Malavika Karlekar is one of Aung San Suu Kyi's oldest friends in India, having known her from 1960 when they were both students at the Convent of Jesus and Mary. They went on to study BA (Hons) in Political Science at Lady Shri Ram College and then read PPE together at St Hugh's College, Oxford.
As Suu Kyi creates history in Myanmar by finally entering the country's parliament after almost three decades of struggle for democracy, here's Karlekar's account of knowing Suu Kyi as a young girl and their friendship.
When I spoke to Aung San Suu Kyi on November 15, 2010 - a couple of days after she was out of house arrest - it was as though we'd been chatting every now and then through the years. The truth of course was different: for obvious reasons, I'd hardly been in touch with her over the last 22 years - the last time I spoke to her on the phone was when her husband Michael Aris died in 1999. That, to my mind, is the power of a friendship that spans so many decades, in spite of all the vicissitudes and breaks along the way. I feel sure that when we meet (hopefully in the near future) we'll pick up where we left off all those many years ago.
And we do go back a very long time - 1960 - when we were young girls growing up in the afterglow of a Nehruvian
06:08 PM, Apr 02, 2012