I joined the IAS in 1975. Within twenty years of my service, I changed places twelve times and the number of posts held exceed even this. It had always been difficult to write my permanent address on any document. In the beginning, I gave one or two addresses as permanent but they were always care of someone else. With the change in the quality of relationship with them, the permanence of those addresses also lost its meaning. Twenty years is a long period in a life and career. Children grow up to adulthood and many family as well as social, responsibilities are added. The volume of personal papers and correspondence in various matters increases greatly. In several matters one has to give a permanent address from time to time. This need arose in my case also and I faced great difficulty in giving such an address, being constrained to give different addresses in different cases, depending upon the convenience at that point of time. It also became difficult for me to remember the address given in a particular matter. All this made me think seriously about settling down at a permanent address.
Fortunately, I had constructed a modest house at Lucknow in the year 1989. It gave me a reasonable rent which augmented my income at a time when expenses were at their peak. Notwithstanding this fact, I decided to settle down in my own house at the earliest, so that there would be no problem relating to a permanent address. Accordingly, I worked on those lines and shifted to my Lucknow house after the completion of my deputation in the Government of India in 1996. One day, while thinking over the plan to settle down in one place, a philosophical thought came to my mind. The question that arose was: ‘Would that really be my permanent address?’ The answer, naturally, was in the negative. At best, it would be a less temporary address compared to what I had been writing on forms and documents. After all, there is a limit to the time of stay even at a so-called permanent address. If this is so, how can we call it a permanent address? The world we live in is always changing and all events of life are transitory, so how can one think of a permanent address here ? In the final analysis, it becomes only a relative term.
This contemplation opened up my mind. Even though I have shifted to my own house, I have done so taking it not as a permanent address but only as a less temporary one.