Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tarkeshwari, a mix of wit and beauty

AJ. PHILIP’s article “A beautiful politician” (Aug 22) was interesting. Tarkeshwari Sinha rendered the Sansad Bhawan cosy not only with her doe eyes daintily dressed with kajol, an elegantly made up coiffure and rouge tinted fluffy cheeks and fragrance of an exotic perfume wafting from her torso but also with her sparkling recitation of poetry.
Her famous verbal duel with Dr Ram Manohar Lohia is still etched in the memory of those who were present in the House at the galleries on that day. Lohia, in his inimitable style, was pleading that Svetlania, Joseph Stalin’s daughter, who fled to India from behind the iron curtain, wanted political asylum. He argued that as Svetlania was married to an Indian, Brijesh Singh, a close relative of the then External Affairs Minister Dinesh Singh, she was entitled to asylum.

When Lohia pleaded that the government must appreciate a widow’s feelings, Tarkeshwari said, “Lohia Sahib, how can you talk of marital sentiments when you yourself are not married?” He quipped, “Madam, when did you give me an opportunity to marry?” There was great laughter all around. Tarkeshwari interrupted Lohia’s speech and said, “You are very much concerned about women from abroad while you do not care for the Indian ladies”.
He seized the opportunity and replied, “Madam, rest assured, I do care for you. I am always full of thought about you”. “Maybe, but let it be known to you, I care not a whit for you”, she calmly replied. Indeed, because of her wit and beauty, Tarkeshwari was a unique MP.

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