We started working on this book four years ago under the curious gaze of our daughters Tanvee and Jayati. Their contribution to the book is immense; the younger one did not interrupt the process and the elder one let it remain a secret. A big thanks to both for being what they are-the very best.
We wish to thank all our friends and colleagues from across the services who have shared our ups and downs in the last nineteen years.
Thanks, also, to our publisher Penguin Books India for making this book reach your hands.
Back of the Book
How do you manage the largest human gathering in history? What do you do when the responsibility of calming a riotous mob is entirely yours? Or, for that matter, if your sandal breaks just as you are heading out to greet the chief minister? For officers in the Indian Administrative Service- an elite few selected from among a few hundred thousand candidates in a year- such situations lurk right around the corner, every day, as do furtive mind games and power struggles, unexpected transfer orders and endless censure from all quarters.
In How to Placate an Angry Naga, Leena and Jiwesh Nandan, career bureaucrats who have been through the perils and pleasures of being a part of the civil service, Present a candid and vivid picture of life on the inside of 'the steel frame of India'. Narrated with dollops of humour, yet frequently bordering on the reflective, their stories- featuring whimsical bosses and autocratic politicians, overzealous juniors and suspicious spouses, communal riots and railway disasters - cover the whole gamut of experiences of IAS life. Along the away, the authors reveal valuable lesions that aspiring officers aren't taught in the training academy, such as how to tackle a visiting VIP's not -so- official demand, or the best expression to adopt when a naked Sadhu approaches you to voice his grievances, or the supreme usefulness of ending an official discussion with the phrase 'Dekhenge' (We'll see). And, above all, they emphasize the need for officers to live up to the ideals the service have always stood for, without letting cynicism or complacency get in the way.
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