The day I met The President of India driving a rickshaw in Delhi

This has to be the most surreal rickshaw experience of the lot.

With a day to kill in Delhi I decided to take a rickshaw around to the local sites around town and enlisted the overpriced services of this nutcase

who was wandering around at India Gate. The choice was simple. Of all the rickshaws on the block, he simply had the biggest sound system in the back.

After visiting the Mahatma Gandhi Museum and grabbing lunch, our 4-stroke CNG badboy developed engine trouble (surprise surprise) and we had to pull into a garage for a spark plug change, something that, as a Dosa Boy I could have performed at the drop of a hat, considering how many we've burnt out.

While my rickshaw-wallah was seeing to the electrics I noticed a guy sitting on the other side of the gas station forecourt surrounded by a small group of people milling about and looking into his non-standard colour rickshaw.

My curiosity piqued I wandered over for a look.

The guy's rickshaw was pure green on the outside, as opposed to the usual CNG regulation yellow top of Delhi and he had no meter.

But what was really cool was that the INSIDE of his ride was pimped from wall to wall, straight the way around the whole interior, all over the roof in every available space with newspaper clippings.

On closer inspection it turned out that every single headline and picture in the papers was apparently about him!

A little shocked I didn't really know what to say. Suddenly my appearance in the West Bengal Telegraph seemed like a very small achievement indeed. I was in the presence of Greatness.

A little lost for words, I decided that the best course of action was to play it cool and introduce myself to this great man.

"Hi, I'm Andy." I said shaking his hand, "I'm with the Dosa Boys"

I gave him a Dosa Boys card

and he gave me his

"Dr Abdul Kalam" he said shaking my hand

No idea who this guy was I shook his hand and played along.

A quick look on google for Abdul Kalam, however reveals that among other things like contributing to the development of India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III) which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980, Dr. Abdul Kalam also happens to be the President of India.

Sat in the back of the rickshaw at the time I had no idea why this guy was getting looks from people up and down the street and assumed that it was just because his ride looked so damn cool with it's inside-out pimping.

I had no idea what he was saying to me as I merrily snapped what I thought was a rather cleverly designed three-wheeled shrine to himself, wondering how the heck he managed to get all these rather amazing photos of himself surrounded by bodyguards and headlines with his name on.

It just didn't click at all.

People around me were saying "Do you know who this man is?" and I was like, "Er no"

Even the MASSIVE sign in the front of the vehicle didn't give me any clues.

I've never been the sharpest tool in the box.

By the time I took my last pictures the electrics were back online and my Rickshaw-wallah came over to drag me off, but not without a final pic with the man.

Was he an impersonator? Was he the president? Was he his brother?

I guess we'll never know.

At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if Tony and Gordon pick me up from Heathrow next week.
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