Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Foreign Service: A Poem by Abhay K

Diplomat Magazine publishes Abhay K.'s poem titled "Foreign Service". Diplomat is a foreign affairs magazine that provokes intelligent discussion from the heart of the Diplomatic community in London. This 65 year old magazine provides a unique insight into the minds of the most prominent world leaders and governments. Diplomat’s mix of high quality analysis, political commentary on world affairs and interviews with Ambassadors make it essential reading for the diplomatic community and those working in foreign affairs. Please click below to read the poem

Foreign Service 

by Abhay K. 

Foreign service is a journey
And all the diplomats merely travellers
They have their wits and talents;
And one diplomat assumes multiple roles
His career spread over many grades. At first the probationer
Learning and unlearning at the institute
And then the shy third secretary, with his briefcase
With curious look, rushing like a bee
Earnestly  to the boss's cabinet. And then the first secretary,
Ever engrossed in work, with his laptop 
Still unsure of his place. Then the counsellor
Full of strange note-sheets and growing graveness in looks
Risk averse, long hours at work, 
Conscious of reputation, quick temper
Seeking new authority 
Among the seniors and subordinates. And then the minister
With a paunch, receding hairline
With squint look and harsher commands
Full of jargon and clich├ęs
So he gains perfection in officialese. Then plenipotentiary and extraordinary ambassador
Into the linen and lace-less shoes
With reading glasses and daily jogs
Trying to fit into his old suit, 
Then superannuation. Last  journey 
queuing up to enter the Foreign Office   
That ends this glorious journey
Then second probation-hood, flowing with wisdom
Free of protocol, briefs, talking points, telegrams, free of everything.

Shashi Tharoor
Shashitharoor Amusing and insightful take-off on Shakespeare's "All the world's a stage" summarizing diplomatic careers, by the MEA's @abhayk_

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