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What drives the ambassadors?

The world is forever on the boil what with violent skirmishes and battles between countries or groups. It would be much worse were it not for diplomats and ambassadors, the hardy men and women, whose delicate and onerous job it is to deftly negotiate between the warring groups and arrive at a suitable headline and news for serious newspapers to publish the next day so that the battle itself can go on unhindered.

Take the Norwegians for example who manfully brokered a deal between the Sinhalese and the Tamilians in Sri Lanka notwithstanding the simple fact that they can’t understand even a single word of either Tamil or Sinhalese. The bloody turmoil in Sri Lanka witnessed a short burst of ceasefire as both the sides felt extremely distracted and took time off to wonder why the hell Norway was trying to involve itself in the mess.

The only reason why Norwegians willingly applied themselves to this thankless work could be that life in Norway was as tranquil as a seer’s mind, which shorn of diplomacy means, way too boring.

Norway, last heard, has set out on a peace mission between Honduras and Burkina Faso, despite the fact that the two countries (Honduras and Burkina Faso) exist in two different continents, don’t share a boundary and have actually not heard of the other. But Norway, being a torchbearer in such matters of global importance, has not allowed minor matters of reality to impede its unflagging quest to champion the cause of giving room to dense prose that nobody bothers to read and hence quickly jump to the next paragraph in the hope that it at least contains sentences that can be comprehended by lay persons.

But how much do you know about the vital universe of diplomacy and foreign affairs? Not that you want to. But here is a handy primer on the world of diplomacy and international relations prepared with the sincere thought that it is extremely stupid and in bad taste, and that it goes against the Geneva Convention or some such international fancy rule and offends a lot of diplomats so that they can haul me up before some heavy-duty forum that is located in Switzerland or any other chic destination. This is the only way I can possibly visit those trendy places.

What’s the main role of a diplomat?
A diplomat’s life is one ridden with protocol and rules that involve giving life to many useless French words like attaché, consul, envoy, emissary, chef-de-mission.

Describe a typical day in a diplomat’s life?
Wake up. But have to skip breakfast, as it is already time for lunch. Attend a ceremonial lunch with a variety of people who are known for their sterling quality to ceaselessly talk and prolong over their meal till it is actually time for the next meal of the day to arrive.

But even after such a hectic and packed morning, a diplomat can hardly have the leeway to relax his overworked tummy. He or she has to be ready for the evening party, which is all about sipping variety of beverages and talking their way to expand their (foreign) affairs and scotch rumours. Diplomats, by training, scotch even truths. They are experts in scotching, especially well-brewed ones.

What is the chief requisite of a career diplomat?
He or she has to possess the ability to wake up in the morning without any apparent hangover after a night of never-ending party, which a diplomat has to subject himself or herself day in and day out for the cause of world peace and order. It is as a true tribute to the ways of diplomats that the whiskey industry has thoughtfully dedicated a classy Scotch in their name.

How does a diplomat help a government?
For example, there is a problem of racial attacks on Indian students in Australia now. Naturally India is concerned. Logically, it should simply mean the Indian Prime Minister lifting the telephone and calling up his Australian counterpart to get cross his message. But that will amount to diplomatic gaffe and a breach of protocol. And it is also not known whether there is an international call facility in the PM’s phone. So the Australian ambassador is summoned by the Indian government and delivered a message. This he will immediately take it to his country, from where he will carry the response to India. By this way both Indian and Australia not only cut costs on expensive international calls but also can re-route the money gainfully to uplift diplomats who don’t know where their next Scotch and Caviar is going to come from.

Explain the Middle East peace process
In school you would have encountered this typical arithmetic problem that made you to give up on mathematics itself: ‘5 people work for 5 hours a day for fifty days to complete task. How much will it take for 50 people working for 20 hours a day to complete the same task?’ The question is a no-brainer as the five people have already completed the work, why should 50 people be employed to do the same job? The 50 people obviously would gather around and talk endlessly, enjoy themselves and eventually claim that they have finished the work.

This is roughly the philosophy behind the Middle East peace process, or for that matter, any other diplomatic initiative.

If all those countless number of people and all those efforts that went into travelling and talking on the Middle East peace process had been channeled elsewhere a parallel universe, without the modern blights of terrorists, global warming and Barkha Dutt, could have been created by now.

Has the Middle Peace process helped anyone?
Yes. It sure has. It has been an inspiration for the telecom companies for their pre-paid cell phone schemes: Guaranteed lifetime talk time.

What is the role of the UN in ensuring world order and ushering in lasting peace across continents and countries?
That’s a very good question asked with an insightful understanding of the world and its affairs. The question requires special mention and acclaim.

What’s the art of diplomacy?
Providing answers that don’t even begin to match the question.

Why did India dispatch two top officials to Sri Lanka immediately after Prabhakaran’s death?

So you think you are smart? Well then answer this: Which came first egg or chicken? It beats you, right? So get the heck out of here and let us in peace so that we can resolve the conflict between El Salvador and Cayman Islands. Diplomats have already trudged to to the resort town of Monaco to discuss in detail the whole issue.


  • while goin thru the initial few para, i was truly shocked something wrong had happened to you and have started posting serious posts 🙂 May be u shld tweet ur link to shashi tharoor 🙂

  • K Balakumar

    Thanks Zeno. Not a bad suggestion. But will be sued? In that case, I should ask him to take the case to the International Court of Justice, which is in Hague. It is not such a bad place to visit 🙂

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