Recently, during Rahul's visit to Thrissur, a lensman trying to click him was hit by an SPG and lost an eye in the process.
We, covering Rahul, have lost our sleep. In his beginning years, Rahul kept away from the public, keeping his public interactions few and guarded. It was easy to track him because he was mostly indoors or in Amethi.
Over the years, reporting Rahul Gandhi has become a nightmare. He turns up everywhere, speaks more often and is more aggressive.
Handling a shy, reticent Rahul was actually easier. He may not have been a television journalist's delight with few sound bytes but at least he let us sleep in peace. Now, it's difficult to know what his schedule is likely to be. He can turn up just about anywhere.
Those who think Rahul's room at the Congress headquarters is permanently locked, guys please look again. He is there everywhere.
The Congress is busy with its organisational elections. But perhaps for the first time, the party is trying to bring a semblance of democracy in it. And it is Rahul's desire. So the hunt is on for deserving and contributing members. The idea is that the choice should be on merit alone. Easier said than done. But at least, a big noise is being made about it. But Rahul faces a problem within his Youth Congress. Take Tamil Nadu for example -- where Rahul is making a desperate attempt to resurrect the party -- is facing charges of money exchange during the Youth Congress elections. In Bihar, the Youth Congress is so busy taking on its own leaders, that it has failed to work out a strategy to take on Lalu and Nitish.
Now come to us. How to read his mind. Not just he, but even Rahul's boys are clamming up. How to get Rahul to speak to us. with Sonia its easier. You can analyse her strategy, her every move. You may go completely off the mark but she reacts with a smile.
But get Rahul wrong, and you may earn an enemy. Oh, he remembers, it's evident in his exchange with you the next day. Guess, it's part of his approach to politics -- be straight.
I have covered Rahul from the day his party announced at a crowded pres conference that he will contest from Amethi. It's been over 6 years. Rahul has marched ahead. Sadly, I lag miserably behind. Reporting Rahul has become as difficult as trying to keep my shopaholic trait under control.
PS: I hope to cover Sonia's NAC intently. But am told two of Rahul's team members are likely to be a part of it. Will challenges never end?