Recently the US President Barack Hussein Obama II made a trip to India that was billed as a state visit. It received the usual wide-eyed, over-the-top coverage from the members of the fourth estate. Even though namma Bangalore/Bengaluru was on his itinerary initially... he decided to skip it finally... after the kar-nataka brand of 'jataka tales' unfolded. (He chose to land in Mumbai. Perhaps he needed some "chavan-prash"!) If you think it was namma Bangalore/Bengaluru's loss... think again! Actually Barack Saar's visit was very high profile, and was more about selling $12 billion of defense equipment to India... which he did. Three cheers for Barack Singh... Salesman of the year! He also succeeded in persuading Indians to drink more Coca Cola and Pepsi; eat more junk food from KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Pizza Corner, Domino's, etc; watch more Hollywood flicks and listen to eardrum-splitting cacophony in the name of music! But he himself missed out on listening to Radio Mirchi - Sakkath Hot Maga. Ummm... maybe he prefers Lady Gaga! What??
Being the wordsmith or rather the wizard of words that he is... Barackanna deftly refused to mention the 'P' word... while talking about terrorism... particularly 'cross border terrorism'. Actually it does not suit American interests at the moment to do so. You see... they still have to sell more than $12 billion worth of defense equipment to the "land of the pure"... in the name of the "Global War on Terror" (GWOT)... which Barackanna's administration tried to rechristen as "Overseas Contingency Operation" in March 2009.
If he had not chosen to skip Bangalore... he would have realized... it is a maze of phases, sectors, layouts, blocks, crosses and mains that is supposed to make life easier for everyone. Barack Saar (ferried around in a black Cadillac - dubbed 'Barack Mobile') and the six heavily armoured cars that follow him around the country would have spent quite a lot of time getting lost and finding their way again. Imagine the frenzied media activity and "Breaking News"... !! Now lets look at what Barackappa and Michelleamma missed by not coming to namma Bangalore/Bengaluru:
1. By not coming to Bangalore... Barack Saar will never get to learn about the cryptic "Swalpa Adjust Madi"! He will also remain in the dark about the even more cryptic and indrajal magic like "Swalpa Adjust Kalmadi"!
2. By not coming to Bangalore... Barackanna will remain forever clueless w.r.t the the non-verbal cue used by the kannadigas. I mean the shake of the head... the most confusing element of the kannada language/in a conversation. The kannadigas shake their heads when they say 'yes'... promising to do what they have been asked to do. All the while tracing an 'eight' in the air with their shaking heads. Barackanna would never know that the concept of nodding just ceases to exist as soon as one crosses the Vindhyas! He would also have been overwhelmed by the concern of the locals... to know whether he has had his coffee (kaapi), lunch or dinner... at any time of the day... even midnight and beyond! By not coming to Bangalore, Barackappa will remain unaware that... this is the kannadigas version of "hello".
3. By not coming to Bangalore while worrying about jobs in Buffalo being "Bangalored", namma Baracku won't know that the jobs are actually being "Bengalurued", thanks to U.R. Ananthamurthy.
4. By not coming to Bangalore, Barackanna will fail to understand that the government of Karnataka gives away Rajyotsava awards even more whimsically than the Alfred Nobel foundation did in Oct., 2009.
5. By not coming to Bangalore, Nobel laureate Barackaiah will not know that the Vidhana Soudha... the seat of the government of Karnataka... is filled with 'no-bail laureates'.
6. By not coming to Bangalore, "change agent" Barackaiah won't know that the BMTC conductors have always insisted on "change you can believe in" before you board the bus. And that the auto drivers refuse to return/give back the "change they believe in". As for the beggars... "chillar illa" (no change) is the password!
7. By not coming to Bangalore, Barackappa missed out on an "innovative" lesson regarding "conservation of nature". That no matter how many trees are cut in the name of "development"/metro rail, etc... the green cover will not shrink. How?? By painting the autos green! Elementary, My Dear Barackappa!
8. Barackaiah is worried about the rising unemployment in Uncle Sam country... and jobs getting outsourced to India. Namma Bangalore to be more precise. If only he had spent a few minutes in Bangalore... he would have known the "open secret" of generating continuous employment opportunities. Achieved by digging up roads and pavements every alternate month! Apart from keeping the sewers/drains permanently clogged and allowing garbage to pile up, that is.
Methinks... he is more worried about his job getting outsourced... errrr am-bushed in two years' time!
9. He did not get to see the 8th wonder of the world - Bangalore Traffic Jams... and the colourful language used by folks stuck in one. Therefore, Barackswamy missed out on witnessing "freedom of speech" in action! Barack Saar is a self-confessed fan of Gandhiji. But he remains unaware of how the "father of the nation" comes to the aid of his "children"... to jump the queue or get out of a traffic jam... among others, of course. The "miraculous power" of a blue, green or pink "Gandhiji" will be lost on him. "Gandhi-giri" works and how! Sadly... Barackji wasn't able to witness its all-pervading influence.
10. By not coming to Bangalore and meeting the Reddy brothersulu, Barackri has lost a manch powerful/valuable chance to know that all trade barriers can be easily surmounted by simply shifting the borders... or even the "goal post".
11. By not coming to Bangalore and meeting the genius-shris behind "Operation Lotus", Barackshri will go back without the wisdom that that what he really needs to shore himself up is "Operation POTUS".
12. By not coming to Bangalore, Barackgaaru won't know that the Rs 900 crore per day bill he is running up during his visit, would have easily fetched the loyalty of a couple of dozen MLAs for three months.
