TWO OLD friends apparently rejoiced sharing a common dais. While Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh articulated his joy through subtle barbs, former Chief Minister Sundar Lal Patwa was uninhibited in thanking the organiser - Dr Mahendra Singh Chouhan- for the opportunity of meeting an ‘old friend’.
The occasion was a felicitation function for journalists, organised by the Jawaharlal Nehru Youth Centre at the Ravindra Bhavan on Thursday.
After a long time, Patwa was seen in his elements, never mind the failing health and faltering gait. His presidential address was packed with mixed emotions of nostalgia, sorrow, solemnity and of course, his characteristic sarcasm.
Arjun Singh replied to Patwa’s barbs in his understated style, thus, both regaled the packed Ravindra Bhavan. Patwa began his speech by a mock complaint about his ‘sandwiched’ position between Ajay Singh and Arjun Singh on the dais and ‘prayed’ that all was well.
To this, in his speech Arjun Singh remarked, “We both have come to a stage in life where you should not look who you are surrounded by.”
To Patwa’s banter that unlike him Kunwar Sahab liked to maintain ‘madhur’ relations with the media, Arjun Singh’s reply was, “there is nothing more joyful than having sweet relations with everyone.”
Jokes apart, both veterans shared the view that intention counts more than possible mistake in taking any decision. Both advised the media to introspect and be more people-friendly.