Ipsita Shome, student by day and writer for the rest, has taken to her passion way before she had anticipated. Writes on issues ranging from politics to social identities; her pieces are already creating opinion among opinion-makers. Ipsita wishes to study politics, its attributes and may be, even take that up as a career.
It is a yearly norm. I lock myself up with rented movies, adequate music and superfluous food to avoid the hurly-burly of Valentine's Day. Not that I dislike the concept of love, lust or diabetic treacle. Just the idea of excessive everything makes me jittery.
Nevertheless, to compensate the smug glow put up on d-day - here I am, with a Valentine's wish-list and a little less gawkiness (the substrate of a typical nerd).
Seven (sinfully) is a rather favourite number and the choices will be in set in descending order. The personalities picked are public figures and living. So, no scope of featuring the righteousness of the Mahatma or the valour of Winston Churchill. An undiplomatic attempt at something I was never good at. Bear with me.
7. George Clooney: A populist pick with reasons more than just his brazen handsomeness and mirror-cracking personality. This man is behind the Enough project, working in conjunction with the UN and Google to end the genocide Sudan has suffered; the telethon for the aid Haiti earthquake (2010) victims; and yeah, who can forget about his open letter to German chancellor Angela Merkel calling on the European Union to take decisive action in the region in the face of Omar al-Bashir's failure to respond to the UN resolutions. When asked about whether he is likely to take political authority or not, his response was - "Run for office? No. I've slept with too many women, I've done too many drugs, and I've been to too many parties." Humorous, humanitarian and hunky. Three 'H's any girl will fall for. Sigh!
6. David Cameron: This Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is a cyclist. He cycles to his office followed by his driver in a car carrying his belongings. Not eccentric, just classic. Add that smooth elitism with criticism from the opposition, and you'll get a controversial suaveness with the modesty of a 5 year old. Picture perfect.
5. Dr Shashi Tharoor: What can I say about him? Was shattered to pieces when he got married to Sunanda Pushkar. But anyway, sobs apart, you can't beat Dr Tharoor's rationalism with the loudest of hate speeches. Incredible wit with scholastic approach to anything under the sun, the composure of a virtuous and one of the few Indians who deserve utmost respect despite far flung brouhahas. Hello sir, will you be my valentine? (Action next would be to run for life, yes.)
4. Daniyal Mueenuddin: An American who talks about the zest of the maize fields of Pakistan's Punjab and thereafter describes a typical day in the life of a peasant is a rare find. A corporate lawyer in New York, he found his life 'unsatisfying', delved into what he does and enjoys best - writing. From the feudal state of Pakistan's political affairs to the dusky, rugged country beauty - Mueenuddin can muse on it all. With a correct blend western panache and farmland nativity, he should be the choice of every connoisseur.
3. Gregory David Roberts: He is just not the author of Shantaram, but it is who he is. His 'Wikipedia' introduction starts with He is a former heroin addict and convicted bank robber who escaped from Pentridge Prison and fled to India where he lived for ten years. Not exactly a fan of the bad boy image, but who he emerged to be after his days of strive and strife. And as Ian Fleming says, 'You only live twice.' Either sulk on mortality or live to be a phoenix. Roberts went for the latter and my heartiest kudos to him.
2. Stanley McChrystal: The 'rolling stone' of a hullabaloo he created is enough to dig into him. Credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq - a date with him would be like an adventure spree in Kabul! To revert to the much talked about allegations regarding Joe Biden, acceptance is much sought after virtue. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses - and his asset lies just in the opposite.
1. Shah Mahmood Qureshi: Former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, I have 'relationship' issues to discuss with him. Yes, just that. No good-humoured ramble, this. Set up a 'date' Nirupama Rao, as soon as possible.
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