To retire is not a pretty thought for many civil servants who hanker for extensions or sinecures. But then there are some who revel in doing nothing while in service to prepare for post-retirement life
For India’s civil servants there are two kinds of retirement—one, compulsory (at age 60) and two, voluntary (after 20/30 years of qualified service). The overwhelming majority drink the civil service cup to the brim before fading out. But the resourceful among them, who have access to powerful patrons, enjoy one or two more helpings by way of extensions, sinecures, independent directorships, high-level committees or re-employment. I belong to the voluntary category. True to my belief that ‘one lives but once’, I had academic and army stints before entering the civil service, which I left 15 years before time to experiment with a corporate career, consultancy, entrepreneurship, politics and public causes.