Anurag Sason with Sheila Dikshit (File)

Remembering Sheila Dikshit: A personal account of her conversations with me

Three-time Chief Minister of Delhi from Congress party, Sheila Dikshit, passed away on Saturday, hours after she was admitted to Fortis Escorts hospital in the national capital. She passed away due to cardiac arrest at the age of 81.

The news came as a shock to me. In my journalism career of more than seven years, I met Sheila mam four times over interviews. (First time I took Sheila Dikshit’s interview for ABP, the second time for India TV and last two times for my website

I still remember when I met her for the first time in December/2016. I told her:

“Sheila mam, when I was very young, I saw you from distance at Basant Lok in Vasant Vihar. I think you had come to watch the movie- Rang De Basanti in PVR Priya. And today, I’m sitting with you. It’s an achievement for me.”

She looked at me and smiled.

EXCLUSIVE: Arvind Kejriwal doing everything except governing Delhi, in UP we are all alone for now, says Sheila Dikshit

The second time when I met her in June/2018, I told her that I’m very happy to meet her again. She talked in dept on the political developments at that time. Her views were clear and straight to the point. We had a detailed conversation about Lok Sabha election 2019.

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In France, last year, Sheila mam underwent heart surgery.

When she came back to India, I made a phone call to her and said that I’m interested in taking an interview of her for my website and she readily accepted without any hesitation.

She said, “Come at 11 am tomorrow”.

When I went to meet her at her residence in Nizamuddin East, she was sitting on her couch. I asked her, “Hello Sheila mam, how are you now?”

She like always smiled and said, “I’m very fine.”

After the interview, I was talking to her about my journalism career and the challenges involved in it. And she very calmly said, “Don’t worry. Sab acha hoga (Everything will be fine).”

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However, my last meeting with her was most memorable. After she became Delhi Congress chief, I met her over an interview. She was very busy but still, she gave me time.

After a brief conversation, when I was about to leave, I said, “Sheila mam, I want to see you as Delhi CM, once again”.

While walking towards her balcony, she looked at me, smiled and said:

“I will not be Delhi CM again.”

Maybe because of her age and health she said that to me.

When I walked towards my car, I opened the door and by chance, I looked towards the balcony.

She was standing there and looking straight towards me…and that was the last time I saw her in person.

WATCH | Monday Talk: ‘I don’t know Manoj Tiwari, all I heard is he’s found of singing and does a lot of singing,’ says Sheila Dikshit

What I noticed while taking her interviews was-She used to give crisp and short answers. And if she didn’t want to talk about something, she used to straightly say-“I don’t want to comment on that.”

She served as Delhi’s chief minister for 15 years from 1998-2013. No one can ever forget her contribution as Delhi CM.

Na jaayate’ mriyate’ vaa kadaachin naayam bhuthva bhavithaa na bhooyah: ajo nithyah saasvato’yam puraano na hanyate’ hanyamaane’ sareere’ (The Spirit is neither born nor does it die at any time. It does not come into being or cease to exist. It is unborn, eternal, permanent, and primeval. The Spirit is not destroyed when the body is destroyed.)

May her soul Rest In Peace.

Anurag Sason with Sheila Dikshit (File)
Sheila Dikshit/Photo clicked by Anurag Sason
Sheila Dikshit/Photo clicked by Anurag Sason (File)

About the author: Anurag Sason is journalist with more than 7 years of experience in mainstream journalism. He has worked in newspaper, news agency, TV and digital media.  He tweets at @AnuragSason


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