Monday, July 21, 2008

Amar Singh:The day of the dealmaker/India Today, July 28, 2008

The day of the DEALMAKER
Power, at its most deceptive level, is an absence. At 27 Lodhi Estate on a Tuesday morning, it is an absence accentuated by the stillness of gilded kitsch and other objects that give an idea about the aesthetics of the resident. He likes his own image, an immaculately suited gentleman leaning against the wall on the arty South Bank, the Thames and the London Eye forming a perfect backdrop. Providing company to this framed piece in the drawing room are sundry gods and exotic warriors in metallic splendour. The man himself is elsewhere, in another room with a colleague, certainly not discussing the weather, and the waiting visitor in the meantime is being attended by a young female receptionist with the ease of an air stewardess. Then there he is, arguably the second most powerful politician in the country at the moment, sending off the visibly tentative colleague with a few reassuring words and a pat on the back before welcoming you to the privacy of the next room. The deception continues. He is a very small man, literally, and everything around him—the deity of Tirupati, the television, the chandelier—is big. It is as if you are with a mercilessly squeezed version of what was once Amar Singh, the proverbial portly Thakur. Ailments may have made him a man withered, but he is the Amar Singh, be assured. The maestro of manipulation who makes the impossible happen. The devious dealmaker who brings the incompatibles together. read more

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