Today (Saturday) is the 31st death anniversary of the former Prime Minister of the country, Rajiv Gandhi. On this day on 21 May 1991, he was assassinated by LTTE terrorists at an election rally. 18 people including Rajiv Gandhi were killed in this suicide attack. The story of Rajiv Gandhi’s first meeting with Sonia Gandhi, who is called the father of computer revolution in India, is very interesting. He met Sonia Gandhi in Cambridge when he went to pursue an engineering course.
Rajiv Gandhi met Sonia who was born in Italy in 1965. Rajiv Gandhi often used to come to eat food in that Greek restaurant in Cambridge. There Rajiv Gandhi was so infatuated with Sonia that he told the restaurant owner, Charles Antony, “You may take some extra money, but let me sit next to Sonia.” Rajiv Gandhi asked Antony to somehow let him sit next to Sonia.
In his biography on Sonia Gandhi, Rashid Kidwai has also mentioned about the Rajiv-Sonia meetings in Cambridge. Rashid Kidwai says, “He saw a group of boys sitting. One of the boys was looking at him and she was looking at that boy. They saw that the boy picked up the napkin and wrote something on it with a pen and sent it to them through the waiter. It was a poem that Rajiv Gandhi wrote about the beauty of Sonia Gandhi at that time.”
Rashid Kidwai says, “Sonia found it strange that who is this who is doing all this. They had a German friend who also knew Rajiv Gandhi, through which they both came closer to each other.” According to a BBC report, Rajiv Gandhi was in love with Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan since he was four years old.
When Amitabh Bachchan was struggling, Rajiv Gandhi went to Mumbai to meet him. Whenever Rajiv Gandhi used to come to Mumbai, Amitabh used to go to receive him and lived with him the whole time. When Rajiv Gandhi reached Mumbai, Amitabh took him to meet comedian Mehmood. It is said that Mahmud was very fond of betting.
Rasheed Kidwai says, “He (Mahmood) was unwell and he used to take some kind of medicine which caused a strange kind of intoxication. When Rajiv Gandhi and Amitabh Bachchan appeared in front of Mehmood that night, he could not recognize Rajiv Gandhi and asked Amitabh Bachchan about him. He said that they are very good, I am ready to bet 5 thousand, they can prove to be good actors. Later, Mahmud was embarrassed after he came to know about Rajiv Gandhi.