Looking at Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday,no one could tell that less than 24 hours ago he had kicked up a political storm in his party,which had shaken not just the government but also the Budget Session and put his political career in danger.
The Railway Minister took a stroll in Khan Market,stopping by Fab India and Full Circle to pick up some books and enjoyed a light,vegetarian snack all done in no visible hurry at all. I am chilling. I havent had a relaxed life in sometime, he said.
As he basked in the glory of having delivered what the PM termed a forward-looking Rail Budget,his Android smartphone buzzed all day in silent mode,mostly people congratulating him for his dare. By evening the number of messages reached 876,but none from his party colleagues.
You cannot invoke the name of Rabindranath Tagore for everything and then not abide by Tagores teachings of following your heart without fear, Trivedi said without naming anyone though the reference was all too clear. I recited Tagore and did exactly what Tagore preached. Trivedis Rail Budget had quoted Tagores famous lines,Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high,which,incidentally,is Mamata Banerjees favourite poem too. The irony is not lost on him. Tagore also said,if no one heeds your calls,then ekla cholo re.
He picked up some books. One of them,Infrastructure at Crossroads The Challenges of Governance,is written by Planning Commission Advisor Gajendra Haldea,a critic of populist policies ruining Railways.
In between watching TV,Trivedi listened to Abida Parveens rendition of Amir Khusrao. He also played with his two dogs. His barber from Kolkata called to congratulate him. So did spiritual leader Satguru Jaggi Vasudev,all the way from Mauritius.
At Parliament,M M Joshi,Sushma Swaraj,L K Advani,Sharad Yadav,Deepender Hooda,Priya Dutt were seen patting his back.
I am not attached to my chair. Soon after I presented the Budget,my wife and son called to say they were proud of me. What more could I want?, he said.