From suffering a surge in racist violence to being conferred the honour of a science Nobel, the Indian diaspora in 2009 lived out the highs and lows that come with being linked to a country that is rising on the world stage.
Many of the thousands of Indians who moved to Australia for higher studies - a product of India's quest to become a 21st century knowledge centre - became the bewildered victims of sudden unprovoked racist violence.
As the number of Indian students in Australia swelled from around 30,000 in 2004 to nearly 100,000 in 2009, scores of them were subjected to racist attacks in the summer, prompting Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to express regret and assure his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh that Indian students are welcome in his country.
By contrast, 2009 was also the year when an Indian origin scientist, working away quietly in Cambridge University on the structure and function of the ribosome, was named for the Nobel prize in chemistry along with an American and an Israeli.
Coming as it did just as the violence in Australia was dying down, the coveted prize sparked instant celebrations in India.
But the winner, Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, waved away the plaudits, telling IANS his Nobel was a "much bigger deal" in India than in his institute - the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
"In India I'm seen as the first in my field. In my institute, I'm just the 15th Nobel laureate," he said.
The following are some of the other highlights charting the ups and downs in the life of the Indian diaspora in 2009:
Prodded by opposition parties in the run up to elections due by June 2010, the Labour government in Britain continued to fret and fume over migration.
Scrapping visas granted under a Highly Skilled Migrants Programme (HSMP) - a system that benefited mostly Indians - the government introduced an Australian-style system where applicants are awarded points for skills, education, existing salary, qualifications and knowledge of English.
At the same time it announced stringent penalties for firms found to be hiring illegal migrants, in the process muddying the public's perception of illegal and legal migrants, critics said.
Violent racism swept parts of Britain too. Clashes broke out as far-right groups such as the English Defence League and Stop Islamisation of Europe took out marches in towns and cities with large South Asian populations.
The most prominent rise was that of the British National Party (BNP), which reserves membership for whites only and campaigns to remove non-whites from Britain.
During a controversial appearance on a BBC television panel show, BNP leader Nick Griffin was taken on by an Indian-origin member of the audience, whose comments hit the headlines around the world.
Khush Klare, whose parents migrated from India in the 1960s, left Griffin speechless after telling him: "This is my country, I love this country, I'm part of this country. You would be surprised how many people would have a whip-round to buy you a ticket - and your supporters - to go to the South Pole. It's a colourless landscape that will suit you fine."
In the arena of public life, a ballooning scandal over expense claims filed by British parliamentarians hit Indian-born steel magnate Swraj Paul, who voluntarily stepped down as deputy speaker of the House of Lords for the duration of an inquiry launched at his request.
Shriti Vadera, said to be Prime Minister Gordon Brown's closest confidante in the British cabinet, quit as minister for the cabinet office, business, innovation and skills to take up a position as adviser to the rotating presidency of the G20 group of global economic powerhouses.
In arts, celebrated British film director Danny Boyle's India-themed "Slumdog Millionaire" took eight Oscars, including best director. Dev Patel, a lanky 19-year-old from Harrow in northwest London, played the lead.
The year saw the death of Jade Goody, the British reality television star whose insulting remarks against movie actress Shilpa Shetty in 2007 outraged the Indian diaspora and caused her expulsion from the show. She died of cancer at the age of 27, exactly one month after marrying her boyfriend Jack Tweed.
(Dipankar De Sarkar can be contacted at email@example.com)