I recently read an amazing article by Sir Richard Branson – on his dream list of guests he would like to have dinner with. He had as his dream set of invitees, inter alia, Churchill, Clooney, QE 1 (Lizzie, not the Quant Easing one), N Armstrong (since L has become a persona-non-grata after his shrug with drugs).
I am trying to put here my Dream List of Ten Invitees whom I would like to have over for a dinner. Most of the people I want to invite are those from whom I have been dying to ask some questions. Their cross-interaction will obviously be a huge bonus :
• Mahatma Gandhi : Got to ask him on the turning points in his life (other than the S African railway station), people who inspired him, and how did he choose Jawahar over Vallabh. Most importantly what would he have done in the India of today.
• Chanakya : Some advice for Kejriwal, top 10 leadership lessons for global CEOs and whether he himself did a good job of keeping personal interests over national interests.
• Laxman (just the Special one) : His feelings for his wife, Urmila, who he left back in Ayodhya while accompanying Ram on his exile. Did he discuss with Urmila before taking the decision ? Did he check on her well-being in the 14 years ?
• Salman Rushdie : Did he ever buy a bullet-proof vest ? How did he agree to the “twist in the tale” being explained upfront in the movie made on Midnight’s Children ?
• Orville Wright (or Wilbur) : His feeling when his machine stayed in the air for 2 minutes for the first time. What does he think of use of planes in wars ? esp the ones which dropped Little Man and Fat Boy.
• Warren Buffet : What does he think of the combo of “Heart, Smarts, Guts and Luck”, the 4 attributes recently identified for successful entrepreneurs by 3 successful businessmen ? Would he like to invest in Indian Real Estate ?
• Amitabh Bachchan : What was he thinking / drinking when he agreed to do the films, Jaadugar, Toofan, Ganga J S ? Does he have a book in him ? What happened to the Harivansh gene ? What is his true internal feeling when people compare him to God during KBC ?
• Tiger Woods/L Armstrong/ Azhar/ Hansie Cronje : Why ? Why ? (actually, shall ask them over email)
• Bill Gates AND Jairam Ramesh : Introduce them to each other. To chat on Innovations in toilets. One has the problem and the other has been working on solutions.
• Sanjeev Kapoor : Hope you know why …
Also have some tough questions to ask Harry Truman, Adolf Hitler, Rani Aiyaa Mukherjee, Kareena Khan, Infosys founders/CEOs, Genghis Khan, Lord Yama…but that’s for another day…