13. By not coming to Bangalore and meeting B.S. Yediyurappa aka BSY, Barackappa, whose Democratic party has suffered a drubbing, has missed picking up a "priceless" lesson in political management. BSY might have also shared a few tips regarding the "art and science" of clinging on to the chair at all costs... come what may. Or rather... making it appear as if the chair was one's body part!
14. Had he met namma BSY... he might have got to know the "secret" of making everyone address him as BHO and not as Barack Hussein Obama. This would have ended all speculations regarding his religion/faith... and put to rest all rumours about his birthplace. Matter finished! He wouldn't have had to get annoyed and resort to saying, "I can't spend all my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead." It would have given the "birthers" who keep questioning either the existence or the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate... some serious "birth pangs". Or is it "berth pangs"...??
15. Barackappa also won't know the "brahmastra" to wriggle out of tricky situations, to remain not out... on a sticky wicket, and to come out flashing the 'V' sign while displaying all of one's pearly off-whites... if cornered. The "brahmastra" or rather "foolproof strategy" is copyrighted by the one and only BSY. Which is... turning on the tap of the inexhaustible reservoir of "salty water" at full force... as and when the need arises. Plus using gulabi (pink), neela (blue) and peela (yellow) Gandhiji as a "strategic brahmastra".
16. He missed out on "knowledge transfer" and an "intellectually stimulating discussion" regarding kannada language and culture with the "Kannada Rakshana Vedike" aka KRV (translated: Save Kannada Forum), the "Kannada Gadi Horata Samiti" helmed by the maverick MLA Vatal Nagraj and the "Akhila Karnataka Gadi Horata Samiti" (an umbrella organization of about 200 pro-Kannada organizations... whose sole aim is the "protection of the state's borders").
17. He let go of a golden opportunity to meet and shake hands... apart from saying "Namaskara Saar" to the "Mannina Magas/Magalus" (read: the sons of the soil of Karnataka)... and learning about their "brilliant plan" to save the proud, dashing and swashbuckling Kannadiga men from being killed in an attack. How?? By employing the "evil North Indians" to man the borders and safeguard their "beloved motherland" Karnataka/Bengaluru. So, if terrorists plan to sneak into Karnataka, these soldiers can and will defend the true-blue Kannadigas... and thereby prevent them from becoming an endangered/extinct species. The "world's oldest democracy" may want to borrow this idea from the "world's largest democracy"... and do an encore on the (so-called) Red Indians and others (especially folks belonging to nations... known for their ancient civilizations or for being the cradle of civilization). This way it can be safely said... that the Red Indians, etc were martyred and not massacred!
18. By not coming to Bangalore, Rockline Barack won't know that "A", "Jackie", "Tsunami", "Y2K", "Raj - The Showman", "Excuse Me", "News", "H2O", "Psycho", "Super" et al are actually titles of films in the language of the locals. And therefore he too possesses a working knowledge of kannada... by default!
19. He missed out on indulging his taste buds with the smackilicious, authentic and piping hot sambar rice, rasam rice, soppina saaru, raagi mudde, puliyogare/tamarind rice, bisi bele bath, mosaranna/curd rice, idli-vada, masala dosa, akki roti, upma-uppittu, et al. Not to forget the delectable Mysore Pak... or rather the 'Mysuru Pak'. This way our very own Kisna would have scored a veritable diplomatic coup. How?? By forcing Barack Mahashay to pronounce the 'P' word... which he so tactfully avoided during his visit!
But... looks like he was left quite tongue-tied by the spread at ITC Maurya's speciality restaurants - DumPukht and Bukhara. The Signature Obama Bukhara Menu consisted of tandoori jhinga, machhli tikka, murgh boti bukhara, reshmi kebab and sikandari raan in the non-vegetarian section and tandoori aloo, tandoori salad, dal bukhara, mixed raita and naan amal in the vegetarian portion. For dessert, the options were phirni, gulab jamun, kulfi and rasmalai. *Drool! Drool!*
An "Obama Platter" or "Obama on a platter"...?? Well... take your pick *wink wink* The "Clinton Platter", named after Bill Clinton following his visit in 2006 and which costs around Rs.5,000, is an aromatic spread of mixed meats, lentils and oven-baked bread. Wonder how much 'Vitamin M' or how many 'Gandhijis' does the "Obama Platter" require...
Mr O (along with Mrs O) also attended a glittering banquet held in his honour by President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan... with the strains of the Bollywood hit number 'Ye Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge' (we will not break this friendship) playing in the background. In namma Bangalore it might have been 'hutti daare kannadadalli huta beku' (even if I die... I would like to be reborn in Karnataka) sung by the late matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar.
20. By not coming to Bangalore, Barackanna has lost a golden chance to know that our darshinis serve better bisi bele bath than Bukhara. And that there is a resort near Yelahanka called 'The White House'. Therefore... he should take immediate measures in order to strengthen the fraternal bond between the "world's oldest democracy" and the "world's largest democracy"... and order the building of a resort in the US of A and call it: 'The Rashtrapati Bhavan'. This may assist in furthering US economic interests (and jobs) in India, sidelining the strategic quotient. You see... commercial deals worth billions... are the new and strongest indicator of "friendship".
21. And by not coming to Bangalore, Michelleamma won't know that for all our outsourcing prowess, pakkada mane Parvathamma does not wear skirts, play hopscotch and is no "Dancing Queen" either... pulling off matkas and jhatkas like a seasoned performer. And she still cannot find a maid when she wants one.
Note: The views expressed here are entirely in good humour and without malice.
Pic (titled: Will Obama bring Change to India) courtesy link.