At Gonda village in East Delhi, its Satyakam’s idealist engineer who begins the address, talking about dreams and aspirations. Sholay’s Veeru makes a late entry but, well, gets the cheer.
Thousands have gathered to watch and hear Dharmendra. He peppers his speech with emotion and wit, drawing the crowd into some wild applause.
Candidate Lal Behari Tewari doesn’t have to do much, just bask a little in some borrowed glory.
Earlier, while on way to the venue, Dharmendra enquires about his own schedule, then absent-mindedly asks about wife Hema Malini's whereabouts.
“Aa payegi kya wapas aaj? All the way from Uttaranchal? I doubt whether she would be able to make it for the evening meeting,” he shakes his head.
Both have been campaigning for the BJP in Delhi for the past few days but have never addressed a rally together. They are staying in adjoining hotels. but havn’t met. “We discussed the campaigning issue before the election. She said ‘Dharamji I want to campaign for you in Bikaner’. But I declined because I wanted to win on my own steam,'' he says.
Even in his speech at Gonda village in East Delhi, Dharamji remembers Basanti, lovingly. Nearly 30 years of marriage but the chemistry seems to be crackling. So is the communication — Hema Malini is unable to make it to the day's meeting.