Begin Again

By | June 26, 2019

The last 30 days have been eventful. I have been posted as the Assistant Collector of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district (Telangana) on 24.05.2019, a day after India elected its new union government. As I completed one month in the district, I reflected on my stay here and asked myself: What has been my learning in the past one month?

After giving it enough thought, I had a short answer— I learned to begin again.

Life in the district cannot be more different than the one at LBSNAA. Academy is similar to a college: much of the learning happens in the classroom, there are clear rules as to what you are supposed to do, and your superiors are always around to help you out with any task. In contrast, district training reminds me of life after college. You are now suddenly thrown into the real world where you are left on your own. You start a new career and tend to learn more from your peers and superiors than books or PPTs. The academy was about friendships, camaraderie and crisp weather. The district, on the other hand, is about dust, sweat and sweltering heat.

Out here, because of the proximity to the public and their problems, the learning is imprinted in the memory. Sometimes, I am sent on a field enquiry and asked to submit a report on a land dispute, or at times I am directed to visit a Gram Sabha, and encourage people to build toilets. As these tasks are new to me, sometimes they leave me confused as to how I should proceed. But I believe that difficulty is the essence of any learning. I recently came across a great quote that reads: “Difficulty is not a sign that you aren’t learning, but ease is a sign that you aren’t learning.”

“There are always detours, but never shortcuts”

The first thing that caught my eye in this district is how unique it is from the rest of the state. The district took birth when the govt undertook a sweeping reorganisation of the state in 2016. The erstwhile districts were sliced into smaller districts, aiming to bring administration closer to the people. The result— 10 districts have given way to 33. As part of this reorganisation, the government delineated tribal dominated northern part of the erstwhile Khammam district and rechristened it as Bhadradri, bearing 24 mandals and 2 revenue divisions. For a supposedly rich state like Telangana, this district is one of the most backward, with many human development indicators such as nutrition, literacy, and sanitation much below the national average.

I spent one week each with the collectorate, police and the district treasury. In each section, I tried to discern the hierarchy and their individual responsibilities. Having worked in the government previously, I could get an idea on office procedure and file movement. The staff here has been courteous with me, patiently answering my questions and explaining the nuts and bolts of governance. But my biggest learning has been outside of the four walls of the office, during my field visits with the Collector.

As and when my Collector toured the district, he’d ask me to hop on his vehicle. The more I visited the villages and mandals of this district, the more I found this place to be a paradox. This district is home to Singareni Collieries Company Ltd, a coal mining PSU that recorded almost Rs. 1200 crore profit in 2017-18. Yet, just 50 km from the company headquarters, inside deep jungles of Bhadradri, vulnerable tribal groups often struggle for existence. Their worry is not over power or profits, but over basic needs— clean water, good shelter, and decent nutrition. Even reaching these forest dwellers has been a major challenge for the government. However, things have changed in recent years and the administration has been working assiduously in the areas of recognition of land rights and ensuring that public services are effectively delivered even to the most remote segments.

The paradox in the district manifested in other forms too. On one hand, the district is known for its glorious Bhadrachalam temple of Lord Rama, attracting tourists from across the country. On the other hand, this part of the country is also notorious for its Left-Wing Extremist violence. Only last year, ten Maoists and one cop were killed in a police encounter. This contrast between affluence and deprivation, privilege and poverty, peace and violence leaves a deep impression on anyone who observes this place closely.

I have lived and travelled in Telangana for almost 29 years but it now feels as though I don’t know enough about my home state. Last month has been a revelation in two things: a discovery of my homeland and a profound realisation of my ignorance. Having been brought up in this state, I feel I should have been better informed.

Instead of regretting the past, I now want to look ahead. I see district training as a wonderful time to start with a blank slate and learn with child-like curiosity. I want to learn about the state, know its people closely, understand their problems, and work to help them in whatever little way I can. I have a long-distance to cover but I am excited to start this new journey. It’s time to begin again.

131 thoughts on “Begin Again

  1. Anonymous

    Its great to know how grounded and yet how profound you are. Also your way of writing is extremely attractive. Im learning a lot from you.

    Reply
  2. Shivam Gupta

    Thankyou sir for sharing this preface of your beautiful and strenuous itinerary of governance world.

    Kindly, keep on sharing these stories time and again as they keep us inspired & zealous towards achieving the same.

    Thankyou.

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thank you Shivam. I hope to keep writing and sharing.

      Reply
      1. shivani

        sir,where do i get topicwise questions for mains answer writing practice? how do i cover answer writing after completion of a topic?

