AN IRS OFFICER IN THE REALMS OF ART & NATURE
Ms Pritee Chaudhary, IRS
Known for rectitude and probity, Pritee Chaudhary is a self-avowed individual with an uncanny ability to balance her work life with a perceptive and sensitive nature that often finds an outlet in evocative painting and soulful singing
There are two things, often undervalued, that life bestows upon any living soul – beauty and truth. The first is found in a loving, nurturing heart and the other in its manifestation in an artist’s hands. Ujjain-born Pritee Chaudhary keeps it basic and simple. “Life is beautiful” says her pithy Whatsapp status. The young Indian Revenue Service officer presently posted in the GST Administration in Mumbai exemplifies the dictum in letter and spirit.
For Ms Pritee, married to an IPS officer, excellence is not just an acquired skill but an attitude. That explains the fact that as all time high Science stream topper from Indore University she left the second merit way behind. With such studious academic grinding UPSC wasn’t so difficult although not a virtual cake-walk. In her very first posting in the Agra Customs, she ensured a no-tolerance policy to ensure fair trade to help genuine exporters. A string of some not-so-sought-after postings followed where she was instrumental in unearthing evasion and enforcing preventive measures. It was in her stint that the first two anti-evasion arrests were made in Nagpur. Later, at Nhava Sheva port, she made gold, silver, cosmetics and other seizures. In a relatively short span of time, she earned the distinction of being a no-nonsense officer whose integrity was unquestionable. As a key member of the important government flagship scheme – the Direct Port Delivery (DPD) – she was involved in a number of initiatives and facilitation measures that catapulted India’s ranking in the Trader Across Border from 146 to 80.
Behind her stern official demeanor lurks a sensitive human being. Ms Pritee is a level-headed person who believes in work-life balance. At home she is a complete home-maker, a doting mother and a quintessential woman. The rigors and exactitude of office work are tempered at home with singing and painting. A sworn aficionado of Classical, Semi-classical and Sugam Sangeet, she makes it a point to squeeze out time for her music classes. Her proclivities lie with Sugam Sangeet which to her is an offshoot of Classical Music.
If music soothes her soul, the artist’s easel keeps her beckoning all the time. Having spent her salad days in the lap of nature in smaller towns, she betrays a special affinity towards nature painting. The long lockdown to her was an exercise in rediscovering herself as she took to oil colours and depict nature in its pristine form. The paintings that she has sketched – some 8-10 of them – during the lockdown not only provided her with a way out from the humdrum, it also made her conscious of their potential use for a social cause. She is keen to auction them and give the proceeds to donate munificently for good causes.
On her Facebook page, she regularly posts her paintings. The love of labour is resonatingly evident in those paintings. A transferable job meant she couldn’t have as many trysts with the brush as she would have liked but the lockdown was a god-send. “An exhibition will be on my mind when I have at least 25 of them”, she points out without any remorse that her work so far hasn’t got a public platform.
Self-effacing to a fault, Ms Pritee has never thought of holding an exhibition to showcase her talents that remain confined to her house. However, in her close official and personal circuit she is well known for her vocal and brushing skills. No get-together is complete until she has rendered a few songs. She attributes her skills and love for music to the careful tutelage of Shri Kummar Chatterjee.
A staunch believer in the concept of “giving-it-back-to-the nature”, Ms Pritee dedicates time to gardening. Trees, to her, are mankind’s hope and she finds it painful that humans cut them for pelf and greed. Planting trees is her way of repaying Mother Earth’s debt. Her husband, Mr Rajiv Jain, is her biggest ally in all her quests. Her multi-faceted talent stems from her strong sense of individuality which reflects in the fact that she prefers to address herself with her maiden name. Call her Pritee Jain and you might draw a blank.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is no mean accomplishment. Individuality is possible only if it unfolds from wholeness. Ms Pritee stands true to that aphorism.