For former Prime Minister V P Singh, I was a mysterious man

V P Singh’s gaze was fixed on my writing pad. I was scribbling furiously. He grew curious. 

I could make this out from the corner of my eye. I ignored it because I was busy. Too busy to even spare him a second to look at him sitting right in front of me in a chair and keenly observing me. There were other top leaders of various political parties who had gathered in the house of N T Rama Rao at Abids in Hyderabad. NTR, the leader of TDP was the president of the National Front, a group of political parties which came together as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP.

The room on the ground floor was packed. There were leaders and a motely group of reporters. This probably was in 1990. I could not find a chair in the room. That did not matter. I saw the centre table in the room could serve my purpose of placing my writing pad on it. I sat on the floor and went about scribbling non-stop as the leaders spoke to the media.

I could not afford to miss a single point of what they were saying. So, even looking at them as they spoke was not important for me. Only what they said was. V P Singh had been Prime Minister having donned the mantle under dramatic circumstances. N T Rama Rao too had made a dramatic entry into politics and had been chief minister. Prafulla Kumar Mohanta, the student leader-turned-politician was the chief minister of Assam. He was there too.

Then what was V P Singh doing looking at me and peering to have a glance at the notes I was taking? I was aware he was doing that. I felt it was not my business to ask him about his unusual behaviour. Nevertheless, it was nagging me. But it was nagging him more. Finally, inquisitiveness got the better of him.

“Can you read what you are writing?” V P Singh asked me, suddenly. One of the political leaders who was speaking at that time stopped to understand what was happening. All the leaders too glanced toward my notepad. They understood what had made V P Singh so curious. He was justified, in seeking the answer for the big question that was troubling him.

There were smiles all around. So, this is what was bothering V P Singh. So, it was for this reason that he kept looking at me and my notes.

“I can understand what I write,” I told him with a smile escaping my lips even as the others also found my handwriting to be too crooked for anyone to even attempt to decipher. V P Singh was not satisfied with my answer. I had to read a sentence to convince him that my handwriting was legible at least for me, if not for others.

Over the years, let me say decades, my handwriting has got better –  or more worse - for any else to read or understand.

(Pic: Google images of a previous meeting between the leaders in Delhi in 1989)

1 comment:

  1. “Can you read what you are writing?” V P Singh asked me, suddenly. The turning point in the story😁


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