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.

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About Shikha Malaviya

Shikha Malaviya is a poet & writer, born in the U.K. and raised in Minnesota and India. Her book, Geography of Tongues, was launched in December 2013 and featured in The Times of India Literary Carnival, Lit.mus & other festivals. Shikha is founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Project, an archive of modern Indian poetry and a co-founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a literary press. Shikha's poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and published in journals such as Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat & the Water~Stone Review. She is deeply involved in the poetry community through events/initiatives such as organizing '100 Thousand Poets for Change—Bangalore’, in 2012 and 2013; co-founding ‘Poetry in Public India,’ a movement to bring powerful verse by Indian women to public places across India; giving a TEDx talk on ‘Poetry in Daily Life’ at TEDx Golf Links Park, Bangalore, 2013. Shikha graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in creative writing and mass communications. She splits her time between San Francisco and Bangalore.

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