Meeting Nepal's Maoist leader
It was difficult to believe that the man sitting modestly in the corner was Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known under his nom-de-guerre of Prachanda ("The Fierce One").
This is a man whose face, until a few weeks ago, was known only through a single photograph, taken in rural Nepal in 2001.
In that photo his forehead is creased in a frown of concentration.
The 52-year-old man I met, with his speckled beard, was mild-mannered, shy, joking, laughing nervously - more humorous than intimidating and without the overt charisma of some revolutionary leaders.
He looked more like a popular uncle than a communist who has been underground since 1981 and waging war for a decade.
His number two, Baburam Bhattarai, with a cloth cap and eagle eyes, and flanking Prachanda, looked much more revolutionary.
But once seated in front of the camera, Prachanda grew more intense, periodically thrusting forward his tensely hunched shoulders as he spoke.
It was as if the words were inside him, waiting to be forcefully expelled.