March 7, 2007


President George Bush came to India and Dr. Soma Raju and I were invited by President Kalam to the ceremonial reception, held at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The horse-mounted Presidential bodyguards, in their royal regalia, were surreal. President Bush was the epitome of innocent charm and enthusiasm about life, bubbling with enthusiasm, beaming in confidence and radiating warmth.

In the evening, Rashtrapati Bhavan was lit up with decorative lights, something that occurred on Republic Day and Independence Day. The banquet was hosted in an open lawn, with round tables allotted as per the stature of the guests. Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, General R. Swaminathan and Dr. Soma Raju were placed at a table in the direct vicinity of the ‘central table’ that had the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife, and Smt. Sonia Gandhi, besides the two Presidents and the American First Lady.

Dr. Kalam introduced me to President Bush as an engineer working with the doctors to help develop affordable medical consumables. President Bush said, “Very interesting,” and made me feel like the most important man on earth, with his warm handshake. The cool evening, with the mild fragrance of blossoming flowers and the live band, was hypnotic. Everyone was bathed in bonhomie


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