Prachanda: What kind of a question is that? (Long laugh) I'd never thought of it like that.
Try thinking now.
You could say Prachanda is someone who can be as tough, or as flexible, as it takes to attain the ambitious goals that he has set himself. But these ambitions are not personal. He is someone who wants to depart a bit from the traditional ways of doing things for the sake of the people, the country and humanity itself.
What would you think are the positive aspects of your personality?
Openness, simplicity, generosity. You could call this flexibility or weakness.
And the negative points?
It actually came up once in our party. That my personality was a bit unstable from time to time. I used to stress out quicker over events than others.
What were you like when young?
Very shy. They used to call me 'god's cow' (deuta ko gai). My Head Sir still wonders how a shy guy like me got into politics. If there was a fight in school, they used to come to me because they knew I was straight and wouldn't lie.
When do you get angry?
It's like with everyone else: when I don't get what I want or when things don't go the way I want them to. I used to get angry at family members over petty matters, not any more.
You do get emotional a lot.
It's true, I'm a very sensitive person. That is why I get emotional very quickly. Even when reading a simple social novel or watching movies with a social message, I can't control my feelings. During the war, I used to get emotional over the sacrifice of each of our friends. And if I am presenting something, the content of my presentation sometimes makes me emotional. If it is a sensitive subject, I break into tears quite easily (Laughs).
What you say behind closed doors is different from what you say in public.
That's not true. However, one is a bit more diplomatic or polite in a room with someone whereas in public in front of the people one has to be down-to-earth. The message is the same, but some people don't understand this. Lately, many have started telling me not to talk too much because what I say is controversial, and not to go to too many functions. I admit it is a weakness I have, and that is good advice.
Who do you compare your personality with?
I have said often that my personality is closest to Lenin's. Lenin is my role model: his forcefulness, flexibility, conviction and courage. He could take brave policy decisions. I'm not trying to say I'm like Lenin, just that I want to follow him.
Why do you think your remarks are so controversial?
If you never go to the heart of an issue, you will never be controversial. When you put things straight and sharp, then it is debated and the issue is evaluated by everyone according to their class background.
Is it because of your personal weakness that your public face has suffered a setback of late?
No, I don't accept that. There is a class of people who monopolised power for a long time whom you can also call lackeys, feudal or dalals, who are trying to assail Prachanda's personality. That is because I am a threat to their class interest. There is a domestic and international conspiracy to target Prachanda. But this has also convinced the public that it is necessary to save Prachanda.
How do you use your free time?
I like to travel. I am especially attracted by mountains, waterfalls, rivers. I am refreshed by nature. That is why I scoot off to Tatopani or other places. In high school I used to play football, and then after graduation, volleyball. I also like to read and write.
What are you reading now?
I'm reading the Chinese novel Red Crag for the second time.
Lately you've been hitting out at India.
It's not like that. When your politics are different then being diplomatic takes second place. We are now finished with the diplomatic phase with India, that is why the subject is now political. People don't understand, or don't want to understand that.