Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hearts beat for Tharoor in New York

The last two days kept me busy with a number of meeting with various persons. On Friday, I met Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the UN, who is a very   positive gentleman. He assured me of his full cooperation for the UNA work. Apart from some other UN officials, I also met Kiyo Akasaka, the Under Secretary General of UN. I had met him in the Republic of South Korea in 2008 and last year in Moscow (picture - Left to Right: Sundeep Bhutoria, Mr Kiyo Akasaka, Under Secy Gen of UN and Alexi Borisov, Unesco Chairholder).
We discussed about the upcoming model UN for youths to be held in Kuala Lumpur. I told him that I would try my best to be there.
I had dinner with the Ambassador In Kook Park - the Permanent Representative of Republic of South Korea to the UN – at his residence. Mr Park knows Mr Puri very well as they were posted in Geneva at the same time. Currently, South Korea is very relevant in terms of UN as the Secretary General, Mr Ban ki-Moon, is from the Republic of South Korea. Mr Akasaka currently holds the same position that Mr Shashi Tharoor had held during his UN stint.
In the last two days at the meeting of WFUNA Executive Committee, many members from different countries asked me about Mr Shashi Tharoor in the context of recent developments. Most of them shared the same feeling about Mr Tharoor being an erudite and intelligent person and may be the dirty Indian politics is not his cup of tea. I had meetings with Mr Shashi Tharoor in his office at the UN only. On another occasion I had met him at a dinner reception with the then UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan. Other than some public functions, I have never had the opportunity to meet Mr Tharoor personally since he took charge at the External Affairs ministry although I did receive a letter of congratulations from him after I was formally elected Treasurer of WFUNA in South Korea. I don’t know for fact but I had heard that Mr Tharoor was offered a membership of the Rajya Sabha but he had decided to fight an election and become a Parliamentarian. I personally believe our country needs ministers like him with a vast international exposure and being so well known in the diplomatic circles.
Today on the second day of our executive meeting at the UNA-USA office (picture) a representative from South Africa asked me if I knew which teams are in the IPL finals. I replied I’ll check out and let you know. He was surprised by my ignorance. It seems cricket is becoming an essential part of Indian life. Wonder where will all this lead to.
As I have said before that I have never watched a single match in my life. Thinking of Mr Lalit Modi, I remember when he became the President of Rajasthan Cricket Board, Subhash Joshi was elected or nominated as the secretary of Rajasthan Cricket Association. I know Subhas ji for many years as he has been one of the most active persons in the cultural circuit of the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. That time he was considered to be very close to Mr Modi. Once Subhas ji asked me informally that they were thinking of forming an advisory council-like body for the Rajasthan Cricket Association with 5 to 7 persons as members and he wanted me to be a member of that council. I had laughed away his proposition saying that I didn’t even have an idea of how many players are there in a cricket team. Later, he had approached me once again and I had politely declined and thanked him for his affection. I don’t know whether the council came into being.
 Today after the meeting I spent some time in the world famous bookshop `Strand’ located on the 12th Street on Broadway and had a good walk through Manhattan’s 5th Avenue, Madison Avenue and Lexington Avenue. Had dinner at an Indian restaurant Bukhara on 49th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue with a Hungarian friend.
ess bee

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