On 28 December 2009 the celebration of Muharram in West Bengal was so huge that I had to abandon the taxi that I had hired to leave for the airport at the same place from where I had started, and catch an auto-rickshaw on a premium to beat the traffic jam that had clogged the city. When I reached the airport with about an hour to spare, and I concluded the security check, I was in for a surprise. The leader of opposition in West Bengal and the honorable Railway Minister of India, Ms. Mamata Banerjee too arrived there, and was talking to her colleagues and spending some quite time, before she was to catch a plane to go to Delhi. Since she was in the general waiting area, and not in the preferred VIP lounge of the rich and the big in politics, it was so appealing. However, due to the security and colleagues around her, I could not go near her to speak to her. I would have loved to. This woman's simplicity and her strength to fight the system are great inspiration. I wish I could meet her some day. Oh yes, another person I would like to meet and say a hello to or to have a breakfast or dinner with would be is the present Home Minister of India, Mr. Chidambaram. I admire this man for the way he has handled national security, for his versatile personality and the extent of knowledge he has on the subject he speaks. His speeches in parliament are really inspiring. These are not persons for admiration alone, but also people from whom one can learn for life.
Importantly, when I reached Madurai on 29 Dec 2009 morning, I saw in the television there that Ms. Mamata had traveled by an auto-rickshaw to the airport on 28 December, as she too was stuck in traffic! Hei, that's like me! She surprises you!