Diplomats such as Gabriel Mistral, Octavio Paz, Pablo Neruda, St. John Perse, Ivo Andric have distinguished themselves in the league of Nobel Laureates.
Diplomats from the Indian Foreign Service too have been following this tradition. South Block is churning out diplomats-turned-authors with alacrity.
Some of the fictional work contributed by serving Indian diplomats are as follows:
1.AMBASSADOR NIRUPAMA RAO MENON: Amb. Nirupama Rao, the Ambassador of India to the United States of America and former Foreign Secretary of India has written a book of poetry, named Rain Rising. Her poems have been translated previously into Chinese and Russian and more recently into Malayalam too.
2. AMB. NAVTEJ SARNA: Perhaps it is no accident that Navtej Sarna, currently Additional Secretary looking after International Organisations at Headquarters, turned to writing as he is the son of an eminent writer in Punjabi, Mohinder Singh Sarna. His first novel 'We Weren't Lovers Like That', published in 2003, has been translated into Arabic and Hindi as well. His other works include 'The Exile', 'The Books of Nanak', 'Folk Tales of Poland' and translation of Guru Gobind Singh's 'Zafarnama'. His most recent work is 'Winter Evenings' a collection of short stories.
3. AMB. AMARENDRA KHATUA: Amb. Amarendra Khatua, presently our Ambassador to Argentina, represents a rare combo of poetry, diplomacy and trade negotiation expertise. He is also the recipient of prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award. He writes in Hindi and Oriya. His work 'Ek Kavi Ka Khamosh Ho Jana' has been widely appreciated.
4.AMB. N. PARTHASARTHI: N. Parthasarthi, Consul-General of India in San Francisco, has published two books: (i) 'The Reluctant Assassin', a fictional thriller (2005); and (ii) 'Bi Dan Hwang Hoo' (Silk Empress), a fictional novel linking the ancient history of India and Korea. The latter was translated in the Korean language and published in Seoul in June 2007.
5.AMB. VENKATESH ASHOK: Amb. Venkatesh Ashok, currently Ambassador to the Czech Republic, has written mythological stories in his work "Dasavatar: the ten incarnations of Vishnu". This book attempts at collating the legends of the various births of Lord Vishnu and presenting them in an easily readable form for Indians in India and abroad, as well as others with an interest in Indian religion, culture and philosophy.
6.AMB. NAVDEEP SINGH SURI: India's Ambassador to Egypt, Navdeep Suri made his literary debut by translating the Punjabi classic 'Pavitra Paapi' into English. The Watchmaker-a nuanced and poetic translation of Nanak Singh's 1942 classic Pavitra Paapi-brings alive a tragic tale of unrequited love.
7.AMB. DNYANESHWAR MANOHAR MULAY: Dnyaneshwar Mulay, India's Consul General in New York, is a well-known writer in Hindi and Marathi, having written over 15 books. These have been translated in Arabic, Dhivehi, Urdu, Kannada and Hindi. He has written Swatahteel Awakash, Russia Navya Dishanche Amantran, Syria: An Enchanting Mosaic, Man Ke Khalihanomein, Rastach Vegala Dharala, Manoos Ani Mukkam, A Comparative Study of Post World War-II Japanese and Post Independence Marathi Poetry, Andar Ek Asmaan, Door Rahila Gaon, Ritu Ug Rahi Hai, Mati Pankh Ani Akash, and Jonaki. He has won many awards including the Maharashtra State and Hi...
8.T S TIRUMURTI: T. S. Tirumurti, presently Joint Secretary handling UN Eco and Social issues at Headquarters, came out with his first novel in 2002 "Clive Avenue". More recently, his 'Chennaivaasi' is a romantic novel which narrates the tale of a Tamil-Brahmin boy who falls in love with a Jewish-American girl. He's at his best in describing TamBrahm culture with all its quirks, its reliance on tradition, its insistence on rules that structure every aspect of daily life-down to what it means if a lizard chirps to the southwest.
9.DR. MADHUP MOHTA: Dr Madhup Mohta, currently at headquaters has channelised his poetic instincts in a beautiful book of Hindi poetry "Samay Sapna aur Tum".
10.VIKAS SWAROOP: Vikas Swarup, Consul General in Osaka-Kobe, is perhaps the most well known diplomat-turned-author. His first offering 'Q and A', a novel that was made into an Oscar winning film 'Slumdog millionaire' narrates a story of how a penniless waiter in Mumbai becomes the biggest quiz show winner in history. His second novel is a murder mystery called "Six Suspects" and BBC has already taken an option on the film rights. "The Accidental Apprentice"(2013) is his latest offering.
11. SANGEETA BAHADUR: Yet another diplomat, Ms. Sangeeta Bahadur, Director JNCC (Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre), London has written a mythological adventure novel trilogy drawn from the vast repertoire of Indian spirituality and metaphysics. In 'Jaal' the book 1 of "The Kaal-Trilogy", she combines laws of matter, Hindu story of creation, mythology, Vedic philosophy and metaphysics to weave an epic.
12.AMB. MANJU SETH: Amb. Manju Seth, India's Ambassador to Madagascar discovered the poetess within her and published in 2004 -"The Fifth Element".
13.SRIDHARAN MADHUSUDAN: M. Sridharan, Counsellor at the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C., under the pen name Payani has translated Chinese classical poetry into Tamil. "Vaari Choodinum Paarppavar Illai: Kavi thogai - Chinaavin 'Sanga Ilakkiyam'. It is the first direct translation from Chinese to Tamil.Besides translating the poems Sridharan also designed the book jacket, chose the colors and motifs, and worked on the illustrations as well.
14.ABHAY KUMAR: Abhay Kumar, First Secretary at India's Embassy in Kathmandu, is also a poet and artist. He has written several books, including River Valley to Silicon Valley. He has also written an anthem for the earth. He has been honored with the SAARC Literature Award for his contribution to contemporary South Asian Poetry and nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2013.
15. EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER SALMAN KHURSHID: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has been deeply involved in writing and acting in plays since his student days in Delhi and Oxford. He is the author of the play Sons of Babur, which has been staged in English and Hindi, with Tom Alter in the lead role.