Wed | Feb 1, 2023

Grand affair at India House

Published:Friday | July 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Indian High Commissioner Pratap Singh (left) and wife Prem Lata welcome visiting secretary of the Ministry of Earth And Science, Dr Shailesh Nayak, to India House. - Contributed PHOTOS
Indian High Commissioner Pratap Singh (left) welcomes the head of the ISA, Nii Oduntun, to India House.

Chester Francis-Jackson, Contributor

So much has been said, written and promised of the International Seabed Authority, the expected wealth to be mined from the world's oceans and the body best suited to officiate and administer the exploration and harvesting of this wealth.

It was the efforts of the great Micheal Manley, through his lobbying efforts, that resulted in the ISA headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica.

It has long been argued by scientists and others that the oceans (and seas) of the world represent the single largest untapped natural resource left to mankind.

Curiously, however, as nations seemingly sweat the small talk, in a bid to find consensus, the vast resource remains largely untapped.

Well, in a bid to move forward, the ISA is currently in session at its Kingston headquarters, and with this a slew of international diplomats and statesmen have jetted into the island to participate in this round of conferences.

One of those is India's secretary in the Ministry of Earth Science, Dr Shailesh Nayak.

On Monday he hosted a charming reception/dinner party at India House, the official residence of the Indian High Commissioner to Jamaica, West Kings House Road. That was, indeed, quite a charming do, and then some!

Dears, Dr Nayak, is India's First Citizen of the Environment. A celebrated geologist, he is in Kingston to attend the 19th Session of the International Seabed Authority, and it was in this capacity that he hosted guests at India House, last Monday, at what was truly a fabulous diplomatic soiree-cum-dinner, and it made for truly marvellous outing.

Dears, to begin, India House is one absolutely fabulous residence, rather imposing, with a hint of colonial imperviousness. Boasting acres of lawns and gardens, the estate is simply designed with grand entertaining in mind. The Indian high commissioner and his wife are the consummate hosts - two of the most proactive diplomats on the social scene here.

So it was my dears, with Dr Shailesh Nayak, visiting, and playing host to a number of ISA fellow delegates and members of the diplomatic corp, India House was the preferred social event, and it sizzled like the cosmopolitan do that it was.

Steeped in the art

This was an evening steeped in the art of diplomacy and haute style, not to mention high fashion. Women were dressed to the nines, the gents - some at ease, others sporting sartorial eloquence, as only the chic know how.

Cocktails, my dears, was all about premium libations, and hors d'ouevres, an array of Indian delicacies and traditional dishes that added to the elegance of the occasion. And, my dinner was no less resplendent, As guests gathered on the wrap-around veranda of the property for what was an evening of fine dining and marvellous society.

Among those in attendance were: Dean of the Diplomatic Corp Ambassador Yuri Gala Lopez, of Cuba; Head of the ISA, Secretary General Ambassador Nii Oduntun; Chinese ambassador, Zheng Qingdian; Spanish ambassador, Celsa Nuno; Japanese ambassador, Hiroshi Yamaguchi; Godelieve Van den Bergh of the Belgian Kingdom; Brazilian ambassador, Antonio DaCosta Silva Neto; Nigerian high commissioner, Olatokunboh Kamson, and wife the regal Gbemisola; Argentinian Ambassador Ariel Fernandez, Chilean ambassador, Eduardo Bonilla, and ambassador of Panama Jorge Enrique Gonzalez.

Also in attendance was Michael Lodge, Ghislain Martins; Kening Zhang; Gwenaelle Le Grun; Nkechi Onyedin; Margret and Dawn Holmes; Avril Pereira; Yongsheng Cai; Dr D.K. Garg; Tarun R. Handa; Arun Kashyap; Dr Akshai Mansingh; Dr Santosh Kulkarni; Professor Ashok Kulkarni; Captain Samuel Arava; plus a number of others.

Indeed, it was quite a charming evening!