Meet India's coolest and sweetest CM
Coolest and sweetest? And that too a chief minister of a state in India? Is this some kind of an oxymoron?
What else would you call a person, who despite the current security threat to VIPs and being the chief minister of a city-state, roams around freely amidst a sea of NRIs, with just a lone security guard in tow, unarmed.
She talks, gets up from her seat and poses with everybody, who approaches her for a photograph. And even as she is having her simple meal, she walks with a motherly grace asking people if they were enjoying a gala dinner hosted by her and politely snubbing a pushy correspondent to go have his dinner first and then ask her for her comment about her being the coolest and sweetest chief minister in India.
Bored reading such a long sentence? Whining? I am sure the chief minister of Delhi, Sheila Dixit, would get bored too but I am sure again she will have a more charitable way of saying so.
Image: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit
Photographs: Rajesh Karkera
'Sheilaji is grace personified'
Many of the more than 500 overseas Indians, who attended the dinner party hosted by Dixit were completely floored by her graciousness, humility, elegance, composure and hospitality.
"Isn't she the coolest and sweetest chief ministers in India," asked Samarth Deshpande, an NRI from the UK who is planning to invest some $3.5 million in a solar plant in Gujarat.
"While (Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi is very professional in his attitude, (J&K Chief Minister) Omar Abdullah, dynamic, I think Sheilaji is grace personified," he quipped.
True to what Deshpande said Dixit was seen mingling with a bevy of NRIs -- with those who looked significant and even with those who just wanted to get a photograph clicked with her so that they can go home and brag about it -- greeting them, asking them to eat a particular vegetarian dish that she herself loved: All done with a charming smile on her face.
Image: the Delhi CM interacts with a guests while having dinner
'Isn't she worried about her security?'
Quipped another lady guest: "Isn't she worried about her security? Why is she mingling so freely with people and that too with just an unarmed security officer?"
She surmised that the security guards posted outside her official residence must have been asked specifically by her to go soft on checking women who attended the dinner at her home.
"The lady didn't even ask me to open my purse and check the belongings inside," she said. "While I am impressed by the treatment most of us here have received, I think madam CM should take her security a bit seriously."
However, Dixit was at her warmest best with the guests who asked her to pose with her even as she began to eat her meal. Without the faintest of a smirk on her face the motherly Dixit would get up, stand between her fans and smile for as long as the guests pleased.
Image: The chief minister's residence
'Madam Dixit is indeed an epitome of elegance'
In fact, this exercise of eating a morsel, getting up to pose with guests, sitting down, again eating a morsel or two, again getting up to pose with guests happened with clockwork regularity, but the host draped in an elegant silk sari would not even flinch once in exasperation.
"Madam Dixit is indeed an epitome of grace, elegance and hospitality," said Manoj Vij, an NRI based in Mauritius, who was attending his third consecutive PBD.
And this correspondent can vouch that the delegates' remarks was not just plain talk and they meant what they said.
Image: One of the food stalls at the dinner venue