Interview by Shobhit Gosain | Photography by Kamal Gawra
From the pages of SouLSteer Magazine, for the first time, Gwalior Collector & District Magistrate P. Narahari talks about his life and work balance.
- On managing personal responsibilities: My wife is a very well qualified lady so as far as family is concerned she tries to take care of lot of things. Even my personal work by and large she handles but otherwise I generally take out time for my family during morning hours and evening hours. Apart from this, on holidays I do take out time. We also have this concept called “Monthly entertainment program”, where we go on for a weekly off. Most probably it’s on Saturday Sundays. Apart from this I and my wife are a movie buff, so we try withdrawing time to watch movies and all. So that’s how I take out time for my family.
- Being as Father: I am very caring definitely and very affectionate. My father is actually a very affectionate person, those things I learnt. I am not very much strict into studies, as far as study part is concerned my wife takes out time for them but I tell them lots of bed time stories. Ever since they are born I rarely spend time on that issue, I play with them.
- Kid aware of your star status: Slowly now they understand what it is. Otherwise they are aware of my workload. That is for sure. They are aware that dad is into lots of things, administration. They understand lots of things keep happening and he is kind of busy. They do ask me when I get published in daily newspapers and they ask why your photo has come and what is happening, why you were there, what were you doing.
- On relation with kids: I try more kind of friendly yet fatherly. That kind of thing is there. I am not very strict in the sense because my wife spends lots of time with them;so she is stricter with them. The one who spends more time has to be tougher. I don’t spend much time with them so getting strict with them is not good. I am definitely soft or I try to be friendlier with them as possible.
- On relation with Gita: Wife and Husband are ok but we are also friends. So we try to be in that fashion, there is mutual respect in many ways. We got into a relationship because of our capabilities and personalities. Mutual appreciation for personalities is what actually exist between us. So that’s how we treat each other.
- On relation with parents: My parents keep visiting our place. They live in village and in a year they are with us for around 5 months. Relationship is very good, very cordial, very close, now he is retired so I take care of all his needs, medical and otherwise also. Because of my profession, once in a year I go there but they come and stay with us most of the time so going there doesn’t happen much. Due to my commitments I cannot spend that much amount of time.
- On relation with fame: I don’t think there is a fame attached to this thing. I don’t have any aid about that. It’s my inner thing that I have to be in touch with people, connecting with people is what more important. That’s why I keep attending programs, functions, motivating them and doing all those things. So I hardly have anything in mind.
- On work style: As far as work is concerned I am tough on the job and soft on the people.
- Ideas you’ve implemented: Active trackers devices on HamariLadli Project is number one. Number two, use of information technology in developing grievance redressal systems. There are ideas converted into work. Use to GPS devices for transporting polling personnel. We are working on lot of barrier free environment, it is enabling physically challenged or mentally retarded or elderly people to give access to public places so that they can go anywhere without any hindrance with help of ramps, railings, toilets, drinking water facilities.Fifth most important is children in labour camps, railway station or any of the public places, we are running schools for them.
- Big-picture person or detail-oriented person? Big-picture person. I am not a very detail oriented. In the sense, like I am a Collector so I have to be a large hearted man. When it comes to work and getting work done, I should have a big picture rather than getting into the integrity of things, getting into the details and making somebody’s life troublesome.
- Person in your career who made a difference: Before coming into service I had Collector of Karim Nagar district who inspired me to getting into civil services. His name is Banwarlal. He motivated me indirectly.
- Personality you work best with: I think being compassionate.
- Friends describe you: Good person always helps out other, busy in work.
- Learned from school: Discipline.
- Taking no for an answer: I take it very easy, I don’t mind. I will feel glad infact somebody is saying no to me.
- Difference between good & exceptional: There is a huge difference. Something like five times good is exceptional.
- On residing anywhere in world: If given opportunity I want to be a doctor as it’s a good profession where treating people free of cost. It would have been a lovely job to do. I would prefer to work among tribal societies. India is a best place to stay, anywhere near to the house is always good.
