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President Pranab Mukherjee's son described...

The first thing visitors see when they enter Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi is a wall with 12 black-and-white portraits of former Presidents of India. There is no space there for Pranab Mukherjeeyet. By 10 am, visitors pour in.

Many are settling into the seating area under the portraits while waiting for their passes, others clicking photographs. Many have come to see the interactive museum, where among the usual fare of priceless artefacts and historically significant documents are also memorabilia left behind or donated by former Presidents.

Mukherjee, for instance, has donated, among other items, his entire collection of pipes. Many had wondered how Mukherjee, an active parliamentarian who never missed a day of work, would adapt to being the President. After all, he had at different points of time been the chief whip of the Congress Parliamentary Party and an important minister in various Cabinets in his long political career, but for a five-year gap between and He had obviously come to Rashtrapati Bhavan during his time as a minister and had an idea of what he wanted.

There were priceless artefacts which were lying in different locked rooms and storerooms collecting dust.

The book, 'President's Lady' (Pranaber...

We combed through everything, preserving and displaying them. On completing his first year, Mukherjee talked about the need to increase accessibility of the common man to Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Spouse(s). Suvra Mukherjee (m. ;...

The high-tech storytelling museum he would go on to set up now houses everything from restored carpets to watercolour plans of Rashtrapati Bhavan made by Edwin Lutyens.

The initiative to restore buildings at Rashtrapati Bhavan began right at the beginning, five years ago. At a time when, those closest to him admit, Mukherjee had a hard time adjusting to the sudden change of pace.

Friends, family and top dignitaries...

One close aide of Mukherjee recalls asking him how it felt to be the President, after being involved actively in politics for nearly five decades. In the five years he spent in Rashtrapati Bhavan, his routine never changed. Mukherjee wakes up early in the morning, goes for a walk in the Mughal Gardens, and then reads the chandi path a Sanskrit scripture about Goddess Durga for over an hour, a lifelong habit.

His former Cabinet colleagues say people who knew him would never call him during that hour, including Congress president Sonia Gandhieven when he served as finance minister. He follows this up with a late breakfast while reading the newspapers, and, after scanning through news channels, gets down to work. The only break from this routine, the security staff at Rashtrapati Bhavan How old is pranab mukherjees wife sexual dysfunction, was during festivals or on his birthday.

Many of his hours at the office were spent figuring out the details of the museum. Of the rooms in Rashtrapati Bhavan, many had fallen into disrepair, with utensils stacked within. Eventually from these rooms, priceless artefacts emerged. The utensils that were discovered are being transferred to an under-construction exhibit being built as a replica of the Presidential kitchens.

Mukherjee also revived the Presidential buggy, a tradition discontinued 20 years ago, and started the Pranab Mukherjee Memorial Library. The library has since become an integral part of life on the Presidential Estate, with its residents being issued library cards that grant them access to periodicals, books and newspapers.

But the fledgling museum faces challenges. Moreover, we want to make the change of guards here something akin to that outside Buckingham Palace. As an example, they cite a moth-eaten carpet section that hangs at the museum.

It took Kashmiri weavers two years to make this zardozi carpet, commissioned by Edward Lutyens. Mukherjee is hardly the first President though to concern himself with carpets and curtains.

After becoming the first President of India, Rajendra Prasad had felt that the curtains left behind by the British had to be changed.

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