India should not have oligarchs or favoured businesses. But if you were going to favour anyone, top of my list would be Tata. (Probably Mahendra too).
So as the largest ever plane deal was signed this week and the Heads of UK, US and France announced the deal I was especially pleased to be in France at the time.
To me most things in my life are a movie script. So here is how I imagined my French trip with my son and wife. I hope the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom is reading this love letter to his country (It was Valentines this week of course and the French are as romantic as Lord Krishna!)
FATHER strolls down the Champs-Elysees, looking at his SON with intensity.
"Listen to me, son. The greatest French thinkers have given us invaluable advice that has survived the test of time. Their words are like a lighthouse guiding us through the darkest storms of life."
SON looks at his father, curious to know more.
"Voltaire said, 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.' He reminds us of the importance of free speech and how essential it is to defend our right to express ourselves."
SON nods in agreement.
"Rousseau taught us that we should always follow our natural impulses and be true to ourselves. He believed that society corrupts us and that we should live in harmony with nature."
SON raises an eyebrow, intrigued.
"And then there's Montesquieu, who emphasized the importance of separation of powers in government. He believed that the only way to prevent tyranny was to have checks and balances between the different branches of government."
SON listens attentively.
"These great thinkers remind us of the values that we must uphold as citizens. The freedom of expression, the importance of individuality, and the need for accountability and transparency in our institutions. Never forget their words, son. They have the power to shape your life and make you a better person."
SON looks up to his father.
"I won't forget, dad. Thanks."
(hugging his son)
"Anytime, son. You're the future, and I have faith that you'll make it a better one."
"Sure dad, but first, when are we getting that crepe? Are you lost again? I knew I should have brought mamma."
EXT. LOUVRE - DAY
A FATHER crouches down looking pensive. His SON walks over and stands next to him.
Hey, dad. What's up?
I've been thinking about your future, son. I want to share some advice with you that I've learned from two of the greatest minds in French history: Richelieu and Robespierre.
I'm all ears, dad. Lay it on me.
(rapidly, gesturing for emphasis)
First of all, Richelieu said that to be a great man and a good one, you must be able to recognize the true greatness of others and give them credit for their accomplishments.
Okay, I get it. Don't be selfish and arrogant.
Exactly. And Robespierre said that to be a great leader, you must be able to inspire others to follow you, not simply order them to do so.
But isn't Robespierre the guy who led the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution?
Yes, but that doesn't mean he didn't have some good ideas about leadership. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater, son.
Sorry, dad. Go on.
The point is, don't be afraid to take risks, but always weigh the potential rewards against the potential consequences. Strive for excellence in all that you do, treat others with kindness and respect, and never compromise your principles. Remember that success is not achieved overnight, but through hard work, determination, and perseverance. And most importantly, always be true to yourself, even in the face of adversity.
Wow, dad. That was quite a lecture.
I know, I know. But I just want you to be the best version of yourself, son. That's all any father could ask for.
(hugging his dad)
Thanks, dad. I'll try my best. Now can I have a crepe...and why is mom rolling her eyes at you again?