You know why I am sharing this experience here? Because a lot of us get a chance to visit the embassies if we are going for holiday or work for visa purposes but have you ever visited an ambassador’s residence ? No? Okay! I have visited one! Read this post to know why, how and with whom ! 😀
One day, I got an e-mail from Westland Books about a book launch. A cookery book by Lourdes Tirouvanziam named The Pondicherry Kitchen. I am not into cookery books to be honest, but when I saw the venue of the launch, I was like there is no way on this planet I am going to give it a miss. The launch happened at the Residence Of French Ambassador François Richier and I got a personal invitation from his office. How can someone miss this opportunity? I would never do that.
I asked a couple of friends to come with me and it was Dr. Pankaj Malhotra, my twitter friend who agreed to join me at the launch. We both were amazed by the ambience and the way whole event was conducted.
The guest of the honour was Shri. V Narayanswamy, Hon’ble Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and Prime Minister’s Office (TBC) but he got stuck in a meeting and later joined the evening. So, the book was launched by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, who needs no introduction. Always dynamic and a superb orator. I got to chance to listen to him for the second time and as always his words didn’t fail to charm me.
Post the official launch of the book, we were asked to proceed for the dinner and drinks. Everything was just so perfect. The entire dinner spread was prepared by Pondicherry born, in-house chef, Jean-Pierre Armandon. We were served with some authentic, mouth water and delicious Pondicherrian cuisines. The desserts were just so good!
Also, I got a chance to interact with the Press Counsellor of the French Embassy and his wife. We all spoke for some good 30-35 minutes over drinks and discussed books, literature. The couple had been in India since last 3 months and are going to be here for 2 years (if I remember correctly). They shared a couple of experiences about India and all the countries they have lived and worked.
All and all, it was one evening that I would never ever forget. I do not have any pictures from the evening, but honestly, I don’t need any. The experience would always remain fresh in my mind.