I was in Singapore and had lunch with my old friend Bilahari Kausikan who retired as Permanent Secretary in the Singapore Foreign Affairs Ministry.
I first met him nine years ago at an official dinner in New Delhi. I was seated next to him. He looks a Chinese every inch and so I asked him how he got a name of a Carnatic music raga. His reply was fascinating.
His full name is Bilahari Kim Hee Papanasam Setlur Kausikan. His father, late P.S. Raman, who emigrated to Singapore in 1948 disillusioned with the Partition of the sub-continent had served as Singapore’s envoy to Moscow. Bilahari too occupied the same post some decades later. Mr. Raman married a Chinese lady.
If ever there was a symbol of “Chindia“, Bilahari is one!!