Subscribe to ForumIAS

What is your favourite quote / para from a book you have read?

This is for all the book lovers here. What is your favourite line/quote/paragraph from any book you have read. Can be fiction/non-fiction. 

JD2021,paraand24 otherslike this




AJ_,MaeveWileyand5 otherslike this

What is wrong and what is right,

The conundrum where most of us survive.

At times we feel it's  right,

While at some we think its wrong hence better to deny.

You feel I am right whereas it might be that I am suffering from inside.

It's tougher than tough to decide the, dwelling between this contrasting twin.

Both on the same plate one rewards glory while other sympathy.

Right and wrong, perhaps amongst the first to be taught,

But it takes a lifetime to unravel the thought.

When we reach glory the treaded path is treated right,

But if obscurity the same path is now all bestowed with wrongs.

At times our feelings are right for a person,

At another that person is wrong to be trusted upon.

The more you get older

The days' tend to get colder

You are old and supposedly ought to know right,

The society demands your each deeds to be right,

Wish they could also make us aware of the exact path that leads to right

At times we are certain of it to be  wrong but do not know it's supplement as right.

We jostle between right and wrong.

We make all wrong plans to reach at right.

We do everything right yet reach at wrong.

We spend entire lifetime doing right,

But when end knocks we realize your existence itself was wrong.

So what is actually right?

The end must reveal the secret of wrong and right,

But its upon oneself to decide.

As the one that seems right to me might be wrong to the entire mankind;

----- by the one who posted it

Great work! :) my favourite is this: “ Right and wrong, perhaps amongst the first to be taught, But it takes a lifetime to unravel the thought.” Keep writing! 

D503,Villanelleand4 otherslike this
@Neyawn The Class by Erich Sehgal 

Interesting how watching 'The Moral Dimension' episode of Yes Minister in the midst of Ethics tests in AWFG takes you down into a blackhole of philosophical thoughts wrangling between the twin spiral strands of idealism & realism like a spider caught in its own web. 
@Neyawn The Class by Erich Sehgal 

I read it an impressionable age. I also loved “the five people you meet in heaven” by Mitch Albom. I love it’s opening lines too. I do judge a book by its opening lines. I had a copy signed by Shah Rukh khan when  i was in Bombay in a mall like a decade back.

Then one fine day, on a particularly emotionally turmoiled day, I read the sixth person you meet in heaven.

Apart from that, I have loved all of Erich Segals work. In my defence, I was young and in college or late school :) 

I am no knight. Do not call me Sir



Interesting how watching 'The Moral Dimension' episode of Yes Minister in the midst of Ethics tests in AWFG takes you down into a blackhole of philosophical thoughts wrangling between the twin spiral strands of idealism & realism like a spider caught in its own web. 

Care to share the YouTube link ?

How do you like the case studies ? Are they kinda challenging ?

I am no knight. Do not call me Sir

@Neyawn The episode put on youtube has a poor audio & video quality. It's on Amazon Prime (S03E04) though.

 The case studies are interesting specially considering they are made on recent events.  I see myself thinking on aspects of its ethicality which I didn't ponder upon when I read it in news. Just one point - I would like the case study questions to be more twisted/'s taking me a little bit less time to do them here than it does in Mains (in comprehending it). 

On a diff note, I'm finding the overall program as well-designed & executed (so far). Enjoying the process...


I was reading "The Steel Frame" by Deepak Gupta Sir, on a lookout for some civil services vocabulary. Read one chapter and in that one small section dealing with Indians who chose to join the ICS stood out for me. It so beautifully captures the dualities an Indian would face joining the imperial service at the height of the nationalist movement.

When faced with the question "Why IAS?" all of us can give some rational explanation but there are so many inconsistencies and unresolved dilemmas associated with the decision which only the heart knows. Reading about these other aspirants situated centuries apart was weirdly relatable. 

