Life is a journey.
A journey that is enchanting, yet mysterious.
A journey that begins at birth, yet has no beginning.
A journey that ends at death, yet eternal.
We continue the course of this strange journey,
Day in and day out, in perpetuity.
Believing that we are the masters,
Without even knowing the destination or the mission.
For a diplomat,
The journey of life is even more mysterious.
Every posting is a new chapter,
A new beginning, a new challenge.
One fine day he lands up in a strange land,
A land where he never set his foot before.
Like Armstrong he thinks that his small foot,
Could be a giant step forward for the humanity.
In the beginning,
He gropes in the darkness,
Searching for support, a boat.
That could reach him the shores.
He moves into a new house, a new office.
He looks for a school and a grocery shop.
He opens a new bank account,
And takes a new driving license.
He breaks bread with strangers,
And tries to make friends with them.
He reads books on this new land and its people,
Aspiring to become master of their history and culture.
Then a day comes,
When he is asked to move again,
To take on the challenges of diplomacy,
In yet another strange land, he never dreamt of.
Like a nomad, he packs his home,
In a bundle of cartons,
And prepares himself to say goodbye
To his adopted land and its people.
Friends’ time has come for me today,
To say goodbye,
Both to this Island Nation and to a 35 year long nomadic life,
To start a new chapter in a brand new style.
I am eternally grateful to you all,
For your support, guidance and generosity,
For years that will follow,
I shall cherish your goodwill and hospitality.
Dear colleagues, whether you believe it or not,
Your kindness will have a place in my heart,
In darkness your guidance will be my torch.
For the rest of my life your support will be my force.
From the bottom of my heart,
I thank you - one and all,
As gesture of your goodwill,
I shall cherish this plaque.
Gauri Shankar Gupta
February 11th, 2016
Life is a journey.