- On your work being criticized: People do criticize about inability to get work done at the lower runs of the system.
- Politician you admire the most: I do appreciate lot of Indian politicians, I would not mention it now. But I look at worldwide as of now Aung San Suu Kyi (Chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma) is one of my favourite politician because of her Gandhian nature and her usage of Indian philosophy in political systems and also in retaining democracy.
- Important issues facing this town: As on today major problem with the town is branding. There is a historical tag which has been attached to this city of being a criminal, dacoit, excessive criminalism and all those things. Whereas these things are not that much, dacoit is non-existent; the amount of crime is not that much as compared to the other cities. Rebranding and bringing to a status is important. Second thing is city needs to expand horizontally which we are trying to do.
- Your hope to accomplish for the city: I am concluding almost 3 years here. So major achievement of mine is creating lots of infrastructure and road network. In coming six months’ time you will see all those projects more than 150 crores actually taking shape. So that would be one of the major achievements.
- Your top Five places around town: Number one is my own Collectorate, number two is fort, number three is Dindayal Mall that is where I frequently do go, number four is Khedapati Hanuman mandir that I admire as the religious place in the city and the fifth one is whenever I pass through Gole ka Mandir, that is what I did first development when I joined here.
- Favourite Restaurant: For non-veg I go for Hotel Landmark otherwise Taj Usha Kiran Palace.
AS DISTRICT MAGISTRATE
- Feeling of being collector: Thoroughly I enjoy my position and the service that it gives me the opportunity. I try my best to do justice to this position.
- Being DM is lots of work? Lots of responsibility, lots of work, I also need to take out lot of time for my personal task in order to accomplish plenty of mandatory work and other works so it’s an immense responsibility but I enjoy it.
- Your time for start and finish the work: Generally I start my day about 7 am, I take out some time for my fitness and then it goes on combining my work in between which goes up to 9 pm in the night.
- Favourite part of job: I think Jansunwai is my favourite. It is held every Tuesday.
- Was it your dream: Since childhood it was my dream that I should one day clear Civil Services, get into IAS and become Collector.
- Your dream being a 9 year old: That time I must be in third or fourth class. I think I wanted to become a scientist.
- Challenge and achievement being DM of city: The greatest challenge is resources and person with less capabilities or people whose capacity building couldn’t take place. The greatest thing I was able to do is the Hamarli Ladli Project, active tracker device on ultrasonography machines in the entire city and taking along doctors community to get this done has been the greatest challenge cum accomplishment.
- Signature contrition: It has been enabling gild child to born. We have been able to increase Form F submission through the active tracker device from 3,500 to 7,000. That is about 3,500 new Form F’s are getting added every month and every Form F being filled is equivalent to one girl child being born.
- Busy with: Development
- Fashion: It is what suits me actually. I feel myself
- One word: Cool guy
- As a person I am: Simple
- My style mantra is: To listen and act
- Five essentials of a man’s wardrobe: Jeans, T Shirt, appropriate trousers, innerwear and original scent
- 3 things: My work diary, mobile and laptop
- One thing Gwalior people are yet to know about me: I can be really tough
- Priceless possession: I would never give away my reputation
- Ideal outfit for- a fun party: Jeans and t-shirt, formal work: suit with a tie, Casual day: half kurta and jeans, Date: Half kurta and jeans
- Shopping strategy: I don’t buy till I am satisfied with something
- Fashion trend: Anything which is dynamic in nature
- Brands Fixation: Tommy Hilfiger, Jeans I prefer of Levi’s
- Fashion disaster: Wearing inappropriate dress on an appropriate function
- Fashion icon: Aamir Khan
- Perfume I swear by: Anything my wife buys for me. I think she gets Christian Dior or Calvin Klein
Is there anything you would like to say to Gwaliorites via SouLSteer?
Stay cool. Don’t carry anger on your nose.