Being RAHUL GANDHI
22.1. 2013, Mumbai
When Rahul Gandhi made his speech he must be aware that every word he speaks will be dissected, debated and analysed by his detractors and the nation. Every newspaper, every columnist, editorial has commented on the newly elected Vice President and as I write this blog I watch Times Now hosting a panel discussion on whether Rahul’s speech was high on emotion and low on substance, more on personal and less on political agenda?
Kumar Ketkar Group Editor of Divya Bhaskar disagreed. Nirmala Seetharam, BJP spokesperson agreed. Congress party members said that Rahul’s outpouring in Jaipur was his love for the country. The opposition said that the nomination was an extension of the ruling party’s dynasty rule.
Since I’m not a political journalist and lack the expertise to unravel the intrigue I rely on my instinct to make impressions of people and I narrate my encounter with Rahul Gandhi just a few months ago at Saif Kareena wedding reception hosted by Sharmila Tagore in Delhi. I was appreciating the beautifully done up lawn with swaying palm trees dressed in fairy lights and ventured into the deserted dinning area to discover to my surprise, Rahul Gandhi and his three friends checking out what was on the banquet.
On an impulse I walked up to him and called ‘Rahul’. He turned, clearly surprised. I said I had no agenda but many years ago, at a similar function I had met his dad Rajiv Gandhi and couldn’t resist talking to him because he was devastatingly handsome. He smiled. ‘And today it’s a feeling of déjà vu…’ He smiled again. I touched him lightly on the arm, said ‘God bless’ and parted without introducing myself.
I went back to find my friends and bumped into a high and happy Randhir Kapoor. I complimented him that his daughter’s reception was attended by political bigwigs including Rahul Gandhi and Randhir appeared surprised. ‘Is Rahul here, I didn’t know.’ I offered to introduce him to Rahul and led him to the dinning area where Rahul and his friends were relishing a quiet dinner. He was bending over his plate whenI stood once again behind him and softly called ‘Rahul’. He turned surprised to find me again and stood up instantly.
‘This is the father of the bride’ I said pointing to Kapoor. Rahul offered a firm handshake and said ‘Congratulations’ to Randhir and then we went back to our friends and Rahul to complete his dinner.
As a film critic writing on showbiz for over 30 years, connecting with celebrities is not a novelty. It is how they behave in public that makes a complex study of human behaviour and Rahul Gandhi on that day, passed the test in flying colours!!
Bhawana Somaaya/www. www.bhawanasomaaya.com