74 Not Out and Some Cheeky Singles – By C.V.Subramaniam

Dear GConnect Readers

[I] feel delighted and honored too that GConnect has decided to publish my writings, beginning with an autobiographical account of my career. As I have said in the beginning of this part of my book, I am not a great man to write an autobiography.  The whole purpose is to share some of my experiences and whatever little I could achieve, with the readers. GConnect is perhaps the most appropriate forum for this, since I have written mostly about my career in Government.

I happened to read recently two wonderful books. One is by Robin Sharma, titled ‘The Leader who had no title.’ He says in that book that each and every one is a leader, irrespective of the title he holds. He narrates about an attendant in a book shop and a housekeeping maid in a big hotel, both of whom consider themselves as leaders in their own right. It is all about their passion for their work and the urge to excel in what they do. The other book by Arindam Chowdhury is titled ‘Discover the Diamonds in You’. Here the author points out how each one of us is a Diamond. What needs to be done, perhaps, is a realization about this and attempts to discover this truth and do some polishing to make a real diamond out of us.

Thomas Gray, in his ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ talks of the villagers for whom he mourns ‘as gems of purest ray serene’. Yes, all of us are gems, and all of us can shine too.C.V.Subramaniam, author of 74 not out and some cheeky singles

For eleven years after my retirement, I found that I had nothing much to do worthwhile.  Days passed, only diseases multiplied.  Some thoughts used to occur in my mind, occasionally, which I used to put down on paper in my own bad handwriting, just for the sake of the feeling of having done something,  apart from my daily routine.

I could not believe that, for a totally computer-illiterate person, that is me, life could change again, when my younger son gifted me an iPad. My initial thought and apprehension about what would I do with the iPad, were completely laid to rest when thoughts lurking within me started gushing forth, like water gushes out due to breach of a dam. And, these thoughts turned out to be some forty articles – on just any topic – and also an autobiographical account of my career. All this happened after a gap of nearly a decade, making me active once again at the age of 74. When I had finished writing the above, it turned out  to be a book-like compilation, which I  titled ’74 NOT OUT’, feeling happy at being not out, and at the same time trembling when the umpire will raise his hands to give me OUT. Thus a piece ’74 Not Out’ also forms part of this compilation.

If the readers find this interesting and motivating, that would be more than a reward for me for my efforts. Good Luck, dear readers.

Well, this book is not about cricket. If it is about a cricketer, and who is a batsman too, even a score of 74 and still not out, the expectation will grow, will he score a century, will he still be able to go beyond further, will he break some records and so on. Unfortunately, this book is from an old man, now 74, retired, and still perhaps attempting to see if he can do something worthwhile, and looks at life at this age, as though he is playing cricket

I am not therefore the one to whet your appetite for runs from an excellent batsman, still in the crease. In any case, no one plays cricket at the age of 74, including me. I can only watch the game on TV, sitting in my room, ‘far from the madding crowd’.

Having had a reasonably successful career, starting from a stenographer, and retiring as Director in the Department of Electronics (now Department of Information Technology), Government of India, and including a chance to be associated with the Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister ( SAC-PM ), I could also try my luck in writing and could publish a Book on Human Resource Management, and seventy plus articles on Management, Science & Technology, HR and some general topics. However, for almost a decade I was practically idling without any thing much to do.

The gift of an iPad to me by my son, prodded me to try my hand at writing again, with the homely convenience it afforded. Some one had said that the best way to motivate yourself is to recall in your memory your successful moents and achievements. Since, as I have written above, I could achieve something, I thought I would write about my career. At the same time, I could also think of various topics which came to my mind and thought of putting these also in writing, as small pieces. Many of these have been liked by my relatives and friends, and I therefore thought I could also include those in this book.

The book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T Kiyozaki, in which he dwells on the theme how to make money work for you rather than your working for money, also motivated me, since he is also telling his own success story in that. He says: opportunities are to be seen with your mind, and not with your eyes. To some extent, I could also look at opportunities that came to me that way, through which I could benefit a lot.

