaps worth recalling because some of the underlying principles involved in judging personalities persist even today.
It was somewhere in the middle ninetees that I, as an Intelligence Bureau (IB) Officer, was called to meet the then Sah Sar Sangh Chalak of the All India RSS in their office at Kankaria, Ahmedabad. It was personal-cum-officio meeting arranged through a friend from the RSS. The backdrop was the bombing of the RSS office in Madras (now Chennai), Tamil Nadu.
Year 1995 saw some significant events in my life. I got my super time scale after a protracted uphill struggle over 13 years. Our family had a jing bang get-together at the end of the year after several decades.
However at the beginning of 1995 a unique and new experience came my way. I was then posted at Gwalior with Central Bureau of Narcotics in charge of cultivation of legal opium.
When Popeye became the Boss the comfort levels within the Zone changed quickly.
Popeye was well built but not tall. He walked with grace and asked inconvenient questions, politely. His speech was a bit slurred, making it difficult to make out his exact words and meaning.
I chose to go largely by the drift. It resulted in some very ugly mix ups. But nothing very damaging, either.
Popeye changed many of the prevalent practices but in my opinion went too far. Slowly, the anger built up against him as even kindred souls were upset.