Decoded: Didi on dais

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By TT Bureau
  • Published 21.05.11

30B Harish Chatterjee Street

She waves at supporters and extends her hand towards those waiting beyond the barricades. With the arm extended, she walks up to her black Santro.

Tapashi Mitra

The wave testifies her confidence.

The touch is her way of reassuring supporters that she is with them, even after ascending the throne. It also shows her proximity to ordinary people, which few politicians can claim.

Both haste and excitement — 25 minutes away from becoming the chief minister formally — are evident in her movement.

Sermon before service

“I will work hard for the next seven days. There won’t be anything called Sunday or Saturday…. You people don’t come here for a week. I will meet you one day every week after that,” she tells

her supporters.


A reaffirmation of the commitment to “Maa mati manush” even after moving up the ladder but a reminder nonetheless that she means business.

Inside Raj Bhavan, a hug

Smile intact, the chief minister-designate gets out of the car, hands folded in a namaskar. A quick wave and she hurries towards the shamiana.

She hugs danseuse Amala Shankar and some of the other guests


A look of contentment and being comfortable with her own self.

A hint of jubilation in the smile now. Her face is radiant as it reflects the confidence of being the harbinger of change.

The embrace shows her gratitude.

On the dais, composed

Bows to the governor and smiles. The official in a cream bandhgala seems a trifle jittery as he hands her the print of the oath, but not the lady. She reads without a stutter from the paper, signs on the dotted line and heads to her seat.


Confidence personified.

The satisfaction of victory after a long-drawn struggle evident. But the head is firmly in place.

Stoic while signing the paper but fast in getting to her seat, almost saying let’s get on with the business.

On the throne, a commoner

Wipes her face with her uttariya and fidgets with her fingers while others take oath.

She arranges her hair once.


The use of the uttariya suggests she isn’t really too bothered about what others may think. She is the way she is.

There is an air of fleeting tension, possibly thinking of the enormous responsibility on her shoulders. So the fidgeting.

She must have felt relaxed again when she ran her fingers on her hair.


Friendly shake

She shakes hands with Manas Bhuniya.


She has learnt the art of coalition politics.



Here a smile, there a concern

As a spectator, she seems restless. She gets up from her seat as each minister comes to the dais. Her twinkling eyes move around. In between, she fiddles with her phone (perhaps reading or sending text messages).


She seems restless as a spectator because she is a workaholic.

She directs everybody, making it clear she is the centripetal force in this galaxy. She is the navigator. As the head of the family, she is in charge now.

Her roaming eyes indicate the power of observation, not uncommon in someone who dabbles with the paintbrush.

She’s a multi-tasker. No wonder she is on the phone.

Show over

She waves during the Rabindrasangeet. She bows her head during the national anthem that follows. She walks with the governor for tea.


She says the government is in safe hands when she waves.

The stooped head suggests modesty.

The glory of achievement shines bright as she matches steps with the governor. I’m the chief minister, she seems to say.