TNT Desk | February 21, 2018
He might seemingly strike a cord with the youth across India but it does not just end there because the old are not far behind. And for someone who has had a special connection with the Gandhi family, Rahul Gandhi’s visit to Meghalaya on February 21 was something that could not be missed at any cost!
The lively lady in her nineties eagerly awaited the arrival of the man who is now the face of the oldest national political party but the irony is that he himself is not too old. Rahul Gandhi may personally not have a very strong connection with Peggy Martin but the lady shares a three generation bond with his family!
From Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and now Rahul Gandhi, Peggy who was a former nurse has met them all.
It may be mentioned that Rahul was in Shillong today to take part in the campaign in poll bound Meghalaya which is scheduled to vote on February 27. And when he learnt about Peggy, he could not help but ask to specially meet her on his visit. In an adorable gesture, he also reportedly enquired about her favourite pastries so he could give them to her. After all, how could he not uphold the three generation bond between the Gandhis and Peggy!
Talking about Peggy Martin, an Anglo-Indian, she initially worked as a nurse in Delhi whereby she met Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 when the first Prime Minister of Independent India addressed nurses following the Sino-Indian war. It was learnt that she later took up an assignment with the Tripura Royal Family which perfectly explains the strong bond shared between her and the royal scion Pradyot Manikya Deb Burman.
Nine years later in 1971, she met Indira Gandhi, the period before Tripura became a state. This happened when Peggy accompanied the then queen of Tripura Bibhu Kumari Devi, wife of Kirit Bikram Manikya for the meeting.
And again after 18 years in 1989, the royal couple of Tripura met Rajiv Gandhi along with Peggy as an essential member of the family. And then again, after 28 years in 2017, she has met the Gandhi scion with the Royal Tripura Scion ofcourse!
The lady in her nineties is the life of Tripura Castle situated in Cleve Colony, Shillong. Though aged and fragile, her chatter echoes through the walls of the castle which otherwise held a silent inhibition a few months ago when she was taken seriously ill in 2017. Nursed back to health by Pradyot, Peggy holds him dear to heart and is busy preparing fish curry for him while we sit in the castle learning about her life.
The scene could almost be captured forever in the eyes of those present to witness the unison of the Grand Old Party leader and the Grand Old Party Supporter.
Sometimes, it’s not just about politics – often it is also about a connection, one that pulls certain strings and strikes a cord between certain people that help them fulfill aspirations, however small they may seem, that brings a smile on the faces of many. As Meghalaya goes to polls on Tuesday, whichever party may win or lose, at least one small wish has been fulfilled
Smiling with sparkling eyes, Peggy gracefully leaves the room to check on her fish curry, closing the door behind her!