Jab They Met AT HT Conclave
Was it the hunger for development that kept the guests glued to their chairs for over eight hours at HT Development Conclave here in Lucknow on Saturday last? There was no glamour, there was no entertainment: except for some lighter moments and the great chemistry shared by former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam and chief minister Akhilesh Yadav —a rare synergy of experience and energy on display.
The bonhomie between the SP and the Congress that spilled from the dinner table shared by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi and Mulayam Singh Yadav in Delhi flowed right up to to Lucknow. Kapil Sibal was at his best and so was Akhilesh—some cosy talks, some light moments. Will that fetch the state the much-needed funds will be seen in days to come. That the relationship is based on the motto of give and take was clear when Sibal said, ‘Support to the state will continue as long as SP stood at our back.’
Mulayam has already given the much-needed relief for the upcoming presidential elections in the country. It’s for the Congress to decide whether they want Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee or Meira Kumar.
Nonetheless, the relationship is precarious, admitted Uttar Pradesh Congress President Rita Bahuguna Joshi. The brainstorming session on Taking UP Forward at the Conclave had three generations on the dais. Obviously, the pressure had come on the young shoulders as seniors had lot to preach from their handbook.
Akhilesh shared some moments from his childhood as he reminded Kalam about his trip as a kid to Chandipur –on-sea with him for the test fire of indigenously built Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher.
Others who deliberated on the ‘Way Forward for UP’ were the who’s who from the IT and Industry sectors. But can any discussion in the city be complete till it is peppered with Lucknawi ‘khana peena and sher-o-shayari‘.
Dr Lalit Khaitan set the ball rolling for some exchange of couplets. “Woh haqdaar hain kinaron ke, jo badal de bahav dharoon ke. Kuch woh bhi hain jo waqt ke sache main dhal gaye, kuch yeh bhi hai jinse waqt ke saache badal gaye.” He ended with, “Sirf aasmaan choo lene main hi safalta nahi hai, safalta to ismen hai ke asmaan bhi choo liya aur pair zameen par hain!”
Even an aviation expert from New York couldn’t resist the temptation of reciting a couplet: “Hayat le ke chalo, kayanat le ke chalo, chalo to sare zamaane ko sath le ke chalo.”
When it was the turn of Samsung VP Ambrish Bakaya to address the gathering, he innocently said I can’t recite poetry but can talk about food – the kakori kebab, the rogan josh…