As promised, a few pics from Taiwan: That's the 'tea egg' - one of 6,000 sold by the 80 year-old-lady on the jetty. Pretty delicious even if it does look totally unappetising! It was raining when I went for a boat ride on the famous Sun Moon Lake, but it was still worth getting drenched for. And yes, I'm wearing Masaba Gupta's clever Sacred Bull jacket. The lovely Chinese lady with me is Min - accomplished, successful and hugely intelligent!
This appeared in The Week. Since then, Didi has done what Didi does best - thrown tantrums, walked out of a television interview because she didn't like the 'Maoists' in the studio ( students who asked Mamata a few straight questions). She also went all out to defend SRK ( her brand ambassador) the day he was banned ( joke!) from Wankhede. India holds its collective breath for the next Didi outburst!
When Didi met Hillary….
Women negotiate and interpret power very differently from men.That’s a given. When two powerful women meet, it’s all about decoding the complex body language. And when Mamata Banerjee met Hillary Clinton, the signals were totally confusing ! For one, Asian women use their bodies with more economy.It is considered bad form to send out an overtly aggressive message, or even an oblique one. Striding briskly into a business meeting , even if you happen to be the female CEO of the company, is seen as a turn-off. Women are meant to wear power very lightly on the sleeves of their modest cholis. Even if Mamata has made a career out of defying the stereotype, she has not taken liberties with this particular unwritten code of conduct. She yells, screams and spits fire with the best of them. She walks up to the podium as if she means to talk tough… and she generally does. Despite that, Mamata still projects a certain Eastern modesty, as she tugs the pallu of her trademark saree closely around her shoulders. Perhaps it’s the saree,that discourages taking long purposeful strides.It’s the same with the Japanese Kimono ( tiny, baby steps only, ladies!). And the graceful but restricting Burmese sarong worn by Aung San Suu Kyi next door. Our Begums from
Hillary Clinton has never suffered from such hang ups. For the longest time, she has sported no- nonsense, unflattering pant suits, worn sensible shoes, and minimal make up. She has displayed vanity only when it comes to her dark hair, which she scrupulously bleaches to better conform to the American blond fantasy. These days, Hillary has been letting her hair down a bit – thank the Lord, as was joked about by the President Obama himself when he said his Secretary of State had been ‘drunk texting’ him . Or perhaps, that was Obama’s way of deflecting attention from a hot memoir written by a former girlfriend that talks about his sarongs, cigarettes,body smells, and sexual energy. But when Hillary came a-calling to