Cricket being such a wonderful and absorbing game, and everyone being caught in the cricket fever these days, including our own Prime Minister and his counterpart in Pakistan, I thought that nothing perhaps could be a better title for my book than ”74 Not Out’ and thought of starting the innings with a piece with the same title. The book consists of two parts: Part One containing small pieces of writings (74 Not Out and Some Cheeky Singles) and Part Two, a journey through my career (My Career – an Autobiographical Account)

Read on to know how the innings goes on. If this book is able to motivate some of the beginners in their career, that itself will be the success of this New Innings of this 74 year oldie.

Some appreciations and comments:

I was delighted to go through your attempt  at analysing me in your note ‘Vittalism -An analysis’ I thank you for all nice things you have said about me, but the real problem is how to bring in action orientation in the entire Department of Electronics, so that even if I am transferred, the Department would continue to be action minded. I will keep on trying new technologies to achieve this goal.

                 N. Vittal, Secretary,

Department of Electronics


I was delighted to go through your article on personnel management.  You should try to get this published in any of  the magazines which have management columns….

                N. Vittal, Secretary,

Department of Electronics


I was delighted to read your poem ‘An Elegy on DOE’ and ‘Awaken DOE (Rebirth of DOE….. I am happy that in spite of  being tied to the Personnel Department, you have retained your poetic talent.

 N. Vittal, Secretary,

Department of Electronics


I was delighted to read your article on ‘How to tame your time’. It is elegantly written, thought provoking and absolutely essential for all of us.

                   N. Vittal, Secretary,

Department of Electronics


Your suggestions regarding bringing out a booklet on the Government of India’s orders concerning the Scientific Departments as well as your compilation have been appreciated by many officers in this  Department and we would actively consider to bring out a booklet as suggested by you.

D, Shankar, Director (Admn)

Department of Science and Technology.


It was really delightful to have you with us. We would certainly miss you in the Council., but we hope to  continue our personal interaction in future.

                  Prof. P.N. Tandon, Professor & Head of Neurosurgery,

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and

Member, Science Advisory Council to Prime Minister.

It was a pleasure working with you in the SAC-PM and I was always impressed by your efficiency in handling the various jobs.

                   Prof. J.V. Narlikar,

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

and Member, SAC-PM

I can assure you that the pleasure of the SAC-PM Members, specially me, in working with you has been more enjoyable than the satisfaction that you have derived from your efficient working. I hope fondly that our association will not  end on your moving to the Department of Electronics

                       Prof. V.L. Chopra, Professor of Eminence and

Head, Biotechnology Centre, Indian Agricultural Research Institute and

Member, Science Advisor Council to Prime Minister


I am delighted to inform you that your sense of dedication and outstanding performance has been recognized and appreciated by your immediate supervisor, Shri S, Murali, who  is just completing his tenure and returning to his parent cadre, I am very happy to enclose a copy of the note he has recorded about your performance.

Having watched you for more than two and a half years, I share in toto the sentiments and appreciations expressed by Shri Murali. I commend you in your sense of  dedication and  I hope you will continue to work with the same zeal and make useful contributions to public service.

                         N. Vittal, Secretary,

Department of Electronics


The Personnel Division of the Department of Electronics is streamlining it’s working much to the satisfaction of its employees,……………the Department terms this approach as a SMART approach. The acronym SMART stands for Simplify, Methodical, Adapt to
Requirements, Review, Think.  Other Ministries and Departments could well get SMART and try the same recipe.

                           Published under title  ‘A SMART Approach’

in Civil Service News, published by

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, GOI


I have seen the article you have sent me, and also your book on Human Resource Management, which you had sent earlier. I am glad that you continue to put your thoughts down on paper, which is far more than what I manage to do.

                            Prof. M.G,K. Menon,

former Minister of state for Science & Technology.


I was very happy to get your letter., but was both surprised and distressed to find that you have now moved to  Mumbai. I will miss your advice and assistance here.  I have read the reprint of your article ‘Management in Government’ with much interest. As expected, it is very good article. I will give it some circulation here among scientific departments.

