Open main menu

Abhay Kumar or Abhay K. (b. 1980) is an Indian poet-diplomat.[1] and India's 21st Ambassador to Madagascar. [2] [3]. He has served in different diplomatic capacities earlier in Russia, Nepal and Brazil. His published collections of poetry include The Seduction of Delhi, The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu, The Prophecy of Brasilia among others while his edited books are CAPITALS, 100 Great Indian Poems, 100 More Great Indian Poems, New Brazilian Poems among others. His writings cover poetry, art, memoir, global democracy and digital diplomacy.[4] He wrote the Earth Anthem and an anthem for SAARC spurring search for an official SAARC Anthem.

Abhay Kumar
Poet-Diplomat Abhay K.jpg
Poet-Diplomat Abhay K
Abhay Kumar

1980 (age 38–39)
Alma materKirori Mal College Jawaharlal Nehru University
OccupationPoet, Diplomat, Editor, Ambassador
Known forPoetry,Diplomacy, Earth Anthem

He received the SAARC Literary Award for his contribution to contemporary South Asian Poetry and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2013. He has also been honoured with Asia-Pacific Excellence Award in 2014. His The Seduction of Delhi was shortlisted for Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award 2015.


Early lifeEdit

Abhay was born and raised at Rajgir in Nalanda district of Bihar. He studied at Delhi University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 2003. He studied Russian language, history and literature at the Moscow State University, U.S. foreign policy at George Washington University.[5] He speaks Hindi, English, Russian, Nepali and Portuguese.[citation needed]



Kumar is an Indian Foreign Service officer and has served in positions at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of the government of India and at the Indian missions and posts abroad in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kathmandu. At the MEA headquarters in New Delhi he served as the Under Secretary Digital diplomacy and sent the first tweet after setting up official Twitter account of the Ministry of External Affairs of India in 2010.[6][7] He served as the spokesperson of the Embassy of India, Kathmandu from 2012-2015.[8] He was appointed as the Director of the Nehru Centre, London in March 2015.[9][10] Subsequently, he was appointed as India's Deputy High Commissioner to Australia in August 2015.[11] He currently serves as India´s Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian Embassy in Brasilia, Brazil. He has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to Madagascar.[12] He proposed celebration of the International Day of Diplomats on the United Nations Day [13] which was celebrated in Brasilia for the first time on 24th Oct, 2017 with the participation of diplomats from several countries.[14]

He was also assistant editor of India Perspectives, a monthly magazine published by the Ministry of External Affairs in 17 languages from September 2011 to July 2012.[15][16]


Abhay K, Fady Joudah, Lionel Fogarty, Sadaf Saz, Arjun Deo Charan, Ashok Bajpai at JLF 2015

Abhay Kumar's first book titled River Valley to Silicon Valley(2007) was a memoir that also contained his first poem, 'Soul Song'.[17] He has published a number of collections of his poetry. The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu (2017) is a collection of poems on the UNESCO World Heritage sites, festivals, historical personalities, landscapes and prominent places of Nepal written during his stay in Nepal from 2012-2015.[18] It was translated into Nepali as Jatra[19] The Seduction of Delhi became a bestselling poetry book after its launch in January 2015[20] and was shortlisted for Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award 2015.[21] The poet, Jayanta Mahapatra, thinks "qualities of love, tenderness and compassion set Abhay K's work apart from much of the general run of current poetics." [22]

Abhay K and Eleanor Catton at JLF 2015

Abhay Kumar's poems have appeared in several magazines and literary journals including Poetry Salzburg Review,[23] The Asia Literary Review,[24] Gargoyle,[25] and The Caravan.[26] His poems have also been included in a number of anthologies including A Poem A Day edited by Gulzar (Harper Collins|2018), The Younger Indian Poets edited by Sudeep Sen(Sahitya Akademi|2018), 100 Great Indian Poems (Bloomsbury|2018), and The Himalayan Arc edited by Namita Gokhale (Harper Collins|2018). Abhay has read his poems at major poetry and literature festivals across the globe.[27][28][29]

In 2017, CAPITALS, an anthology of poems on the capital cities of the world edited by Abhay K., was released. It brought poets together from across the planet and included contributions from Derek Walcott, Vijay Seshadri, George Szirtes, and Ruth Padel among other prominent poets from 185 countries. 100 Great Indian Poems (2018) is an anthology of Indian poetry edited by Abhay K. covering over 3000 years of Indian poetry and 28 Indian languages.[30] It has been translated into Irish by poet Gabriel Rosenstock and Portuguese.[31][32][33]

