The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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One Rahul roots for another

Karachi, March 13: For a while this morning, the Rahul Dravids were upstaged by siblings Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka. The latter’s husband, Robert Vadra, was around too and the trio’s every movement at the National Stadium evoked attention worthy of the hottest stars in Bollywood and Lollywood.

Of course, also very visible were about a dozen SPG personnel, who sanitised the areas visited by the lovely Priyanka and Co. Stop No. 1 was Pakistan board chairman Shaharyar Khan’s box and, then, came a brief contact with the janata. Later, they sat in the press gallery for well over an hour.

At the break, it was back to the chairman’s hospitality.

The cricket bit apart, the visit had an element of a public relations exercise. And, if the response (of the public and the media) is an indication, the salwar-kameez sporting Priyanka starred in a blockbuster.

Despite having gradually emerged a public figure, Priyanka remains very shy. In fact, when The Telegraph asked (in the chairman’s box) whether she had a favourite in Team India, her initial response was a smile only.

It’s when the question was repeated that Priyanka said: “Actually, I’m for the entire team but, if you insist, I reckon it’s Sachin Tendulkar…” Elder brother Rahul was more reticent. However, he too picked Sachin as his “favourite”.

The trio, by the way, came armed with the Tricolour and the India hat. While Robert, wearing a suit as opposed to Rahul’s shirt-trouser combination, seemed to cheer more vociferously, Priyanka quite enjoyed holding up the Tricolour.

As first reported in these columns, they have been accorded state guest status. They return home from here itself.

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