                             Ashok Parthasarathi, Secretary to Government of India,

National Commission for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes.

Shri C.V. subramaniam’s association with SAC-PM has been of tremendous help to us and he has fully justified his selection for the assignment given to him. During the   period he worked with us he has devoted himself totally to the work of SAC-PM and without his help, it would have been difficult for us to have achieved all that we could. The wide experience of Shri Subramaniam and his excellent capabilities in handling both administrative and scientific matters dealt with by SAC-PM have proved to  be a great asset to our work. On behalf of Prof. C.N.R. Rao and other members, I would like to place on record the excellent work carried out by Shri Subramaniam.

                                  Dr. P.J. Lavakare,

Secretary to Science Advisory Council to Prime Minister and

Advisor, Department  of Science & Technology, GOI


I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for the excellent support we have received from you as OSD of the SAC-PM Secretariat at a critical time in its short history.

                                  Prof. R. Narasimha, Director,

National Aeronautical Laboratory and            

Member, SAC-PM

Mr. Subramaniam has been most useful to us and has helped us to get organized better. we have now taken up several major projects and initiated several activities and it is very important to have the assistance of Shri Subramaniam at this stage…..

                                  Prof. C.N.R. Rao, Chairman,

Science Advisory Council  to Prime Minister



[S]omeone, an author of a book, wrote: ‘writing acknowledgements are perhaps more difficult than writing the book itself. Be that as it may, I consider perhaps that as the most pleasant task.  And it should be so, since at the completion of writing the book, the author heaves a big sigh of relief, which is the hidden symptom of joy that he has at that moment. Having derived such joy, it should now be turn for the author to give, the debt he owes to the many who have made his task easier, one way or the other. Having said so, in what follows I am expressing the joy of giving – joy of expressing my thanks and acknowledgements.

To Vijay, my younger son:

First it is my younger son, who decided to show his continued affection to his dad by gifting him an iPad, which, contrary to my feeling of it being a not-so-necessary possession at the age of 74, also having not worked on computers, proved to be the key to opening my dull mind, so to say, to see through the mind again various aspects of life which the mind alone could see, and stirred up thoughts in my mind, like little sparks, which could provide the power of converting them into written (I should say typed) words. Daddy loves you a lot, dear Vijay (fortunately the tears won’t spill and spoil the paper). These are tears of joy anyway and no need to tell you how grateful i am. The first piece I typed as an article, aptly titled My iPad, was liked by my son, and I thought I could go ahead.

To my elder son Vinod:

My elder son,Vinod enjoyed almost all pieces and used to mail me encouraging comments. Oh, Vinod, thanks and thanks for you. He also felt happy that I make use of the iPad. Looking me sit somewhat gloomy, and idle, before the arrival of the ipad, he wanted me to try writing my autography. Though I must have laughed at his suggestion at that time, this is the main reason which prompted me now to write the autobiographical account of my career. Through my writing about my career, I was remembering you only.

To my wife:

To my wife, Thangam (Saraswathy, actual name), who got more praise for her ‘mambazha pulisseri, than my writing about it, and who thought I had unnecessarily roped in her name, I would say, I have only shown my unlimited love for you, and may be this fact had also been made known to others. She being too shy does not allow me to say anything more.

To my Daughter In Law, Maya:

Maya, my daughter-in- law, though busy attending to their new born son, is also another connoisseur, and my piece on Vada-Pav was really meant for her, since she enjoys most chatpata snacks. You are in our mind as always, with our love.

To my Grand son Akshay:

Little, Akshay, the two-month old cutee, who conferred the enviable title ‘grand’ to me and my wife, with his effervescent charm and fast-forward heroics, prompted to write a piece on him. So, he is also one of the ‘contributors’ in my effort in writing this book.
Long live Akshay, our blessings will always be with you.