        Reply
  3. Gangadhara Srinivas

    It’s the showpeice of your commitment on the love on homeland.
    It’s enough to you to go into the deep roots of your native village, native district, native state , and your beloved country. All the best. This nation is so thrift it accepts whatever you gives….
    Gangadhara Srinivas
    General Manager
    District Industries Centre
    Jagtial

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        I inspired sir. So many work you did and got different type of knowledge. I hope keep sharing your valuable work again.
        Thank you sir.

        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and win against all the odds.

    Reply
  5. Vikas Khatri

    It’s good to know your perspectives about current governing system. One thing I like the most in you is the indoctrination of learning which is always inspiring.
    I wish you could’ve chosed Rajasthan as your first choice.

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thank you, Vikas. Learning and curiosity should never cease.

      And Rajasthan is a wonderful state to work in, but I’m sure you’d agree that there’s nothing like home cadre. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Venkat shyam prasad

        U are one of great personality sir ever I have seen, u must have keep on going sir, my small request for u sir, I feel very happy if u posted to warangal (urban), my district 😇. U are young and dynamic hero as a assistant collector. You are the ias only have courage to save warangal urban from criminalism. This is my humble request sir kindly, transfer from badradri to warangal(urban). There are many problems facing by people like me,,are waiting for u to make a solution. And I want to become ias sir, for that I have to purchase books, though I don’t have money, though my parents are nit not fit as financially. Even though I never stop sir, now I am studying 3rd year btech eee branch kits college, I want to start preparation now itself but , lagging of money makes me waiting for starting up my preparation. I used to watch your motivation vedios made by your father. Thanks alot sir.

        Reply
  6. Shreesh

    Excellent piece! In Bhadrachalam district only is posted Mr. Bhavesh Mishra, IAS 2015. He too is a prolific writer. You should meet him once 🙂
    Requests –
    1. Please give a complete list of books that one should study for Interview Preparation.
    2. It would be wonderful if you could write a post on Meditation that you practice. The technique, institutes you learnt from, etc.

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I’ve met him on the second day. Really warm and nice person.

      Regarding your requests,

      1. It’s available in my post on upsc interview.
      2. Sure, I will.

      Reply
  7. Avignya

    As always ,you continue to inspire many of us aspirants in getting better perspectives,insight and understanding about the realms of the service sir..You made a striking point that “Difficulty is the essence of any learning”..this rings true for any endeavour..I share the same homeland with you sir, Telangana and I hail from Warangal and I wanted to meet you once while you were in warangal but I couldn’t..I hope to meet you in the near future…Loved your thoughts on Rediscovering your homeland on the basis of Unlearning-Relearning cycle..Your writing is so profound,subtle and perceptive..It inspires me to work harder in writing the way you do…Thank you for penning this beautiful piece..Regards:)

    Reply
  8. sahil sharma

    Nice ! Keep sharing your journey along the way. It helps to understand role of bureaucracy and the journey after having the dream of bureaucracy. Lastly, your style of writing is so easy readable and makes the expressions so clear to the reader, thus, keep writing !!

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Thank you Sahil. I’m glad you liked the write up.

      Reply
  9. Yagnanarayanan

    Very nice post giving an insight in to the actual way of how different, things are on field.Two takeaways from this post

    1. There is always room for improvement.
    2. The work that you do is going to bear a direct consequence in the life of thousands of people in different walks of life.

    All the very best for your next sojourn.

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      Well said. And thank you for your wishes!

      Reply
      1. Yagnanarayanan

        @anudeep the link u have provided for download of world history book is giving error. can you please check that update it…

        Reply
  10. Anonymous

    Good luck dear Anudeep. Keep your spirit high always to learn and do more for the needy people. Join the volunteers in this campaign of development who can stay with rural, tribal people, can teach them, can make them aware about system, can empower them with skills and impart an enlightened way of life.

    Reply
  11. Anonymous

    ‘Having been brought up in this state, i think i should have been better informed.’

    The best line for me, while reading the whole article. It is great to see that you analyse yourself being neutral and i am taking this good trait to implement in my life in all that i will do. Thank you ! 🙂

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

    Sir plse send the world history download link….its not available in your blog plse sir

    Reply
  13. Prashanth

    Sir can you say where are other colleagues of your Telangana Cadre got posted?

    Reply
  14. Niketa choudhary

    It is pure piece of writing ,expressing self with some important information.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Really overwhelmed by your reply.Thanks….sir
        I am also an upsc aspirant but reading something that is satifactory and important is not easily available.
        I saw it on instagram.Thanks again for your humble approach.

