In life as in politics, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is known to have unconventional ways, like when she used saucepans for taking bath during her trip to New York in 1998 or bought lip balms mistaking them for lipsticks.
"I had left a saucepan in the bathroom because in American hotels, it is difficult to get buckets or mugs. When I entered my room, I bumped into the cleaning lady and she was quite bewildered about the saucepan in the bathroom," Banerjee writes in her just-published memoirs My Unforgettable Memories".
"I tried to explain to her that I use it to take my bath but she just could not understand," she says recalling the funny incident.
Call her unsmart or whatever, the chief minister once rode pillion on a motorbike in rural Bengal and even now wears 'hawai chappals' (rubber slippers) to office.
She was candid enough to say in her book, "When it comes to things like this (shopping), I am not very smart; in fact, kids today are far smarter than me."
She said she had never been fond of dressing up and wearing make-up.
While returning from the same trip, where she had gone as part of a UN delegation, she wrongly bought lip balms in place of lipsticks while shopping for gifts for friends and family with her USD 100 savings.
"For the girls in my family I bought chapsticks (a brand of lip balm) believing they were lipsticks. When I gave it to them, I said, "See aren't the colours pretty". They said, "Sure, but they are all the same colour... these are chapsticks."
hen all the girls, including her niece, started laughing at her, she gave them a curt reply, "Next time, one of you should come along to make sure that I am buying the right stuff."
But the girls said they were happy that 'Didi' bought something for them.
"At home, I sometimes amuse myself styling or cutting hair and my victims are the ladies of our household. But otherwise, it is my family that takes care of my needs everything from toothpaste, to saris, and bedsheets. I do not keep track of all this and my mother and I pretty much live like guests in our own house," she writes in the book published by Roli Books.