Shashi Tharoor knows all about the ups and downs of life as a diplomat. He knows because, of his 50 years on earth, more than 30 have been spent playing the part. He has also prepared for it his whole life.
A fellow of the USC Centre on Public Diplomacy, he spent much time in college with the debate team, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in history, completed his PhD at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, wrote a number of books (fiction and non-fiction) and columns for newspapers in India and abroad and, from 1978 until earlier this week, worked with the United Nations.
His work at the UN involved everything from handling refugee crises in Singapore to maintaining the peace in former Yugoslavia, disseminating public information to enhancing his organisation's image and efficiency. And yes, in 2003, he was also appointed United Nations Coordinator for Multilingualism.
If this is not a life dedicated to diplomacy, what is?
Image : Shashi Tharoor makes his farewell speech to guests and staff members of United Nations at a farewell reception given in his honour at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Reportage: Rediff News Bureau
Photograph: Jay Mandal/On Assignment
Also see: 'I entered the race because of my devotion to UN'