Was part of the audience for an NDTV show last night where three young MPs, Deepender Hooda, Kalikesh Singh Deo and Manicka Tagore were fielding questions from an audience of students about what it meant to be young and in Parliament. These guys are young, smart, camera-friendly and clearly capable of so much. Wonder what they’ll do with the power they’ve inherited/earned/achieved. I think the show’s on NDTV at 10 tonight. Amidst the flurry of questions, you can see me nodding and smiling and trying to stay awake (not because the discussion was uninteresting, but because I’d just been driven to St. Stephens’ from south Delhi in a really comfortable air-conditioned car and had slept like a baby through most of the journey)
Update: Here‘s the video
Unrelated, but am reminded of another public event where staying awake and alive was a real problem: sometime in 2004. An event at Oxford bookstore, where I was supposed to deliver a short speech about something or other as part of the panel of judges for whatever it was we were judging; clearly a writing contest of some sort. I remember Diya Kar Hazra, Jairam Ramesh and other stalwarts were there with me. Now I had a terrible hacking zombie-like cough that had been bothering me for a few days and had rendered me (fortunately, according to some) incapable of speech. To soften, smoothen and otherwise harmonize my vocal chords, I had chugged a fair amount of Benadryl just before leaving the flat; as a result, the entire evening was a blur. I nodded, smiled fixedly and tried to keep from gently swaying from side to side without much success. When it was my turn to speak, I remember the audience blurring and weaving. I felt like Gussie Fink-Nottle.
I think the speech was a huge hit, though. I don’t really remember.