        Reply
  15. Kathalakshmi

    You’re really a great inspiration sir, you’re style of writing is excellent and highly motivating
    All the very best for your journey sir

    Reply
  16. Anonymous

    Dear sir,
    Congrats really happy to hear it . all the best
    Thanking you,
    vaishnavi

    Reply
  17. Anubhuti Sharma

    Hi Anudeep,

    I wish to tell you that you are my favourite topper! It’s always a pleasure reading you. In my times of difficulty, your post, particularly ‘From Despair to Destiny’, always motivates and inspires me. I wish you continue to inspire us further. Some day, I also wish to see you in person.

    Warm regards,
    Anubhuti Sharma

    Reply
  18. UZAIR

    Sir I m from Hyderabad sir and I hv an intense wish to meet you sir…I vil be overwhelmed if I get a chance to meet you but as u know ur district is almost 610 kms away from Hyderabad…will u meet me when u will take a charge as a sdm in telangana

    Reply
  19. Sahithi

    Yet another amazing article, Anudeep! I really admire your enthusiasm. Good luck in all that comes your way in the future. 🙂

    Reply
  20. Samikshya Thapa

    This is beautiful, Anudeep. I have been very confused about UPSC as a career choice and honestly, this piece is one beautiful argument in favour of it.
    Please do keep writing and inspiring! 🙂

    Reply
  21. Unmai veera

    Sir. Actually iam searching for a real time experience blog of an ias officer but ur blog have mad me to satisfy much.
    Thank you sir

    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    Great article! Your writings are an inspiration in itself!

    Reply
  23. Anonymous

    Great experience sir….it’s helpful us
    I request you to keep it up.its inspire me to join public service…thanks for ur motivated to us

    Reply
  24. Anonymous

    Wow sir u r great😍……I’m biggest fan of ur….I want to meet u once in my life, u r my inspiration

    Reply
  25. Sampath Vinay

    Great Blog Sir… I guess you can use your anthropology knowledge here. Here Tribals need an officer like you. Even I’m opting Anthropology as my optional subject. Thanks for inspiring me Sir. Jai Hind

    Reply
  26. Swathi

    Best wishes for your job Anudeep. Keep sharing more stories from the ground. It’s a lot different from what we see in books.

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    Wonderful writeup. Keep doing good work and keep inspiring people!!

    Reply
  28. roja reddy

    Hello sir.
    Iam from rajanna siricilla district.
    The line that u shared “difficulty is not a sign that u aren’t learning.but ease is a sign that u aren’t learning” was inspired me alot..
    I think kothagudem is the ryt district where u learn so many things,nd where u face many challenges,,how it is possible to u sir u take every difficulty as a challenge even in.ur preparation also…when u choose telangana cdr I felt vry hpy…please keep sharing ur journey, experience,nd thoughts,,,,I wish u to keep inspiring us sir…
    Thank you….

    Reply
  29. AADIL YASIN

    I m coming Sir to experience the same….love u sir

    Aadil (lazy IAS aspirant)

    Reply
  30. Roja Rani ambati

    I wish you have a great journey from now as a Assistant Collector and may Lord Rama give you strength and blessings forever.

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Anudeep!
        We have been running a Private school called Navabharathi High School in Neredmet, Sec’bad recognised by Govt of Telangana for 20 years. Maximum children are poor and come from slum area. Whenever you come to Hyderabad please visit our school to inspire our children.
        All the best.
        God bless you.

        Reply
  31. Anonymous

    Hi Sir,

    It is always a pleasure reading your article. It inspires me how beautifully you put forward your thoughts in a matter of few words. Good luck sir!

    Regards,
    Sanjeevani Sinha

    Reply
  32. LAKSHMI P

    Hai Anudeep garu,

    My in-laws live in Kothagudem, near Yellandu cross roads.

    I feel some new energy whenever i got to see any of your videos of ur interviews… I started my upsc journey in 2016.. your mains marks sheet is the display picture of my laptop from 2018.. It always motivates me.

    a small request, pls upload ur answer sheets whenever you got time..

    Reply
  33. Chandni

    Anudeep Sir, You have been a great inspiration for me. Your humility and simplicity have no match. This is another great write up. Please, always keep writing. And please write an article on Meditation and Mindfulness 😊

    Reply
  34. Sai

    Chaala baa rasaav anudeep, me post chadhvesaaka kuda aa content influence untundhi mind lo run avthu.
    Keep going👍

    Reply
    1. Sai

      @Anonymous: maybe thanu busy ga unnaademo bayya…blog kante bayta thanaki oka life untundhi kada manalaane…chusinappudu isthaadu, nashtamenti…😉
      P.S : no hate intended😊

      Reply
  35. Anonymous

    I am waiting for a book written by u, or have u written and am I unaware of it?

