Interviewing some politicians can be injurious to health at times. Over the years, I have had the good fortune of interviewing almost all the country's top netas. Each one poses a different challenge, but few can be as difficult as Mamata Banerjee. At a personal level, Didi has been good to me: she has cooked a Bengali meal for me, makes it a point to call up during Pujo, and even sent me a tin of rosogullas once for my birthday!
At a seminar in Delhi a few years ago, a soft-spoken, petite woman in a crumpled sari was one of the panelists. She engaged in the debate and then quietly left in a self-driven Maruti car with hardly anyone noticing. Except for her associates, few others would have known that they had been in the company of the prime minister's daughter, Prof Upinder Singh, a history professor in Delhi University.