February 29, 2020
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"Indira Kept Telling Sonia Not To Mix Around With Italians Too Much"

A close friend of Rajiv and Sonia spoke to Outlook but insisted on one condition: his/her identity be kept secret by the magazine. Some excerpts from the interview:

"Indira Kept Telling Sonia Not To Mix Around With Italians Too Much"

"Indira would keep telling Sonia not to mix around with the Italians too much. ‘I won’t be able to protect you from my people if they see you as a foreigner who’s been unable to sever ties with her original home,’ she told Sonia. And to be fair to Sonia, she toed her mother- in - law’s line on this. She kept away from the Italians."

"Must say this for Indira, she had better judgement of people. She would never have let some Italian accountant from somewhere get so close to the family. But Indira’s death changed it all. Sonia took to the Italians again. With renewed force."

"Quattrocchi became a friend of Rajiv and Sonia. And desperately befriended all their friends too. With lavish dinners thrown at their Friend’s Colony home where the Italian food was delicious. They were great hosts— that must be given to them."

"The height of Quattrocchi’s sycophancy, perhaps, was when he named one of his younger daughters Anna Maria Priyanka Quattrocchi. Everybody would, of course, still call her Anna.... Everyone was amused. But no one dared laugh."

"He, Quattrocchi, was a smooth, sophisticated, suave operator. Typical Sicilian. His wife a dumpy, plump woman. No, she wasn’t a goodlooking woman by any standards. They were no big, bold, beautiful Italians. They had suddenly become all that here. They had four children."

"Sadly, Rajiv never realised that all these ‘new yuppie friends’ he was acquiring became his friends for some favour or the other. Unfortunately, those of his old friends who saw through them couldn’t say so because they might seem jealous. And frankly, the old group of his friends were too confident of their background and education to be insecure of the new crowd ofpeople who would want to hang around with the young, powerful Gandhis."

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