Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Countdown - the End of a Fascinating Journey - 5

I have been writing on my journey in the years of my service with Indian Foreign Service. Towards the last days of my retirement on December 31, I got totally busy and could not write on certain activities which I will do in due course. After celebrating the New Year Eve in Minsk at a Dinner and Dance Party hosted by Naveen Kohli and Anil Mehta of ANS Corporation, we finally bid Goodbye to Minsk on January 1, 2011, on a snowy day. The Protocol Officer of the Belarusian Foreign Office and my colleagues in the Embassy came to see us off. I and my wife were filled with emotions which are difficult to explain. It is life and part of the game which diplomats play. We boarded Austrian Airline for Vienna past mid day. We were to spend a couple of days in Vienna with my sister Maya and my wife Vidya's brother Hussan on the way to Delhi.

Our baggage did not come and the comical logic given by the Austrian Airline staff was that the baggage could not be loaded on the flight as ' the staff at Minsk got too "HAPPY" on the New Year. tended to believe as knew Minsk and Belarusian friendly and happy go lucky people. After enjoying three days of homely comfort with Maya and Manohar and also with Gurmej and Hussan in Vienna, we started for Delhi on January 4 on board Austrian Airlines, the ground service and staff behaviour was much to be desired, and landed in Delhi in the early morning of January 5. Our son Rupesh received us and brought us to IFS Apartments at Gurgaon, our small but good flat. Our little grand dughter Sohani and daughter in law Sulekha and also my brother Paramjit and his wife Savita were eagerly waiting for us.
It was the happy end of a fascinating journey which we enjoyed thoroughly.