Date: 22-July-2006, exactly a week before
Time: 11.55 am (IST)
Situation: Me sleeping all the way to glory till this time . Perhaps, then realised that its the wake up call and grabbed The Hindu lying in a corner of the Hall. Now...
As usual, I flipped through its pages to the Business and Sports section, when this ad by the Nani A Palkhiwala Foundation somewhere in the middle suddenly grabbed my attention. The ad read:
"Talk on women Empowerment and....
Speaker: Smt. Kiran Bedi, Magsaysay Recipient
Venue: Rani Seethai Manram, Near Anna Flyover
Time: 11.30 am(and yeah)
All are invited"
Though I pay attention to details, what attracted me instantly was the speaker and then straight I looked for the time and venue only to find that time was already 12.20 in my watch! I felt very bad for waking up late and I told Satya, my roomie about this. He replied -- "These people seldom come late for occasions like this da unlike politicians where the actual speech begins comfortably hours later than the scheduled time". And he made some time calculations and advised me not to go as even if I start immediately I might be able to see only an empty hall. But I was already prepared to go even if it were to see an Empty hall. Within 2 minutes like the Maggi Instant Noodles, I was ready (of course, bathing is a luxury in this time and had to be avoided). Rushed from my apartment across the road to the Autokaaran I could see first and then started to the venue.
It took almost half an hour to reach there and the time was 1 pm. I sped across the stairs and asked the attendant whether its still on. Yeo, he said yes which sparkled my face and added "Ulla Ponga Saar. Mudiya poguthu..". As I went inside crowd was less than what I expected (I had expected to stand but fortunately there were enough seats left unfilled). As it happened, Kiran Bedi was answering the last audience question from the dias and I came to know that the programme started at sharp 11.30. Ms. Bedi clad on a baby-green Pathan style Patiala suit was radiant and effervescent amongst the galaxy of dignitaries present on the podium. Seated along with her on the dias was Apna company CFO too. After her answer to the last question, Vote of thanks was proposed by the Palkhiwala Foundation Secretary.
Then the folks off the stage were disbursing, but how could I? I had come all the way atleast to say a 'Hi' to her. She was flocked by the foundation members, some socialite women and few who wanted to see her from near. Oh la, she readily interacted with all the junta and her mere presence electrified everyone. I had this strong urge to get an autograph from her; and Kiran is a star in her own right. I made the first move to get her autograph and with me making the intiative, others too followed.. [Autograph from movie actors is not my cup of tea though I ve taken snaps with Vikram and Saami team when some of its sequences were shot at my uncle's place, Radhika and Annamalai (Sun TV sop) team during its shooting at Keelapoongudi, near my hometown].
I dared to go and conveyed what I really wanted to. I said yours truly is so and so and told that and this. She was happy when I said that. She immediately extended her hand which was spontaneous, congratulated as well as wished me good luck. Though I didnt take my camera, one kind soul was generous enough to shoot few of my snaps as well and sent them across to me. And yeah I am posting 2 of them here.
Also when I said where I am working, Apna Company CFO who was behind her looked at me giving a sense of belongingness. With his pleasant dispostion he asked about me and how I find the work. As obvious I was ready with the stereotypical answer -- "Fine.., Er..Its actually good." He smiled and decently made my way to hang around Kiran jee. This time, few more folks joined to get autograph from her and I watched from behind. Meanwhile, a cute looking Hindu Reporter joined in a for mini chat. She gave me tid bits of info and told me about the Palkhiwala foundation.
The apparent delay in posting this despite being a week since I met Kiran Bedi jee is because of my interest to research on her career, life and biography after friday when my work would get over and whereafter I could devote time for that. I read a mini biography of Ms. Bedi from this. Visited http://www.kiranbedi.com/ and explored that fully too.
Though that meeting-Kiran jee-moment didnt last for more than a minute, her instataneous gesture and what she talked is still vivid in me. I definitely am more proud to consider that moment as an honour!
PS: Trivia - The title of this post -- As I see, I dare has a relevance to her publications. I dare is Ms. Bedi's biography and As I see is a collection of her articles