The Showmen

  • Sheetal Sharma
  • India
  • Feb 13, 2015

There has been a lot of hullabaloo over President Obama’s recent visit to India. The ruling Party went ga-ga over it, loudly blowing its trumpet and claiming that it had achieved victory where the UPA had fumbled and stumbled. A furious UPA made an ‘understandable’ hue and cry over this. Modiji’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ desperately replayed his signature tune, ’Barack, O Barack’. The UPA shrugged it off, labelling it as cacophony. Ms Bedi, the CM-to-be, then gave a clarion call to her voters, but soon after went on voice rest. Maybe her pitch was too high or her call was not in tune with the BJP trumpet. Only Arnab Goswami, the most knowledgeable homo-sapien, would know the real reason. What was most surprising was the stoic silence of the man who had staked his PM-ship for the nuclear deal. He continued to sit like a sphinx, with a fixed smile, even as others were revelling in what should have been his triumph. I also felt somewhat sorry for the ever raging and ranting Arvind Kejriwal, as he couldn’t indulge in his favourite political gimmickry of sitting on a dharna – though this time he had a justifiable reason for doing so. After all, his one-time team-mate, and now a fierce opponent, was adorning the first row at the Republic Day parade - while he was even denied an Invite. Maybe he knew it was only a matter of time…

But, on a serious note, I felt that Obama’s visit was a real historic one, as it had something to offer to everyone. My grand-daughter, who is in Grade Three, wanted to lay her hands on the personal Chemistry formula between Modi and Obama, and wear it as a charm around her neck – so that she could be popular like Modi and a buddy to all her classmates. I, being a pragmatic person, found the idea of ‘Chai pe Charcha’ very appealing. What an economical way of expressing your bonhomie. Imagine raising a toast with a cup of tea - ‘Cheers’! I decided to immediately initiate a ‘one to one’ bonding exercise with my neighbours. In fact, the very next morning, most inspired by Modiji, I had sauntered out of my house and had luckily come across my next door neighbour standing at the gate along with his dog. The dog looked cute, wearing a red and blue striped coat with some sort of a bow around his neck. I waved at my neighbour. I think he was too preoccupied with his dog as he didn’t wave back. But I was not discouraged. I raised my voice and said, ‘Hello. How about dropping in at our place today for a cup of tea?” Before he could answer, I heard someone calling from inside his house, “Guppi, come in.” Wonderful, I thought, now I can add an extra personal touch. I repeated my invite with added warmth, “Will 11.30 be okay, Guppi?” As soon as I uttered ‘Guppi’, the dog started barking at me, while his master looked up and glared. If looks could kill, I would have died on the spot. Guppi was of course his dog’s name. I decided on ‘maun vrat’ (voice rest) for the rest of the day. By evening, however, I had regained some composure, and was relaxedly sipping a hot cup of tea. Just then my husband entered, sporting a complete makeover! Instead of his normal fauji look, he was wearing a beige coloured silk kurta and pyjama, adorned by a flaming red Modi style jacket. That’s not all. He was merrily chewing gum. Grinning from ear to ear, he showed the different jacket styles that he had purchased (for multiple occasions) from Fab India. He also placed many packets of chewing gums - of different flavours – on the table. Smiling, he said, “This is called perfect fusion: Modi brand jackets and Obama style chewing gums!” Dumbfounded, I wondered how many more across the land (and globally) had been star-struck by the Modi & Barack Show.


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