One of my favourite songs (written by Bob Dylan) goes like this:
You may be an ambassador to England or France
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.
But you're gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You're gonna have to serve somebody,
It may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.
Recently, I read this amusing anecdote about how Narasimha Rao as the Prime Minister of India fancied himself as the Deng Xiaoping of India – as two leaders who brought in sweeping economic changes to their respective countries. When he visited China on an official trip, he expressed his wish to meet Deng (who had by then retired). Deng politely refused. Apparently he was hurt at having been asked to meet someone from a non-Gandhi family!
Another anecdote is about Sonia Gandhi making him wait for 3-4 mins on the phone. Rao is believed to have said: ‘I don’t mind waiting, but the PM of India minds”. (Source: Vinay Sitapati’s excellent book on Narasimha Rao called Half-Lion).
Another interesting anecdote is about Bill Clinton being refused memberships of golf clubs after his presidency got over. Here’s an excerpt from a New York Times Magazine article:
“The mulligan-loving ex-president was snubbed by four of the prestigious Westchester County golf clubs he reportedly tried to join. As Trump marveled to me at the time: “Now Clinton can’t get into golf clubs in Westchester. A former president begging to get in a golf club. It’s unthinkable.”
And finally I recently heard about a billionaire internet entrepreneur in India whose investor refuses to reply to his emails.
I guess there must be close to 200-500 people that even the President of the US can’t get access to (international leaders, people of differing ideologies etc.) even if he/she wanted to.
Isn’t it beautiful that no matter how big or successful you become there are some things that you can’t have?