I was chatting with a villager when a speeding jeep screeched to a halt nearby.
The driver of the vehicle emerged and asked if he could get a can of water as his engine was overheating.
It was around noon and the midday sun was unbearable. I went across to ask the person to join me in the shade while the water was being fetched to cool the engine.
It was only when I came close that I realized it was none other that Rajiv Gandhi.
Rajiv used to love driving out of Delhi and often used to visit his farmhouse on the outskirts of Mehrauli.
He also liked to use the route across Gadaipur to a village called Mandi on the road towards Gurgaon.
He was on one such trip when his vehicle had started to give problems.
Rajiv had just quit his career as a pilot with Indian Airlines.
He was taking his first hesitant steps into politics and was trying to get a broader picture of the country and its problems.
He had collected some friends like Arun Singh, his cousin Arun Nehru and other bright young people to act like a think tank to brainstorm on various issues and offer suggestions to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
His entry into politics had been sudden and tragic, following the death of his younger brother, Sanjay Gandhi, in a plane crash.
Rajiv had become a huge emotional support for his grief-stricken mother as she has been very dependent on Sanjay, her anointed political heir.
"What are you doing in such a desolate plate and that too at the height of summer?" Rajiv asked me after I had introduced myself.
"I am in the real-estate business and am inspired by the idea of creating a modern city on the outskirts of Delhi," I replied.
He became interested and pressed me on the issue.
"What is holding it up and why don't you do it?" he asked.
Image: Indira Gandhi seen with sons Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi in this file photo.