What did Modi actually say to the US President after he was asked, ‘Kem cho?’
Plus, why was an Indian farmer with a cow knocking on the door of a Victorian club in an American newspaper?
Our Prime Minister is back from America. Like the early explorers and travelers, Da Gama, Columbus, Magellan, Ibn Butata, Huen Tsang, he brings back news of a couple of things from that faraway land. That it is there. And that they have hands that one can shake.
The media in India seemed to think it was quite a big deal that US President Obama said “Mr Prime Minister, kem cho?” suggesting he took the trouble to learn the Gujarati greeting and therefore us and America must now be best friends forever. I would be far more interested to hear Modi’s response to that, which could’ve ranged from, “Quite hungry actually” to “What up POTUS?”, suggesting that if the US Presidents’ diplomatic corps were clever enough to update him on hitting our PM with unexpected insider lingo, our foreign service could match them (or at least have watched the TV shows Veep/West Wing set in The White House).
There was some inside joke going on when at The White House reception the media caught Mr Potus smirking as our leader shook hands with John Kerry. Again I thought the far more interesting bit was right after, as he shook hands with our foreign minister Sushma Swaraj. Secretary Kerry stands at six foot six or even higher, making him definitely taller than the tallest secretary of any kind and indeed some trees.
When you saw our foreign minister next to him, it seemed two of our Hon’ble Minister would be required to get to the height of one Secretary Kerry. One could see now why we don’t win that many international diplomacy negotiations with the Americans. Certainly makes it harder to discuss our territorial rights in the South China Sea if two of one Indian minister is required, one on top of the other, just to make eye contact with her American counterpart.
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