It's hard to ignore Obama's India visit, I'm sure we lost a few forests with the newspapers dissecting every twitch on Obama's face and every jatka-matka of Michelle's dance. Don't get me wrong I would rather read this than be hit with the FrontPage displaying a picture of Dhoni and his wife frolicking on some beach in Goa. I have nothing against our nation's favorite pastime (cricket) but it's pathetic to find that the Times of India had nothing better to report than the amorous adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Dhoni. However, getting back to the big visit, Obama has certainly charmed us with his oratory, humility and knowledge of our leaders and culture. It's a refreshing change from Bush Junior who could easily mistake "Kashmir" for "Cashmere". BUT the question is - are we impressed? Or do we prefer an American president who can bully his way round "developing" countries and show us our "propah" place in the world so we can be in awe of the land of milk and honey?
The first lady's speech was remarkable, her rags to Harvard law school story was inspiring but we have heard the same story of "hard work pays off" and "always excel in what you do" from our parents umpteen number of times. Most youngsters would have preferred to hold on to the idea that "Amrika" is the land of "Chota shortcuts" where money flows abundantly and all you need is a little smartness to tap it. Michelle's speech would have put a dampener on such ideas with her emphasis on "hard work". Moreover, anybody sent by Uncle Sam has always behaved with a snobbishness which has endeared them to our netas. Michelle's bhangra and her hopscotch skills has left all of us in a fix with some questions….
-Will we sit at the same table as the world's most powerful nation?
-Dare we believe the "India is not rising , she has risen" yarn that this nice couple are spinning?
- Is Obama trying to portray that America is a chaddi dost and not a Big Brother?
In any case Uncle Sam's image of a dominant and overpowering nation has taken a severe beating......as our Munni would say....Bechara Uncle Sam badnaam hua darling Obama ke liye!!! By the way, we can probably teach the very flexible first lady the moves that go with this catchy song….:)