On the biggest day of his long public life, a small concern remains for India's next President Pranab Mukherjee: how to go and conduct Durga Puja at his ancestral village of Kirnahar for the next five years?
On one hand, it’s the security and protocol issues that would restrict Mukherjee’s movements and certainly not allow him to spend four days (and nights) at his village home. On the other hand, Durga Puja is the most important event in his personal calendar.
In 2008, Mukherjee deferred the signing of the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement as Puja was a priority.
“I am still thinking how to go and conduct Durga Puja at home. Our puja has been traditionally held there over generations,” Mukherjee told HT.
The idols and pictures of his family deities will shift to the new location in the Capital.
Most of his personal belongings and collection of books are getting packed for his south Delhi home."But two pictures will certainly go to Rashtrapati Bhavan from here," Mukherjee said. "The large portrait of Indira Gandhi and the one where I am standing next to Sonia Gandhi." Both these photographs find a special place in Mukherjee's room, among other objects.
PM Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar drove down to Mukherjee's Talkatora Road home on Sunday to greet him. They were received by Mukherjee and his wife Suvra.
The veteran has seen a lot in the corridors of power. "But I am totally ignorant about how Rashtrapati Bhavan looks from inside," he said. As Mukherjee's long journey from Kirnahar village takes him to Raisina Hill, he will have five years to take a good look at his new, well-deserved home.