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Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
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Bibliofile

How petty was Mrs G? Kunzru's con? Rohinston Mistry - Germaine Greer scrap...

Bibliofile
Bibliofile
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
illustration by Jayachandran Indira Gandhi could sometimes be unbelievably petty. When she took both her sons and daughters-in-law with her on her visit to the USSR in 1967, for instance, she made a point of ignoring Maneka and bestowing all her attention and affection on Sonia. Sheila Gujral, in her memoirs, My Years in the USSR—Recollections and Revelations (Macmillan), recounts the lengths Mrs G sometimes went to put people in their place, including then ambassador I.K. Gujral. The imperious lady, after sending Gujral into political exile in Moscow, left him with almost nothing to do, preferring to operate directly through the Soviet embassy in Delhi. Even a harmless gesture by Gujral such as offering an Indian wristwatch to Brezhnev could merit a sharp rap on the knuckles. The wristwatch was promptly despatched by Mrs G, with express directions to keep Gujral from presenting it himself to Brezhnev. Gujral was very cut up with this snub, trivial though it was, and even thought of sending in his...
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