Delhiwale: Mrs Gandhi’s dressing room | delhi news | Hindustan Times
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Delhiwale: Mrs Gandhi’s dressing room

From her white towel to famous saris, this memorial gives you a peek into the enigmatic life of our only woman PM

delhi Updated: Aug 03, 2017 17:17 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
The little room is tucked inside a white bungalow at 1, Safdarjung Road, where Indira Gandhi lived for 20 years.
The little room is tucked inside a white bungalow at 1, Safdarjung Road, where Indira Gandhi lived for 20 years.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

This is her space. Her mirror. This is where she tended to her famous salt-and-pepper hair.

This is Indira Gandhi’s dressing room.

The way powerful leaders behave when they are alone is mysterious. What goes on in their minds? Some urgent crisis in global diplomacy, or the dilemma of picking the blue shawl over the brown one?

We shall never know for sure, but we can draw consolation by peeping into the room where Indira Gandhi turned every morning into Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The little room is tucked inside a white bungalow at 1, Safdarjung Road, where she lived for 20 years. She was also assassinated here.

Today, Indira Gandhi Memorial is one of the rare museums in the capital where you actually have to jostle your way through a pressing crowd. If most visitors seem fascinated by the picture galleries, it is the dressing room that brings us close to the private Mrs Gandhi.

A selection of her hand-woven saris is arranged on a rack beside the mirror. A wooden shelf has a collection of her sandals. Family pictures adorn the dressing table. The walls have paintings from Madhubani in Bihar.

We also spot a white towel embossed with her initials. Mrs Gandhi was said to be fiercely protective about her privacy. But today, ironically, any of us can peek into her private world.