Nandan Nilekani was a very good friend at IIT. Another helpful friend was Shyam Maniyar, currently at Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation.
He didn’t know Nandan while at IIT.
When I was abroad, he met Nandan on a few social occasions. He took a few photos with Nandan, mentioned me as good friend of his, and succeeded in getting Nandan’s phone number.
Now he calls Nandan on a few occasions. Like when his son is on school trip to Infosys. Nandan, in spite of his busy schedule, comes out and talks to Maniyar’s son and makes arrangements for him.
On my return from abroad when Maniyar mentioned it, I asked him for Nandan’s phone number so that I could call him to chat about old times at IIT.
Maniyar refused saying “later, later.” Never got the phone number from him. It is Maniyar’s prized possession now.