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Monday, 20 June, 2011, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

Vipul Mittra, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Pilgrimage, Govt of Gujarat

A career bureaucrat, Vipul Mittra is also a published author and an avid traveller. He also loves to play golf, his latest hobby. Lyandra D'souza, unravels the personal side of the IAS officer and how he manages to wear so many hats at the same time
An Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, Vipul Mittra has worked on various assignments for both State & Central Government. Mittra who joined Gujarat government as Secretary Tourism in November 2009 and has been recently promoted to Principal Secretary Tourism, Civil Aviation and Pilgrimage, has managed to pursue his passion for writing despite the time consuming hours and pressures of being a bureaucrat. He recently published his first novel, ‘A Pyramid of Virgin Dreams,’ a fictional account of life in the bureaucracy with all its farces, inefficiencies and servitude. The book has become quite popular and has already had five reprints since its launch in February, 2011.  

200611_dil_2.jpgMy Morning
Vipul Mittra begins his day with a yoga session at seven a.m. along with his wife, Gitanjali, a practising dietician, at the Shivanand Ashram close to his residence in Ahmedabad. Post the yoga session, Mittra’s morning ritual includes reading newspapers along with breakfast comprising of tea and Khakra, a light Gujarati snack.

Fast Five
Favourite Actor: Amitabh Bachchan
Favourite Food: Mughlai
Favourite Pass time: Spending quality time with family, reading fiction, watching TV, films
Favourite Clothes: Jeans and T-shirts, casual wear
Favourite Music: Jagjit Singh, film music

200611_dil_4.jpgAt Work
Mittra loves reading and spends the 40 minutes drive to his office in Gandhinagar browsing through the latest works of fiction. The daily routine at work generally involves a series of meetings, clearing files and meeting visitors. “For lunch, I have simple home-made food and then meditate for 15 minutes to boost my energy to take me through the remaining part of the day at office, which is usually till seven p.m.,” informed Mittra. He travels once in about 10 days on work.  I  

200611_dil_3.jpgAfter Hours
Once he reaches home, which is generally after 7.30 p.m., Mittra likes to spend time with his wife and two college going children, Megha and Mehul. They often go for a drive after dinner and on weekends he catches up on his socialising and movies. If he is travelling on weekends or is out of station for trainings, Mittra ends up spending his spare time in writing fiction. His first book, 'Pyramid of Virgin Dreams' (Rupa Publications), which was launched in February 2011 has already had five reprints. It is being translated into several languages, among them Hindi and Gujarati. “I have already started working on my second book. Being able to write more, and spending quality time with my family, are key things in life,” avers Mittra.

Apart from his passion for writing, Mittra revealed that golf is his latest hobby and that his biggest addiction is his Blackberry. Born to a former Punjab bureaucrat, Mittra attended DAV College in Chandigarh and later Punjab University before being selected for the IAS in 1986. When asked to describe himself before joining the IAS, he said, “I was a serious student, quiet, a bit aloof, focused, driven, and generally happy.” Speaking about his writing, Mittra said, “My book is based on my own experiences to a large extent. The creative urge that perchance existed before I joined the Service, has lingered on till date.”
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