Saturday, 18 July 2009
Hillary in my city of Mumbai…..
Her flight was delayed by one hour and she arrived in a bad weather. It was raining heavily and whole area was cordoned off keeping the media out of range. There was carnage of 25 cars that passed through Bandra-Worli sea link and of course, our Mumbai streets had lot of pot holes to give her a bumpy ride which lasted for one hour.
She chose to stay at Taj, saying that she was staying there to “send a message of solidarity and as a rebuke to the terrorists who did not destroy the spirit of the people’’. She began her day by paying homage to the 170-plus people killed and those wounded when terrorist attacked several landmarks in Mumbai last year.
She had breakfast with elite industrialist of Mumbai and later during press conference she spoke about her discussions. She said, “We see the dialogue that we are going to be embarking on with India to be extremely important. It will have the pillars- strategic cooperation, agriculture, education, health care, science and technology. There is great willingness and it is not just the Indian government, it is also the Indian private sector, NGOs and others who want to work with us.”
After lunch, Clinton renewed her association with the artisans of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) where she spent Rs20, 000 buying gifts for her family.
Later, during mid-day, spent an hour with Hindi film star actor Amir Khan at St. Xavier;s College, discussing an issue closer to her heart. Education, she stressed, was an issue “dear and near to my heart’’. “I believe every child can learn. I think that talent is distributed universally, but opportunity is limited. And that is true in every country to a lesser or greater degree...It is up to us, families, governments, businesses, educational institutions to narrow the gap. Education remains the great equalizer and the gateway to opportunity.’’
Unfortunately, I was not able to meet her personally, couldn’t find any reasons to gate-crash into her private space, but my LCD in my living room arranged one-way appointment with the lady whom I admire a lot……
The name "Bombay" was derived from 'Bom Bahia' (The Good Bay),
.... a name given by Portuguese sailor Francis Almeida, in 1508 ....“Bounce back Mumbai” .....as it is called by the locals, it is a city that has been through a lot in the recent past – floods, bomb blasts, riots – and come out stronger each time.
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