Two IAS officers serving in Chandigarh don’t let go an opportunity to pursue their talent other than what is required to effectively run the administration. The officers — special secretary finance Bhawna Garg and SDM (south) Kashish Mittal — are not only honing their skills as classical dancer and singer, respectively, but have also been giving live performances from time to time.
The Punjab-cadre 1999 batch IAS officer, Bhawna Garg (38), is a trained Kathak dancer and, now, she will impress viewers on July 18 with her acting skills on stage.
A former IITian, Bhawna Garg said she took to classical dancing in 2003, when she was posted as SDM in Ludhiana.
Daughter of a junior engineer from Kapurthala, Garg said, “In our house the atmosphere was study-oriented and I did not get the exposure to indulge in extracurricular activities.” On July 18, she plays the lead role of Vishakha in the play — Agni Varsha. Garg is taking training from renowned thretre artisteRani Balbir Kaur. “I like to take up challenges and explore myself.”
Not far behind is another young 2011-cadre IAS officer Kashish Mittal, who will be turning 26 this month. He is a trained classical singer. Mittal started learning classical singing at an age of 8 and continues to practise. Mittal says he was living the dream of his parents who did not get a chance to get trained in classical signing.
Mittal says, “My parents always had keen interest in classical singing. But they couldn’t take any formal training despite desperately wanting to do so.”
Brought up in SAS Nagar, Kashish Mittal initially took training in classical singing from Prof Harvinder Singh. Currently Mittal is being trained by eminent vocalist Prof Yashpaul of Agra Gharana. An IIT alumnus, Mittal has also given live performances at Tagore Theatre in the past and practises daily for two hours in the evening.
“Classical music has always been my companion. I am really grateful that I was introduced to music at a young age, and I hope that I am able to pursue it further in the times to come,” he says.