To Shankar, my nephew:

The next trigger was my nephew, Shankar, who did poetical justice (through poetic lines) to a small poem, I first typed and sent to him by mail, by encouraging me to work on the computer, without bothering about my already-gone-bad eyes. This emboldened me to continue to use the iPad, come what may. How do I express my thanks, may be only by repeating the word in my mind several times. I needed someone to give me an immediate feedback and almost all pieces I first sent to Shankar and found that he has a special knack to spot the missing links, sometimes most important, appearing to be simple, which were quite useful in covering up my loss of memory. Many thanks, Shankar once again, for this special interest on your part.

To Mr.M.I. Siddiqui, my colleague and close friend in DOE:

The thoughts gradually began to unfold, and got converted to typed words, which got transformed into small writings, like small pieces, as the editors of newspapers say. I shared these with both my family members, with my relatives – a lot of them in Mumbai now, to friends in DOE, CDAC etc. where i had worked, who all encouraged me a lot and started showering praises (God knows whether I deserved them). The number of writings also grew fast. My colleague and close friend in DOE, Mr. M.I. Siddiqui deserves special mention for his encouraging remarks always in my writings.

To Mr.N.Vittal, Former Secretary, Department of Electronics, GOI:

Still I wanted some big boost from someone more knowledgeable, and whom else I could think of but Mr. N. Vittal, (himself a much sought-after speaker and a prolific writer, apart from his other nice qualities) who, if I can say so, is the equivalent of Oracle of Omaha, in terms of offering encouragement and motivation, and believe me, after talking to him on phone and sending to him by mail, a few of my pieces, I got what I wanted. In one of his mails he said ‘Dear CVS, keep writing’ and here i am keeping writing. He has been the real inspiration for my writings right from the time he joined DOE, as Secretary. No amount of thanks will be enough to make him know how deeply indebted I am for his continuous encouragement, during my career at DOE and for my writings.

To Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Former Minister for Science and Technology:

Prof. M.G.K. Menon, was my mentor and Guru in my earlier carrier. Little did I know when he picked me as his PA, when he was Director of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, the vast opportunities that would unfold before me. His being a stickler for precision and perfection in everything, (including the title of a person, a comma, colon, semi-colon, full stop etc) and a lot of demands needing fast action could, rather than baffle me, could only benefit me immensely. His vast knowledge, experience and wide spectrum of activities in all of which I could get involved, to whatever little extent, proved to be the right kind of nutrient-rich fertilizer and water much needed for my nurturing and grooming, and for my career growth ahead. Sir, I can never forget all this and have reserved a special corner of my heart to preserve my abundant respect and regards for you. Without this opportunity for working with him for a decade or so, I would have just been a ‘flower born to blush unseen’. For, even today many of my friends and relatives know me only as PA/Private Secretary to Prof. Menon.

To Mr. Ashok Parthasarathi, Dr,V.P. Bhatkar, Dr. P.J. Lavakare, Mr. S. Murali:

The belief and confidence placed in me to deliver things, by Mr. Ashok Parthasarathi ( in DOE and later for some consultations by him on administrative matters) Dr,V.P. Bhatkar, (Executive Director, CDAC), Dr. P.J. Lavakare (in TIFR, while working with Prof. Menon, while both of us were working in DST, and later while working with him for SAC-PM, for which he was the Secretary and Mr. S. Murali (Joint Secretary in DOE under whom i worked in the Personnel Division in DOE) with all of whom I had worked very closely is something which, again, I can never afford to forget, and I will always cherish in my mind memories of my association with them.

To God:

To GOD, whom I always pray, always adore and always chant His name in my sub-conscious mind, even if my mind is otherwise engaged, I would only pray for His continued blessings in all that I am engaged.

Thank publisher

Thank others, if any

GConnect’s Note:

We are much privileged to get this opportunity of presenting the book “74 Not Out and some Cheeky Singles” written by Shri.C.V.Subramaniam to GConnect Community. For ease of reading each chapter of this book will be presented as an article under the Category “74 Not Out”. The Compilation of articles so far published under this category can be viewed through category page link given below.

Click here to read the compilation of “74 Not Out and some Cheeky Singles”

The full text of this Book can also be downloaded as PDF file (under construction)