Newly available in electronic format
I started writing a memoire in 1998, but on a long train journey in Germany (Stuttgart to Essen), accompanied by my wonderful wife Mimi, a thought came that it might be much more interesting to write about how the Indian diplomatic system works – or does not really work. That became my first book, Inside Diplomacy (1999). Diplomacy at the Cutting Edge, first published in 2015, is that delayed memoire.
The 14-chapter story begins with my career-end experience, a final assignment as ambassador to Germany (1992-95), a kind of summing up of all that I had learnt in a 35-year Foreign Service career. From the second chapter onwards it follows a chronological sequence, joining the IFS, first assignment in Hong Kong (1961-63) to learn Chinese, the first real job as a second secretary in the Indian Embassy (1963-65) at Beijing, and so on. Chapter 8 narrates my 13-month experience on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s staff (1981-82). The penultimate chapter narrates a personal story of reform in the Ministry of Exernal Affairs. The final chapter, ‘My Learning’ synthesises the experience of 20 years of teaching, through eight conclusions that are narrated through the experience of Indian and other diplomats. I hope you enjoy the book.