A Vote Fit For Bollywood

Only India's movie moguls might have imagined the saga of a beautiful Italian girl who follows her prince to a faraway land, finding love, tragedy and heartbreak before finally triumphing as a leader of her adopted people. Last week the story came true. TV pundits who for months had predicted Sonia Gandhi's disastrous election defeat found themselves explaining a sensational victory instead. Outgoing Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee grudgingly praised the "strong and diverse" democracy that rejected him. But most dazed of all, it seemed, was Sonia.

Her victory crowns a remarkable odyssey. Born near Turin, Sonia Maino was 18 when...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!