Notably, RC Dutt describing the exam as "this difficult undertaking" that involves "recklessly staking everything on an almost impossible success." KPS Menon says, about his days at Oxford: “We made vehement speeches which we thought patriotic and which the British thought seditious. At the same time, we went on studiously preparing for the ICS. The inconsistency… did not strike us!” Even Nehru was drawn by the glamour of the ICS in his days studying in England.

The exam was the Mount Everest of bright and meritorious students’ ambitions then, as it is now. 

D503,ssver2and3 otherslike this

As the world’s largest democracy, India is a natural ally for the G7 and guest countries to defend these shared values from a host of threats stemming from authoritarianism, terrorism and violent extremism, disinformation and infodemics and economic coercion. Democracy and freedom are part of India’s civilisational ethos, and find expression in the vibrancy and diversity of India’s society - PM Modi

update :

“I act and react, and suddenly I wonder, ‘Where is the girl that I was last year? Two years ago? What would she think of me now?”

Sylvia Plath from her journals

I relate so hard to her, sometimes it scares me.
D503,Villanelleand2 otherslike this



There is widespread consensus that the main thingthat can hold India back is India itself.There are no alibis if we were, in these circumstances, to fail. But while the underlying trends are propitious, time is of the essence. This is the case in two senses. The window of opportunity for India becoming a prosperous nation is relatively small: the basic structures and dynamics necessary to achieve this prosperity will have to be put in place in the next 10 to 15 years. Theunderlying factors that are propitious for our growth may not last very long.

Second, our future possibilities are going to be heavily path-dependent.Once certain institutional choices and development pathways are adopted, it will be very hard to changethem: they will become entrenched. So, the choices we make now will define the horizons of our possibility for decades, if not longer. It follows that rather than imagining that growth can allow us to postpone hard decisions, we need to take exactly the opposite tack. If we do not take the opportunities provided by a relatively benign environment, we will not get a second chance to correct our mistakes. For instance,if India wants to avoid the ‘middle income trap’that has afflicted many other societies where growth rates experienced rapid acceleration only to peter out, then it will have to move decisively and rapidly across a range of fronts.

--NA 2.0

this was in 2011 i guess, have we committed the exact mistake that this document warned us against ?



Please check out Shekhar Gupta's bell curve theory about insurgencies in India and how the state deals with them. You might find it interesting! 


Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.

Gelileo: No Andrea. Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.


For it is silly, my dear Lucilius, and no way for an educated man to behave, to spend one’s time exercising the biceps, broadening the neck and shoulders and developing the lungs. Even when the extra feeding has produced gratifying results and you’ve put on a lot of muscle, you’ll never match the strength or the weight of a prize ox. The greater load, moreover, on the body is crushing to the spirit and renders it less active. So keep the body within bounds as much as you can and make room for the spirit. Devotees of physical culture have to put up with a lot of nuisances. There are the exercises, in the first place, the toil involved in which drains the vitality and renders it unfit for concentration or the more demanding sort of studies. Next there is the heavy feeding, which dulls mental acuteness. Then there is the taking on as coaches of the worst brand of slave, persons who divide their time between putting on lotion and putting down liquor, whose idea of a well spent day consists of getting up a good sweat and then replacing the fluid lost with plenty of drink, all the better to be absorbed on a dry stomach. Drinking and perspiring – it’s the life of a dyspeptic! There are short and simple exercises which will tire the body without undue delay and save what needs especially close accounting for, time. There is running, swinging weights about and jumping – either high-jumping or long-jumping or the kind indulged in by the priests of Mars, if one may so describe it, or to be rather more disrespectful, by the laundress. Pick out any of these for ease and straightforwardness. But whatever you do, return from body to mind very soon. Exercise it day and night. Only a moderate amount of work is needed for it to thrive and develop. It is a form of exercise to which cold and heat and even old age are no obstacle. Cultivate an asset which the passing of time itself improves.


Write your comment…