    Reply
  36. Anu Sharma

    Wow! This must be very interesting & exciting too!
    Enjoy!! Best wishes.

    Reply
  37. Anonymous

    Tnx for sharing your experience and inspirational article. You are a really great person and a great writer. You are my inspiration . I wish you achieve your goals………..thank you so much….

    Reply
  38. Bhavana

    Thanks for sharing ur experience Sir 🙂
    Plz do post the cases that you come across in the district . So that we’ll know the reality , how things work and inspire us to get into services .

    Reply
  39. Anonymous

    Sir you are a great persnality and great person i always read your blog when you put it at here from your blog i always gain a positive motivation to reach my path .i want to become a IAS officer …thanku for sharing your experience Good luck sir…..

    Reply
  40. pooja

    Sir you are a great persnality and great person i always read your blog when you put it at here from your blog i always gain a positive motivation to reach my path .i want to become a IAS officer …thanku for sharing your experience Good luck sir…..

    Reply
  41. soujanya

    again another new article BEGIN AGAIN…yay!!!! thanku anudeep sir for sharing all your thoughts and experiences with us which motivates lot of aspirants out there. there is really something special in ur articles that attracts readers..keep writing sir..with best regards :):)

    Reply
  42. Mrinal Patil

    There’s a subtleness in your writing, and what you pointed about ‘challenges in learning’ is helpful to me! Write often!🤗

    Reply
  43. Anonymous

    Dear Anudeep Durishetty,

    “If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” -Buddha
    you are lighting our path by inspiring thoughts so it will brighten your path .thank you really your challenging. Every person can win but preserving their character after winning is great.like you .shared post in twitter.
    Give up success to preserve character; Don’t lose character in pursuit of success.” its great i realized it when i read it. sir great quotes you are sharing .

    Thanking you,
    vaishnavi

    Reply
  44. Anonymous

    Hello anudeep sir your blog is always inspiring…and the way you express you thought in a writing style its awesome and I just love your blogs…and you’re the best combination of simplicity with a pure soul…

    Reply
  45. Anonymous

    Thank you for giving us an inside view of life after UPSC/ LBSSNA. This truly makes me “look ahead” despite everything.

    Your humility and profoundness reflects in each piece you write! Thank you for throwing a new perspective on things. Thank you for taking out time for doing this.

    P.S.: I eagerly visit your blog every now and then in the hope of reading something new and learning how to write.

    Best wishes for your district training! 🙂

    Reply
  46. Fangirl

    I admire you so much Anudeep Sir. Not because you are an IAS officer, but because even after being AIR 1 in such a prestigious examination, you are so humble. It is your personality that makes you stand out. Your journey of hard work and perseverance is something I always remember whenever UPSC cycle brings me down. Keep inspiring Sir. Wish you happiness and success.

    Reply
  47. Amruta

    really nice sir. share your experience .i am exited your writing sir.

    Reply
  48. Kanishka

    Could you please give guidance for working professionals to prepare for CSE? It will be a great help.

    Reply
  49. Kanideep Katshetty

    Anna Jai Telangana, Ippudu ekkada post ayyavo cheppanna vachi kalustha

    Reply
  50. Alka Johnson

    Hi Sir,
    Thank you for such an inspirational, helpful and interesting blog. Like everyone, I do wanna praise you for your writing skills ,simple yet effective. And the way you make me feel like I should pay a visit to your blog every now and then. I wanted to quote this here for you, “Inspiration is one thing and you can’t control it, but hard work is what keeps the ship moving. Good luck means, work hard. Keep up the good work – Kevin Eubanks” . We wish to hear more from you.

    Reply
  51. Anonymous

    Dear sir,
    Happy birthday to you.may God bless you with endless sucess and wishful life.🎂🎂🎂🎂🎈🎈🎉🎉🎉🎁🎁🎀🎀
    Regards ,
    Vaishnavi

    Reply
  52. Anonymous

    Dear sir,
    Once again many more happy returns of the day anudeep sir.
    Regards,
    Vaishnavi

    Reply
  53. Anonymous

    Dear sir ,
    Good morning happy birthday to you sir.
    Regards
    Vaishnavi

    Reply
  54. Anonymous

    I’m feeling very happy nd pround like u person posting to my home town. I inspired by u alot sir.Bhadradri dist people treats u like there family members. All the best Sir.

