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|January 5, 1998||
And Sonia beeeamed!
Politics does that to people -- make them beam and smile at total strangers, we mean.
And so it happened with the lady of 10, Janpath too. On Monday, at Rashtrapathi Bhavan.
There for the Gandhi peace prize function, Sonia Gandhi found much to beam about the world. And so she beamed. And beeeamed. At all and sundry.
Naturally, everyone was surprised -- hey, was this the same Sonia who went around looking as if she had just fought a wasp and lost? Ohmygod, she was actually smiling.
When the shock of the smile wore off, a few reporters screwed up enough courage to go up to the lady. No sooner did they approach, Sonia, who was then busy beaming at Dr Karan Singh and a few others, hurriedly finished with it, and moved towards them.
"Hello," says the lady.
"H-hello," the reporters swallow, looking around nervously for Sonia's omnipresent security detail. But the SPG, they found, were at bay this time. They moved closer.
"Madameji, we are journalists," the boldest among them mumbled, dreaming about the scoop he was about to get, "Do you think you could answer a few questions about the electi--"
That was all he got to. Sonia's smile had collapsed and was, for a moment, replaced with the old look -- but only for a moment. She regained her composure, pasted her smile (see, politics does this to people!) back and waved her hand.
"Sorry. But I mistook you for activists (working in the field of leprosy and polio control with Gerhard Fischer, who was awarded the peace prize)," she said, "I don't want to say anything about elections now. Sorry."
Madame moved away. While the journos stood rooted, their dreams of front page lead and instant promotion fading away with her...
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