When Indira Gandhi asked for my red lipstick

I see myself, wearing a white Cinderella dress with a red cape flowing down the back stairs of the Red Fort.

The red brick walls hide me from all privy eyes.

As I run up the flight of 50-odd stairs to enter the grand building I see someone else running in a similar way wearing the same dress.

As I turn around to see her, I’m happy to see Mrs. Indira Gandhi herself.

Indira Gandhi red lipstickAnd with a laugh she speaks, “Oh we are wearing the same dress with same red cape.”

And I’m like, ‘Yeah!’

She:  I’m in love with this dress. Let’s go. Don’t want to be late.

Me: Oh so am I. Let’s go.

As we enter the red brick building we look for the green room and she gets ready for a speech. Picking her dress up, she sits on a chair in front of the mirror and looks at me.

She: Do you have a red lipstick?

Me: Hmmmm. Oh yes, always. Here. You can use it.

She: Oh lovely! Thanks.

She gives me the lipstick back and smiles to check if the lipstick is okay.

She: Thanks. I see you a lot around the office, you look familiar. Do I know you?

Me: Well, I’ve never met you. But I think it’s time for the speech. Let’s go.

She: I like you. I want you to work for me.

Me:  My pleasure, but will you allow me to wear my red lipstick.

With a laugh she hands me her portfolio and we go to change into our sarees.

Together we walk towards the podium for the speech to address the nation.

Holding the mike she smiles.

… and I wake up!


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