It is 10.30 am. on a sunny winter morning and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's residence is teeming with people - an aged well wisher with a flower bouquet, a group of Residents Welfare Association (RWA) members and enthusiastic party workers. And Dikshit obliges them all, without a sign of stress even though it is three days before voting day.
"It's a hectic schedule no doubt, but I don't really need a stress buster simply because I don't get stressed. I enjoy what I do," Dikshit, wearing a grey sari with a red border and a brick red shawl, told IANS over a conversation at 3, Motilal Nehru Marg, her official residence.
An early riser, a typical day for the two-time chief minister starts at 5 am. Although she is not able to sit now for any meditation or yoga during the hectic days of campaigning, she meditates "within".
Otherwise a frugal eater, a power breakfast that generally includes toast, egg, porridge and sprouts gets 70-year-old Dikshit started for a packed day ahead. A strong cup of tea, she added, keeps her energized through the day.
"I work for 14-15 hours everyday, and not just during the campaigning period. In the first half I meet my party workers and take a round of my constituency. Then from 5 p.m. to 10 at night I go campaigning in different constituencies. My day generally ends at 11 p.m. but that depends on the schedule," Dikshit said.
And when does she take a break?
"Half a Sunday. That's when I do what I enjoy doing - going shopping, catching up with friends, going for exhibitions, watching movies and reading. I am currently reading "Life of Buddha" by a Cambodian author," she said.
Family ties are also very important for her and she said that she tries and spends as much time with them, especially during meal times.
Talk veers to movies as it is well-known that Dikshit is a big film buff.
"I enjoy watching movies, although I may not always get to watch all the latest ones. The last movie I watched was "Welcome to Sajjanpur" and thoroughly enjoyed it. My current favourite actor is Shahid Kapur," she said.
Just days away from Nov 29, the day when Delhi goes to polls, Dikshit sat with her usual composure even as party workers fussed around her. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation, a man brought in a gift - a carton of apples -, which she gently acknowledged with the wave of a hand.
"I am sure that the people of Delhi will vote for the Congress. And I say this on the basis of the 10 years of work that we have done on infrastructure, social security and economic development. We stand for progress," Dikshit said.
On the issue of price rise, she said: "I am sure that the people of Delhi will understand that inflation is an international issue. Even Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje (of the BJP) was talking about battling price rise.
"Moreover, the price of tomatoes generally increases around this time because the new crop has just come. The prices have already come down and if you notice, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has stopped making that an issue over the past few days".
If back into power for the third time, Dikshit said that the 2010 Commonwealth Games would be her priority.
Signing off, she hummed the party's campaign jingle "Dilli walon suno kahani Dilli ke vikas ki, Congress ke prayas ki aur janta ke vishwas ki".