In 2013 Abhay released Earth Anthem, a song intended as an anthem for the planet Earth, written by him in eight languages including six official UN languages — Arabic, Chinese, French, English, Russian and Spanish — as well as Hindi and Nepali. It was set to music by Sapan Ghimire and sung by Shreya Sotang from Nepal.[34] It has been translated into 30 languages including Tamil, Russian, and Chinese and has received acclaim.[35][36] On World Environment Day 2017, Abhay K's Earth Anthem composed by L. Subramaniam and sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy was released in Brasilia.[37] Abhay also wrote an anthem for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in an attempt to foster South Asian consciousness and bring the member states of SAARC together.[38][39] It has spurred discussions on the need for an official SAARC Anthem.[40] He is the first Indian poet invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress.[41]


Recipients of SAARC Literary Award 2013

Abhay's art work focus on planetary consciousness.[42] He has exhibited his paintings in St. Petersburg, Paris and New Delhi.[43][44] His art has received good reviews.[45] Poetry-paintings of Abhay K and Italian artist Tarshito exhibited at the National Academy of Art, New Delhi highlight Delhi's glorious past.[46]

Awards and recognitionEdit


Poetry CollectionsEdit

  • Enigmatic Love (Bookwell|2009)[52]
  • Fallen Leaves of Autumn (ArtXpress|2010)[53]
  • Candling the Light(Yash|2011)[54]
  • Remains (HarAnand|2012)[55]
  • The Seduction of Delhi(Bloomsbury|2014)[56]
  • The Eight-eyed Lord of Kathmandu (Bloomsbury India |2018) & (The Onslaught Press, Oxford & Paris|2017)[57]
  • The Prophecy of Brasilia (Bilingual edition in English and Portuguese| GaNa, Brazil|2018)


  • Uttering Her Name by Gabriel Rosenstock (Salmon Ireland)into Hindi|2015


  • Anthology of Contemporary Indian English Poetry (Enchanting Verses Literary Review|2016)[58]
  • CAPITALS (Bloomsbury|2017)[59]
  • 100 Great Indian Poems (Bloomsbury|2017)[60]


