Not as Diplomatic with their Words…

India’s diplomats seem to be wielding the pen for more poetic causes. Amarendra Khatua, India’s newly appointed ambassador to Argentina, adds another book of poems, Love Abracadabra, to the list of Indian diplomats who are writing and publishing books. Khatua, who has bee promoting poetry from his native state Odisha, for more than forty years, has a long list of publications: 14 in Odiya, two in Hindi, one in Telugu and three in English. Khatua shares the title of Indian diplomat/poet with ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao and emerging poet Abhay Kumar, First Secretary, Embassy of India, Kathmandu, who have both published books of poems inspired by their travels outside of India.

Diplomats writing poetry is certainly not a new trend, with Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), the nobel prize winning poet from Chile, serving as a diplomat for much of his adult life. Neruda’s words reverberate around the world, even today, with its explosive metaphors  and honest exploration of one’s relationship with the greater world.

Let’s hope India’s diplomat-poets can create the same effect.

About Shikha Malaviya

Shikha Malaviya (www.shikhamalaviya.com) is a South Asian poet & writer. She is co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship model press publishing voices from India & the Indian diaspora. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in PLUME, Prairie Schooner & other fine journals. Shikha was a featured TEDx speaker in GolfLinks, Bangalore, in 2013, where she gave a talk on poetry. She has been a four-time mentor for AWP's Writer to Writer Mentorship Program & was selected as Poet Laureate of San Ramon, California, 2016. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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