The POTUS got the Motera of all welcomes. Reality lived up to the hype tweeted by guest and host, each a past (and present) master of hyper-boli. The welcome to Donald-ji was unprecedented; the image of Modi-Gee remained un-dented. An exultant Trump re-boarded Air Force One with a spring in his step and a throng on his lips. While the ‘millions and millions’ who were to sing the desi cover of ‘Hail to the Chief’ can’t accurately be totalled like banknotes in a counting machine, that checkbox was officially upticked with the ‘sea of faces’ certificate from a member of the presidential entourage.
Yes, the biggest takeaway from this visit, even literally, is this: ‘Crowdsourcing’ will now be the No 1 way of collecting a fund of international goodwill. Junk ‘ping-pong/ dinner diplomacy’, the old ‘Chink’ in the Cold War armour. Don’t bother about backroom bureaucrats and their slow, seesaw Channel 2 parleys. Forget even the wooed trade and defence deals. All we have to concentrate on is giving the visiting Head of State a cast-of-millions, surround-sound, 360-degree, IMAX-grade spectacle of a welcome. It’s official: Crowds are the new currency of foreign exchanges.
There were five smaller takeaways from The Visit. Ouff! Not the free masks, tees, flags, ‘fafda-jalebi’, and the fleeting glimpse of the formidable black ‘Beast’ as it thundered past in a cloud of dust and security.
One, we have to be grateful that the temperamental beast himself remained tame and un-growling throughout. The playlist was apt. The Lion King’s ‘Can’t you feel the love tonight?’ purred at the Rashtrapati Bhavan dinner (doesn’t our Gir Sher too lord over his jungle?). ‘Macho Man’ had roared at Motera, but, here POTUS is no match for his Hostus; chhappan-chhati NaMO boasts the song’s ‘body always in demand’.
Two, Doenuld-bhai is actually an NRG. His ‘Soo-chin’ (Sachin) and ‘Soo-jay’ (Sholay) were actually the Gujarati ‘Soo chhey?’
Three, Trump needed help in spinning a yarn?
Four, the Taj needs his help to boost its ticket sales?
And, finally, only if you are FLOTUS, can you dare wear sparkling white on an Indian road journey. From Amdavad afternoon to Agra sunset, Melni-ben’s jumpsuit remained spotless. And as creaseless as our refreshed Indo-US ties.
Alec Smart said: “Stop calling it the Novel Corona Virus. It’s not fiction.”
DISCLAIMER : This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.