Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Countdown - The End of a Facinating Journey
The ' Hi ' and ' Bye ' is an important aspect of the game called diplomacy. We have experienced the both, the happiness and the pain, of the process in the four decade long but fascinating diplomatic journey beginning in March 1970 and coming to an end on December 31, 2010, the day I retire from the Indian Foreign Service. It was a most satisfying and rewarding experience. I say this with a great sense of contentment and humility that from a humble beginning as a Clerk in the Ministry of External Affairs, I could become an Ambassador. I have no regrets and complete my first inning successfully and get ready for the second of which I will workout the details in due course.
The countdown for the first leg of the journey has started. My wife Vidya, who remained a constant companion throughout, has started the process of binding up in Minsk. She hosted a 'Good bye Reception' at India House for the members of the Minsk Diplomatic Ladies Club on November 18. She told me that it turned out to be an emotional event. Along with traditional parting gift of a set of Belarusian table linen, there is an entry in the coffee table book 'Minsk and Surroundings' by the ladies from the Turkish Embassy and I quote " ....we love you and respect you and will remember you all the time. We love India and the Indian movies." A diplomat's success gets manifestation when the country he or she represents gets recognition and comes in the reckoning. I feel good in writing that though Vidya has a limited ability to communicate in English yet she has a god given attribute to make friends with her earthy and simple style and manners. It is satisfying to note that we could make it together. The nature of a diplomat's work and job is such that the lady at home has to be fully supportive and engaged. Vidya fitted the bill. Jawaharlal Nehru, speaking in the Parliament in the early years of the founding of the Indian Foreign Service and referring to the wives said that we pay salary for one and employ one and a half. Of course, Vidya is my better half.
I will write again on the process of The Countdown -The End of a Fascinating Journey.