Meeting the Prime Minister

In ten minutes Indira Gandhi did come. I was sitting in the last row, and she came and sat not even a metre away from me. I turned and looked at her. She was wearing a cotton sari that was simpler than the simplest. She looked very tired and exhausted. She said, “Oh, I am so tired.”

In three or four minutes they announced over the loudspeaker: “Our beloved Prime Minister Indira Gandhi will now give the prizes for the discus.” During the announcement I was looking at her with folded hands. When she got up and started walking, everybody folded his hands.

She went down to the same place I had just been and gave the prizes for the discus. She also presented the prizes to the gold medalists of the previous meet in Singapore. Then the 91-year-old man came up to her to say something.

Milka Singh, who is so tall, was all the time bowing with folded hands - trying to come down to her height. At that time Ghuli, the manager, was nowhere to be seen; it was only Milka Singh who was with the Prime Minister.

Then the Prime Minister disappeared and the story ended. Like me, there were four other persons sitting together who were supposed to meet her. But none of us got to see her.

There is one thing I would like to say about her: she definitely has a soulful smile - more so than any other big shot I have seen.

— 31 March 1983