    Reply
  55. Anonymous

    Hello sir, I feel your blog should be the first site that any fresher should visit. Your experience makes you unique among all the toppers. A billion thanks for putting your experience into this fabulous site to help us. I have few queries
    1. Do you recommend magazines CSR, PRATIYOGITA DARPAN and sites like STUDYIQ. Please comment “why” we don’t need these, if any.
    2. You recommend non-fiction books but do books like “Dan browns -Angels and demons” which belongs to fiction help us. I feel books such as these are thought provoking and please suggest more books if you feel yes and also “why”if we don’t need such books.
    I am asking these to know your opinion kindly comment…..

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      1. Use them specifically. By this I mean you should buy only to read any specific topic covered in detail in a particular issue. For example, if any month’s edition of CSR summarises Economic Survey very well, then buy only that issue, read that specific topic and file it for future revision. I didn’t find any need to buy every month’s issue.
      2. Fiction is for leisure, like watching a movie. Clearly it isn’t relevant from exam’s perspective.

      Reply
  56. Gauri sharma

    Sir I am also preparing for upsc and going to appear exam in 2021. But my feedback is not good as many other aspirants. I not an iitian nor topper. I always work hard but I don’t know what’s wrong with my dedication or my luck. I never got what I want in spite of working hard.
    And now the situation is that no one trust me that I can clear upsc.
    Can only gold medalist or toppers clear this exam?
    Plzz guide me sir
    I am ur dieheart fan. You aremy mentor.
    And I am just waiting for day when I’ll see u live just once😊

    Reply
    1. Anudeep Durishetty Post author

      I didn’t study in the IIT, nor have I been my college topper. But I think I did well in UPSC, don’t you think? Your rank depends on how well you perform in the exam. Rest is irrelevant.

      Reply
  57. Harish Bale

    Your writings are really great Anudeep Garu !! I actually wait for your new posts. When i read it, i feel like am on the ground there with you. Keep writing for us sir. And on this new beginning, you are on your way to do some great things indeed. Congratulations and my best wishes for your new role as a civil servant !! Keep going Anudeep garu !!

    Reply
  58. Rajasekar

    Hi sir, Good Day

    Many of civil servant who are secured good rank, they guided up to some period of time only then they may busy with their work, but still you are guiding many new aspirant and surely i want to say one think that you are responding every comments that is great attitude ..

    you are bench mark in this field, god bless you bro..

    Reply
  59. Friend

    Dear Anudeep,

    You have a a great attitude and very humble behavior.

    Belated happy birth day wishes.My birthday too is on the same day.

    Always keep your smile.

    Reply
  60. Hemant Kumar

    Hello Anudeep sir,

    No need to mention that whenever I read your blogs. I get something from it, that makes me keep thinking and learn a lesson from it.

    “Difficulty is not a sign that you aren’t learning, but ease is a sign that you aren’t learning”

    So true, we mostly seek and take shelter of ease and thought that we get better learning in this shelter. “Ease is a greater threat to progress than Hardship”

    “A blank Slate and learn with Child-like curiosity”

    This statement makes me smile and give me a lesson. To be always blank slate and be in the child mode. “As a child has the zeal to learn everything from his surrounding” “Curiosity”.

    pardon me to forget your birthday sir,

    Belated Happy birthday,

    I wish to meet you.

    Take care, sir.

    Reply
  61. Roja Rani ambati

    Anudeep!
    We have been running a Private school called Navabharathi High School at Neredmet recognised by Govt of Telangana from 20 years. Most of the children are very poor and come from slum area.
    Whenever you come to Hyderabad please visit our school to inspire our children.
    All the best.
    God bless you.
    Ambati Roja Rani

    Reply
    1. vaishnavi

      madam,
      i pay tribute to the work you are doing .its very elated profession.
      Regards,
      Vaishnavi

      Reply
      1. Roja Rani ambati

        Thank you very much Anudeep!
        I hope you visit surely.
        Roja Rani Ambati

        Reply
  62. Vishnu priyP

    Congrats. And great opportunity to service our home state

    Reply
  63. Ashtavadhani

    “Having been brought up in this state, I feel I should have been better informed.”
    So, I hope measures will be taken to avoid this statement coming from any other individual, as country’s best ranker have already encountered it.

    Reply
  64. ANJANI KUMAR ROUSHAN

    Love and blessings to this great man ……u r going to be a game changer…….would change life of millions ………..thanx
    Anjani Roushan

    Reply
  65. Yash

    Hi brother…I am a resident of kothagudem and I am preparing for upsc….Can I meet you?

    Reply
  66. Subir Mahato

    Sir, your style of writing has some qualities of uniqueness and very adorable. Looking farther for a non-fiction book from you based on your adventures. It’s quite pleasing to read you.

    Reply
  67. Radhika Alluri

    You are Amazing and very inspiring… i saw you interviews, you have very good understanding about so many things at very young age.. please keep writing and inspiring!

    Reply

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