NEW DELHI: Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, with all her faults, brought a certain charm and connect into her relations with the world. She established personal contact and friendships with several leaders who she met often---the list including Brezhnev, Castro and Arafat---infusing a strong, and real personal contact into diplomacy. There were also some she, predictably did not like, and others who despite the odds she struck a good friendship with.

Indira Gandhi, more than any other leaders, was expressive in her responses that were not hidden in her photographs with the world leaders she met. The expression on her face spoke a thousand words, with the expression on her face a dead giveaway even to casual viewers.

Below are a selection of a few photographs with leaders with whom she had friendly, or complex, or even hostile relations but certainly could not be pushed into the ‘run of the mill’ file:


With Cuba’s Fidel Castro: images of a friendship that rocked the world


With Palestinian leader Yasseer Arafat: Comfortable friends with visible camraderie


With then US President Richard Nixon: nothing much to talk about


With then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev: mutual respect and admiration


With then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: Iron Ladies who shared a strange affinity


With then Pakistan leader Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto: the famous walk in the gardens that was never repeated