  • River Valley to Silicon Valley (Bookwell|2007), republished as Becoming A Civil Servant (Kalinjar|2015)
  • 10 Questions of the Soul (2010)[61]
  • Colours of Soul (Cvet Dushi) (2011)[62]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ UNESCO finds Indian poet-diplomat's idea of an Earth Anthem inspiring, Business Standard, 27 Feb 2014
  2. ^ Ambassador's ProfileEmbassy of India Website, Madagascar April 2019
  3. ^ Abhay Kumar appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of MadagascarMEA India website November 2018
  4. ^ Public Diplomacy Division Receives 2011 Award Deccan Herald, 12 March.
  5. ^ "Diplomat-writer, who pens verse", The Tribune, Chandigarh, 16 December 2012
  6. ^ "A diplomatic web", The New Indian Express, 5 August 2011
  7. ^ "Poke your Babus Online" The Times of India, 26 March 2011.
  8. ^ Nepal Rations Fuel as Political Crisis With India Worsens The New York Times, 28 September 2015
  9. ^ India appoints poet-diplomat as Nehru Centre Director in UK Business Standard, March 26, 2015
  10. ^ Abhay K. to head Nehru Centre in London The Hindu, March 28, 2015
  11. ^ Abhay K appointed India's Deputy High Commissioner to Australia Archived 2 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine ANI, 28 September 2015
  12. ^ Abhay Kumar appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Republic of Madagascar Ministry of External Affairs of India Website 9 November 2018
  13. ^ Why the world needs International Day of Diplomats, our everyday peacekeepers Daily O, 11 Oct 2017
  14. ^ First International Day of Diplomats celebrated in Brasilia Business Standard, 25 Oct, 2017
  15. ^ "In the Service of the Nation", M.Y.O.D. 12 April 2012
  16. ^ India Perspectives, ISSUU 16 August 2012
  17. ^ The Hindu Literary Review 2007 The Hindu, 5 August 2007.
  18. ^ The poetics of public places:How poetry from a poet-diplomat can turn into spiritual healing The Kathmandu Post, August 1, 2015
  19. ^ Now, go on a 'Jatra' of poems on Nepal IANS, April 23, 2015
  20. ^ Abhay K's 'The Seduction of Delhi' becomes bestseller poetry Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine ANI, March 30, 2015
  21. ^ Poet-diplomat Abhay K's 'The Seduction of Delhi' shortlisted for Muse India award, Business Standard, 11 Nov 2015
  22. ^ Diplomat Abhay K's book 'The Seduction of Delhi' to be launched at Jaipur Literature Festival DNA, 10 January 2015
  23. ^ Poetry Salzburg Review Issue 30 PSR website, Issue 30, Autumn 2016
  24. ^ [1] The Asia Literary Review Issue 31, August 2016
  25. ^ [2] Gargoyle Magazine, December 2016
  26. ^ Dara Shikoh and other poems
  27. ^ Poet-diplomat brings Indian poetry to Medellin, Colombia Outlook,12 July 2017
  28. ^ Poets from across the world come together to read poems on capital cities Yahoo News, 7 Jan 2017
  29. ^ Buenos Aires to get a taste of Indian poetry The Indian Express, June 10, 2016
  30. ^ 100 Great Indian Poems Bloomsbury India, October, 2017
  31. ^ Antologia traduz para o português pérolas da poesia indiana It is also being translated into Greek, Spanish, Burmese, German and other languages. Correio Braziliense, 20 Jan, 2018
  32. ^ Entrevista com Abhay K .100 Grandes Poemas da Índia Brasilia in Foco, 12 Jan 2018
  33. ^ "A diplomat is taking Indian poetry to the world through translations of a hundred ‘great poems’",, 21 Jan, 2018
  34. ^ [3] ICCR website, June 2013
  35. ^ "Indian Diplomat pens anthem for Earth" The New Indian Express, 5 June 2013
  36. ^ "Indian diplomat in Nepal pens the Earth Anthem" IANS, 27 June 2013
  37. ^ Poet-diplomat's Earth Anthem enlivened by maestro L. Subramaniam, Kavita Krishnamurthy The Daily Pioneer, June 6, 2017
  38. ^ Indian diplomat pens "SAARC Anthem" NDTV, 3 December 2013
  39. ^ The Hindu, 4 December 2013
  40. ^ Indian diplomat's poem spurs search for SAARC anthem Hindustan Times, 9 January 2014
  41. ^ K first Indian poet to record poems at Library of Congress ANI, August 30, 2018
  42. ^ Indian Diplomat turned Artist presents his works on Planetary Consciousness, ANI, 28 April 2011
  43. ^ "We have come far", Indrus, 15 April 2011
  44. ^ Art exhibition "We have come far" by Abhay Kumar opened at RCSC,, 15 April 2011
  45. ^ "A second Life". Indian Express. 4 May 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2012.
  46. ^ Artists highlight the glory of Delhi through poetry-paintings, Business Standard, 16 September 2014
  47. ^ "1st prize awarded to Abhay Kumar by Amity School of Business". Retrieved 23 November 2012.
  48. ^ a b "IFS officer nominated for coveted Pushcart Prize", 2 December 2012
  49. ^ "Poet Abhay K wins SAARC Literature Award" Archived 23 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Hindustan Times, 14 March 2013
  50. ^ "Five writers honoured at the SAARC Literature Festival" Archived 15 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine, PTI, 11 March 2013
  51. ^ Asia-Pacific Excellence Award to Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K, ANI, 14 October 2014
  52. ^ "Enigmatic Love". 4 August 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  53. ^ "Fallen Leaves of Autumn". 4 August 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  54. ^ "Candling the Light". IBNLive. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  55. ^ "Diplomat Abhay K. releases his new book Remains". Indian Express. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  56. ^ "Dream WINDOW". The Hindu. 1 July 2012. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
  57. ^ The Eight-Eyed Lord of Kathmandu The Onslaught Press, UK, October 2017
  58. ^ Contemporary Indian English Poetry Enchanting Verses Literary Review, November 2015
  59. ^ CAPITALS Bloomsbury Publishing, 18 December 2016
  60. ^ Great Indian Poems Bloomsbury Publishing, October, 2017
  61. ^ "10 Questions of the Soul". 4 October 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2012.
  62. ^ "Цвет души". 17 February 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2012.

External linksEdit