When a mail comes through from the Indian High Commissioner’s office, I’m quite keen to catch up with what’s going on. His Excellency, Yogeshwar Verma was introduced to me by East FM’s chairman, Sudhir Vidyarthi, when they both came to our studios. I was totally taken by this gentleman’s demeanour and pleasant attitude and have met him at quite a few occasions after that. Each time, he has remembered my name and that impresses me because I can’t even remember my neighbour’s kids names!
Every time you meet His Excellency, he doesn’t just sweep by you. He stops to meet and greet, and not just me but just about everyone who wants to have a word with him. Anyone can be a High Commissioner – it takes a gentleman to exercise such wonderful mannerisms.
So anyway, on Tuesday this week, I got all spruced up to go and meet a visiting minister from India. The Honourable Minister of State for External Affairs and Overseas Indian Affairs, General (Retired) Dr Vijay Kumar Singh expressed a desire to meet and interact with Indian community members in Nairobi and I was invited along to this event. Along with a group of Indian community members and some prominent members of the community and business community in Kenya, the Indian High Commission hosted a dinner in honour of the minister.
As he walked in, I was pleased with his very casual look – he wore a simple trouser and shirt, looking very comfortable and made a point to be introduced to everyone in the room. After we settled down, he took to the podium and indulged in a question and answer session where members of the community and business world wanted to put forward their thoughts and request the Indian government to look into. A great big kudos to the minister for not just making the right noises but also promising to give feedback on every query that was raised, with a firm promise that they could follow up with the Indian High Commission based in Nairobi.
I didn’t grab the microphone and ask the question I’d liked to and this was only because I wanted to speak one on one with the High Commissioner. I’ve mailed them my request and I’ll let you know how it goes because I did want to ask a question that I feel affects most of the Kenyan Asians.
All in all, it was a pleasant evening and I was impressed that at the end of the evening when I went to thank the minister, he actually remembered my name and had also singled me out when on the podium – by name.
Here I am still trying to figure out my neighbour’s kids names…