Friday, August 31, 2012

Of Diplomatic Relations and Mercury Level(s)

I had this topic in my mind for quite sometime, -nearly a year!

You see, I had a heated argument (so to say) between me and one of my room mate whom I met last year (2011). But I don't know whether this would qualify to be called as a "debate" in the first place. Since this was the very first.....debate of its kind between us, I never felt comfortable blogging and had to forgo it for some other topics. And in course of one year, I have seen him fall into many such debates with many other friends. Now that I have already blogged about my other room mate, I don't find any reason to postpone it any further.

It was one casual evening. I remember it was after our dinner, -the time we mostly devote for casual and some senseless talks. The infamous 'diplomatic relations' was one such topic that evening.  Although I still do not remember as to how that sensitive topic came to the fore, I remember what I spoke that night with crystal clarity. I spoke about the the guiding role, yes the "guiding role", India plays in Bhutanese foreign relations. I also said that at the moment, Bhutan has diplomatic relations with over 29 or so nations and that all most all visas to Bhutanese nationals travelling to various countries in the world are being issued in India and not in Bhutan.

Strange and to my utter disappointment, my friend found my knowledge, absolutely unacceptable, grotesque and vague. He defiantly said that India plays no "guiding" role in Bhutan's foreign policy and that Bhutan has a diplomatic relation with over 169 countries already! What was more disgraceful was that, he supported his points by telling me that, he is RCSC select graduate and it was how he prepared for the RCSC examination!

Taken aback and shocked to my core, I told him that that he is mistaking diplomatic relations to international associations like friendship associations and other such organizational bodies. I also told him that he will understand more about it once he have a passport of his own and start travelling to ex-countries. I am not a foreign relation expert and hence I risk saying senseless points, but here, I was thousand percent sure about the right thing I spoke. I also told him about how I cleared the same exam some 6 years before him.

And the other thing, i.e "Mercury leve(s)" debate happened in my absence and hence I don't have a first hand information as to what actually transpired. It was all I heard from my other friends. My friend who discarded my knowledge about "diplomatic relations" also discarded the "Mercury level" knowledge of other friends too. They told me about he how he supported his view of thermometer with two mercury levels, -one showing maximum and the other showing minimum! I went wordless once again.

Confused and skeptical about my general knowledge, I latched the door from inside and started cross checking with Google and Wikipedia. But at the back of my mind, I knew he was not being silly but rather teasing our intellectual capacity.

Have a nice day folks.

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