This is one of the most candid accounts of an honest bureaucrat’s challenging and illustrious career, a reflection of flawless professionalism, courage and endurance to withstand the pressures of being so honest in a largely corrupt system. Mr C.G.Somiah’s first hand narration of his personal story in simple language stimulates thought and touches hearts.
I am amazed by his humility, simplicity and unbiased discharge of duty with the highest levels of intellectual and moral integrity and yet, a humane outlook in all his decisions.
The anecdotes in each chapter are splendid. Some are humorous and some are plain fearless expose of the corrupt system.
We had a hearty laugh at home when I read aloud the incident where Field Marshal (Retd) Cariappa hands over Mr Somiah a tie before letting him in for lunch at his residence. A very interesting first meeting of two illustrious Coorgs!
Playing tennis with his mother and winning the mixed doubles is a memory that he fondly remembers.
Starting from the one square centimeter photo of his wife Indira and the fairy tale that endures forever is perhaps one of the best facets of his personal life.
The fine accounts of his travels across the length and breadth of this country and also his visits abroad are full of energy and passion.
The case of tendu leaves makes interesting read, though not surprising. So is the case of his confrontation with the liquor lobby in Orissa. Despite the undue political pressures and unwarranted transfers, truth and integrity have ultimately triumphed for this courageous man.
His elevation to the position of Comptroller and Auditor General of India in 1990 was the pinnacle of a great career. Coorg had produced one more “General”!!
I finished reading this book on 12 th September and with joy and pride, I carefully preserved the copy in order to request for an autograph on it from Mr Somiah during my next visit to Bengaluru. I also jotted down some short questions for him, if I could get a few minutes of his time.
God had other plans for this noble man. On 13 th September, I learnt from the news that Mr C.G. Somiah was no more with us. I could not control my tears in office.
I plan to visit Mangalore during Christmas this year. I shall certainly visit the St Aloysius chapel, which he loved, and pray for his great soul.
Sir, you do not stand alone. I join the millions of Indians who stand in salute, in sincere thanks, gratitude and appreciation of your illustrious service to our Motherland.