Age: 43 Years
Education: M. Phil
Hometown: Nalanda, Bihar
|Pen name||Abhay K Grace Cavalieri|
|Known For||Penned anthem for Earth, Chandryaan-2 and Chandryaan-3, and all other planets of the solar system|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.7 m
in feet & inches- 5’7”
|Books||Non-Fiction: River Valley to Silicon Valley (2007), 10 Questions of the Soul (2010), Colours of Soul (2011)
Poetry Collection: Enigmatic Love (2009), Fallen Leaves of Autumn (2010), Remains (2012), The Seduction of Delhi (2014), The Magic of Madagascar (2021), Stray Poems (2022), Celestial (2023)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• 1st Prize by the Amity School of Business, Noida, for the case study Digital Revolution and Business at the 8th Renvoi, an International Management Case Study Competition
• SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) Literary Award 2013 for his contribution to contemporary South Asian poetry
• Asia-Pacific Excellence Award 2014
• Kalinga Literary Festival 2020-2021 Poetry Book of the Year Award for the translation of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Ritusamhara
• KLF (Kalinga Literary Festival) Book Award 2022 for The Book of Bihari Literature
|Date of Birth||1980|
|Age (as of 2023)||43 Years|
|Birthplace||Bhattu Bigha village near Rajgir in the Nalanda district|
|School||• R.D.H. School Rajgir, Bihar|
|College/University||• Kirori Mal College, New Delhi
• Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
• Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussorie (LBSNAA)
• Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)
• Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University
• Tribhuvan University
• Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA
|Educational Qualification(s) LinkedIn - Abhay Kumar||• Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography
• Master of Arts degree in Geography and Population Studies
• Civil Service Foundation Course in Administration
• First-level Russian language at Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU)
• U.S. Foreign Policy from Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University
• Nepali language from Tribhuvan University Nepal
• Diplomacy Module from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, USA
|Hobbies||Photography, travelling, cooking|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status||Not Known|
|Parents||Father- Rajendra Singh (school teacher)
Mother- Dayawanti (homemaker)
|Siblings||Brother- Ajay (works in IT sector)|
|Musician||Ustad Bismillah Khan|
|Writer(s)||Indian: Ruskin Bond, Kalidasa, Kabir, Rabindranath Tagore, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Munshi Premchand
American: Robert Frost
British: T.S. Eliot
Some Lesser Known Facts About Abhay Kumar
- Abhay Kumar is an Indian poet-diplomat. He is famous for his poems written for Chandaryaan mission -2, Earth, and all other planets of the solar system.
- When he was two years old, his family relocated to the village of Chhabilapur in the Nalanda district of Bihar.
- Abhay’s grandfather was a wrestler and often participated in local wrestling championships.
- In 1998, he took part in the 19th World Universities Debating Championship held in Manila, Philippines. At the time, he was studying at Kirorimal College in Delhi and represented India in the international debating competition.
- Before clearing the UPSC CSE (Union Public Service Commission Civil Service Examination), he used to teach Geography at a coaching institute called IDP9 in Delhi. He was 22 years old at that time.
- In the UPSC CSE 2003, he achieved the 71st rank and was assigned to the Indian Foreign Service.
- He finished his foundation course at LBSNAA (Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy Of Administration) in 2003, then underwent additional training at FSI (Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service) in New Delhi in 2004. He worked as a desk officer at MEA for six months, responsible for the East and South Africa divisions.
- In 2005, he enrolled at Moscow State University (MSU) to learn the Russian language and successfully passed the Russian language test, which was conducted by the School of Foreign Languages, Ministry of Defence, India. During this period, he worked at the economic and commercial wing of the Indian Embassy in Moscow.
- In 2007, he was appointed as the Second Secretary (Commerce) at the Embassy, where his responsibilities included managing trade issues, organizing business events, coordinating trade delegations, and preparing economic reports.
- In 2007, he published his first book, a memoir titled ‘River Valley to Silicon Valley’ in which he penned his journey of becoming an IAS officer.
- From 2007 to 2010, he served as the Consulate General of India in St. Petersburg, and from 2010 to 2012, as the Under Secretary of Digital Diplomacy in Delhi.
- He was the one who started the celebration of Indian Foreign Service Day on 9 October 2011.
- From 2012 to 2015, he served as the spokesperson for the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, and from 2016 to 2019, he was the Deputy Chief of Mission to Brazil.
- He is a renowned poet known for his poems and referred to as a ‘World Poet’ by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri. In 2013, he received a nomination for the Pushcart Prize for his contribution to South Asian poetry.
- In 2013, Abhay penned ‘Earth Anthem,’ a song dedicated to the planet that was translated into 8 languages, including the 6 UN (United Nations) languages, Hindi, and Nepali. The English version of the song was sung by Nepali singer Shreya Sotang. It has since been translated into over 150 languages. In 2021, to commemorate the 51st Earth Day, more than 100 artists came together to recite it.
- He also composed anthems for SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), Chandrayan-2, Chandrayan-3, and all the other planets in the solar system. Hindustan Times
- His book, ‘The Seduction of Delhi’, was a finalist for the Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award in 2015.
- Abhay has edited a number of poetry collections, including ‘Anthology of Contemporary Indian English Poetry’ (2016), ‘Capitals’ (2017), ‘100 Great Indian Poems’ (2017), ‘New Brazilian Poems’ (2019), ‘The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems’ (2020), and ‘The Book of Bihari Literature’ (2022).
- He proposed celebrating the International Day of Diplomats on the UN (United Nations) Day. The proposal was initially observed in Brasilia on 24 October 2017, with participation from diplomats of various countries.
- From 2019 to 2022, he served as the Ambassador of India to Madagascar and Comoros, where he made the Indian Embassy solar-powered and established a Street Library. In 2019, at the age of 38, Abhay became the youngest ambassador to be appointed to an Indian embassy.
- On 19 September 2022, he was appointed Deputy Director General of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) responsible for cultural events during India’s presidency of G-20 from December 2022 to November 2023.
- In 2021, he translated two works by the classical Sanskrit poet Kalidas into English: ‘Meghaduta,’ a lyrical poem about a cloud messenger, and ‘Ritusamhara’, a collection of verses about the six seasons. He also translated the poems of 60 Brazilian poets into English.
- Abhay Kumar’s poem ‘The Partitioned Land’ became part of Cornell University’s curriculum in Fall 2021.
- He has showcased his artwork on planetary consciousness in major cities worldwide, including St. Petersburg, Paris, New Delhi, and Brasilia.
- In New Delhi, his poetry paintings were displayed alongside those of Italian artist Tarshito at the National Academy of Art, showcasing Delhi’s rich history.
- In 2018-19, Abhay became the first Indian poet to be invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, which is the National Library of the USA.
- He is a polyglot, fluent in multiple languages including Magahi, Hindi, English, Russian, Nepali, and Portuguese, and has knowledge of French and Sanskrit.
- The book-length poem ‘Monsoon’ by Abhay delves into the effects of climate change on India. Sarah Dimick, an assistant professor at Harvard University, has chosen this book as one of three for her book project on Climate and Literature. The other two books are by the acclaimed Indian writer Amitav Ghosh.
- Abhay Kumar’s poetry has been the focus of academic research. In 2017, Amit Dhawan received his Ph.D. from Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India for his research paper titled ‘Cultural Construct of Self: A Critical Study of Abhay Kumar’s Poetry.’ Sapna Dogra, an academician, compared Abhay’s poem ‘Yamuna’ with A.K. Ramanujan’s poem ‘A River’ in a research paper.
- He maintains his physical and mental health by following a regular exercise routine and practising meditation.