I wish merry X'mas to all of you.
It is a festive season. The air is filled with love and romance. In Europe people like 'white Christmas' i.e. it shall snow. This year it is white as it has snowed heavily all over Europe. The christian community in India is a sizable minority and the X'mas is celebrated with religious fervor by the faithfuls and with and frolic by others. It is almost a national holiday for as everybody in India irrespective of caste, colour and creed tend to join the fun and celebrate X'mas. It is a good thing for a democratic and secular society of India.
We are celebrating X'mas in Minsk. My schedule is full both with greeting cards, farewell lunches and dinners, important meetings in the run up to our final departure from Minsk by the end of the month. Yesterday, the 24 December, I paid my Good-Bye call on the Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus. Apart from other things Chairman Rubinov got nostalgic and recalled that how they were used to like Indian films and added that in his school days he even played popular tunes like ' Awara Hoon, Asman Ka Tara Hoon.' Second Secretary Anil Kumar hosted a farewell dinner for us in the evening. It was a emotional sitting with my colleagues in the Embassy. I enjoy this kind of in-house talk occasionally setting aside protocol and guard.
Today, the X'mas day, in the evening the Span Group of Indian Dance of Elena Sipach who aconducts dance classes at the Embassy of India in Minsk, is celebrating X'mas at the Embassy and at the same time is bidding us farewell. I am sure the function will be a good fun filled with Indian dance music by the young Belarusian girls. We will have the farewell dinner at the Taj Restaurant, the only Indian restaurant in Minsk, hosted the Managing Director of Taj, Vishal Jain. He told me that it will a good evening punctuated with the fusion of belly dance and bollywood variety.
It was a brief resume of our X'mas day in Minsk and also the countdown for the fascinating journey in the Indian Foreign Service.