Tête-à-tête with Bill Gates

10Dec05

I was having breakfast and they gave me something called oopuma. Whatever it was, I liked it… I accidentally put my hand in that and I heard its actually ok to use your hand in some parts of the country.
– Bill Gates on South Indian food, in conversation with Shiela Gulati

No bags. No food items. No cameras. No mobile phones. All in the name of the “for security reasons. Your cooperation is highly appreciated” thingy. Well, thanks for your appreciation!

Walking past 6 stages of verifying the bar-coded identification, 4 stages of photo identity verification, 4 stages of frisking, two of those with metal-detectors and with a half-human feel in the absence of my mobile phone, I was helped to the delegate luncheon and finally found myself seated as far as the 10th row from the dais and beginning to play the waiting game, waiting for the VIP of the day who has spent over 30 billion dollars in aid of the poor worldwide, who runs a foundation managed mostly by his wife, who frequents the lesser privileged nations of the world doing his bit to its people, who is better known as the chairman of Microsoft and even better known as the richest person in the world. William H. Gates aka Bill Gates.

The hall darkened, lit dimly only on the stage, and accompanied by a heavy music blaring the ears an all-smiling Bill walked in, even as the 4000+ electrifying audience rose to its feet thundering a harmonized applause audibly merging with the heavy music in the background. “This is the liveliest developer audience I’ve ever seen”, and so saying the chairman-of-Microsoft personality in him came to fore. He would spend the next 40 minutes talking the strides technology has made personally for him and for Microsoft per se, unveiling bits of his vision of what technology roadmaps would read in the near future. There were mentions, among others, of research initiatives of my-company, including the one I belong to – a moment for a goose bump!

That was followed by a demonstration of the technologies that were launched during the event. And Bill was soon back again on stage, this time flanked by the glamorous Shiela Gulati, Director of Microsoft India. The next half hour would be a tête-à-tête between the two, staying quite apparently away from technology and business. “I would have been inventing medicines if, for some reason, I was not allowed to code”, and on a question about cricket, Bill said “I was glad to know the Indian cricket team uses Microsoft Media PC to train their players” and a deafening round of applause acknowledged him.

As he waved his hands to the applauding audience, the rock band Parikrama began playing some heavy metal ear wringing stuff to the gaping audience and their evening snacks, both of which were disappearing fast. Well then, Bill would be on his flight back home at this time. Thanks for being here, Bill. Hope to see you soon again!

As for me, after receiving the delegate collateral inclusive of software and a hip-pouch (call it job perks) I swiftly returned back home until I found a safe haven holding my mobile phone in my hand for the first time in 8 hours.

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7 Responses to “Tête-à-tête with Bill Gates”

  1. A good read. Something informal for the people to read from the stuff that we saw in papers. Here is where blogs truly complement the conventional media. Keep posting such articles.

  2. 2 Sangeeta

    how did you manage without your mmobile phone :o

    It seem's like Billy boy enjoyed his visit and was given a hearty welcome by all. Did you find the meet informative??

  3. 3 Mahen

    Well! That was a philanthrophist intro for Gates… ;) Good da…. I didnt know that he is doing so much…

    Did you see the interview in NDTV when Narayana Murthy and Gates was there together addressing the questions…
    Who fared well???? My vote is for Narayana Murthy…

  4. 4 sophie

    romba busya???

  5. Very interesting write. Bll gates seems to be rich in many other ways also apart from being the richest man in the world.

  6. I second Hiren Shah.

    Wish you a happy New Year!!

  7. I in addition to my friends appeared to be digesting the excellent helpful hints located on your website and so immediately developed an awful suspicion I had not thanked the web site owner for those tips. Those young men are already as a result warmed to study them and have in effect seriously been taking pleasure in these things. Appreciation for simply being indeed accommodating and for making a decision on this kind of cool areas most people are really needing to be aware of. My very own honest regret for not expressing appreciation to sooner.


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