Is life as a senior police official with tremendous responsibilities 'all work and no play' for you?
A healthy work-life balance is an absolute necessity for cops at all levels. There are too many internal and external stress generators. One needs to moderate stress; pressure and anxieties will not go away completely, though. I find spare time and pursuing other interests for moderating the stress.
How do you generally spend the time after work hours?
IPS officers are recruited entirely through the test of their intellectual ability, that is supposed to be our strong point; not physical fitness or other stuff. I never stopped reading. That's what I do after work hours. We are living in a VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Changes to ideas and technology are so rapid that unless you keep up-dating constantly, one can easily fossilize.
How do you spend quality time with your family?
I give a lot of time to family. All accounted for, they are still there to share agonies and pleasures. My wife sings and loves gardening. I support her as much as possible. But, watching movies on a big screen is something I am still unable to agree on with her. Once or twice she tried to make me learn singing a song, each time it was a disaster. I watch news, international and local and of course sports and she has agreed to let me have control over the TV remote (he laughs.)
Monsoon is back. We all have a reading list for the season. What's yours?
Ideally one should read a book every week or about sixty books a year. I read non-fiction only. But, then last one month I have been watching the World Cup! So, yes books keep piling on my desk. Presently I am reading Mounk’s ‘People Vs. Democracy’. I have written 16 monthly newspaper columns in the last one-and-half years. Each article was written in two languages: Odia and English. From this month, I have decided to take a break to catch up on further reading.
A list of things or activities that you strictly avoid on your day-offs.
Meeting people at home is what I strictly avoid. I love the personal space so that I can do my own stuff. When people think I am free from office work I am actually busier!
What do you normally love to wear on off-days or spending holidays?
Shorts and t-shirt is my choice wear when there is privacy, otherwise I wear jeans and t-shirt.
As a day approaches its end, the cravings or longings that fill your heart.
There are few things that I do engage in regularly as the day ends. I watch TV, catch up with friends on social media and progress some more pages of the book I am reading at the moment.
"Very often the ‘dabang’ effect creates expectations of cops with six-packs, that is a bit exaggerated. But, at the same time, as uniformed officers, we must be in shape. There is a limitation to how much time one can find for physical work out, maybe an hour is a luxury. So, I take a low-fat, low-carb and high-protein diet with lots of vegetables, salads, fruits, eggs and grilled chicken. I do not eat out normally and finish dinner by 6:30 PM. All these helped me to undergo basic course on combat para-trooping at a very late stage in life, that required highest level of physical fitness. If one is committed, one can be fit; age is a number," he says