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Esteemed Company

Quoted verbatim from an email I received the other day!
This is from Divya...

I have something nice to tell you.

Yesterday was a good day for me. I met a host of well known who's who of the country as well as the world. I had the opportunity of being invited to the Award ceremony of the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The award for the year 2005 was given to the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Prof Wangari M Maathai. Not only her, I also had the privelege of meeting several senior officials of the Indian forces, MPs, diplomats from almost all the embassies, and our prime minister, finance minister, vice- president, Dr Karan Singh, and Sonia Gandhi among others. But the best part was meeting the President, APJ Abul Kalam :)

The atmosphere in the hall was splendid. After the conferral and an array of speeches by all in the panel, ..and not to forget the National Anthem...we had a tea and snacks gathering. This was an informal platform for everyone to exchange greetings with each other. Most of the diplomats were queued up to say hello to Dr Maathai. She is a very gentle and vibrant lady. After about 5 mins, I approached her and exchanged greetings. She said she was very glad to meet me when I told her that i had read a bit about her. When I told her about the Seeds of Change exhibition held in Delhi, she embraced me, kissed me on my cheek, and said she was very delighted that I took the effort of coming for the occasion and talking to her. She said I must take charge of something and succeed in it as a part of the responsibility of being a youth. I was so happy..also because there were quite a number of diplomats and MPs still waiting to say hello to her!

After that I was thinking of leaving, when I saw the most unassuming man smiling at me from a crowd. He was the President. At first I didnt know whether he was smiling at me, or was it the after effect of a conversation. But soon he left his company and came towards me with an extended hand. We shook hands and I introduced myself. He asked me what was I doing and I told him that I had recently quit my job and was a student again. He was as if overjoyed. He put his arms around my shoulder and said, "Oh! you are a manager, you have a lot to manage in your life ahead." Then he took me to the window and showed me a beautiful sight of the Mughal Gardens. He said, "Why dont you manage the plants and flowers? See, I have such a splendid collection for you. Isnt it?" He went on to tell me that I could come in anytime to the Gardens and that even cameras were allowed in now. Then he looked at me and smiled. I thought it was an indication for me to leave. Then he extended his hand to me yet again and said that it was a great pleasure for him to see the youth in any such gathering. He said, usually he doesn't get to see any of the youth on such occasions out of volition. He wished me all the best and kept his hand on my head and smiled and kept looking at me. I couldnt help but be humbled by his presence. He is so gentle and so sincere. Contrary to my belief, he is not very tall. After that he asked me to have some tea..and almost 5 to 6 people ran towards the counter to get me tea. Then quite famous faces of Dr Manmohan Singh, P.Chidambaram, Sonia Gandhi, and lots of others who I cant put a name to, kept smiling and saying hello to me. I felt so awkward...but nice. All I wanted was to see Prof Maathai and here I was talking to the President, the hero of the nation ...and that too with his frail and gentle hands on my shoulders :)

I quickly gulped my tea and happily skipped out of the palace with ornate ceilings, spectacular decorations, and idol-like durbaans with huge mustaches. Everyone around was as amused to see me as I was to find myself there :)

I thought of sharing this day with you.


I read it , re-read it and thought it'd be a good idea to share it with all concerned. I did take the lady's permission ;-)
That's Divya for you!


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