September 2021 \ Diaspora News \ COVER STORY—DIPLOMATIC COLUMN
My days in Trinidad and Tobago, a personal recollection

It was on a cool February morning of 2009 that ...

By Dr Malay Mishra
  • Dr Malay Mishra

It was on a cool February morning of 2009 that I was ushered into the office of the Joint Secretary (Administration) in South Block and conveyed the news of my posting as India’s High Commissioner to the twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. My first reaction to the appointment was “Oh no, one more island!” Having served in Mauritius and Seychelles for 7 years in total, the last being my previous assignment as High Commissioner before I returned to headquarters, that was the last place I wanted. But then more than 4 years in Delhi had made me compellingly sick. Besides, a debilitating surgery had weakened my nerves and I had no wish to delay any more or ask for a change in place.

I was acquainted with T&T from my 3-year attachment with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (2004-07), had met some of their leaders and Indians settled in the faraway island at the annual flagship event of the Ministry, PravasiBharatiya Divas (PBD) though an actual living experience in such a remote and exotic corner of the world was something too good to be explored. My familiarity with the Diaspora was an added incentive and my previous experience in the two earlier Diaspora-centric Missions egged me on.