Featured 06 Jun 2022 Into the wilderness

Into the wilderness

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SWATI SHARMA
Published Jun 7, 2022, 12:23 am IST
Updated Jun 7, 2022, 1:13 am IST
NewsAbhilasha Bisht. (By Arrangement)
 NewsAbhilasha Bisht. (By Arrangement)

Summer and winter vacations were all about spending time in the dense forests of picturesque Uttarakhand for Abhilasha Bisht when she was growing up.

The Bisht family would stop by streams and brooks to collect flowers and pretty rocks, pine cones and orchids while accompanying her parents on tours in rickety jeeps and partly on foot into the wilderness, replete with lush green forests and valleys. A pair of their Apso dogs, would either lead them up the hill or roll down the hills behind them.

“We spent our vacation in nature, without electricity or phones. We would tramp around in the sun all day and read books in the hotly contested illumination cone of the lamp in the evening,” recalls senior IPS officer Abhilasha Bisht.

It’s those adventures, long-distance treks, and time spent in nature’s splendour that make Abhilasha a committed, dynamic, and hardworking cop, even as she balances her busy schedule between family and work.

Abhilasha’s father is a retired government official who was transferred all over the state of undivided Uttar Pradesh (back then, Uttarakhand was part of UP), and her mother is a Dehradun-based school teacher. Abhilasha attended Welham’s Girl School in Dehradun, where her mother taught.

MY MOTHER, MY GURU

“So, I had a guru (her mother) at home who was my role model, apart from the times I fought with her as all children do,” says the 1994 batch IPS officer, who is currently serving as Additional DGP, Telangana State Special Police.

Abhilasha’s mother, who was a teacher, ensured that she excelled in school. “When your teacher is with you, there will inevitably be classes even during vacations. So we would get hands-on science and math education as we walked and stayed inside forests or made camp, as we learned how to start fires and get light from petrol lamps, as we walked to rivers that emanated from pristine glaciers and tumble large boulders, polished stones,” recalls the mother of two.

Love for Forest

She recalls fondly her stays in old colonial bungalows in the midst of dense jungles. “All bungalows had small libraries, with books from an eclectic group of authors ranging from Virginia Woolf to Punch and Judy, Guy de Maupassant, Arthur Conan Doyle, HG Wells, Daphne du Maurier, and Edgar Allen Poe, which I remembered reading and then promptly found myself haunted every night by figments of my imagination,” laughs Abhilasha, whose husband Kumar Vishwajeet is also a senior IPS officer and her batchmate.

An avid gardener & dog lover