Although President George W. Bush’s two-day whirlwind tour included meetings with top political leaders and techie millionaires and a speech at a 16th-century fort, what he didn’t do was visit the Taj Mahal. And may be that is something that his publicity manager might be regretting. Because be it Bill Clinton or General Pervez Musharraf, the Taj has been a media success story for many a foreign visitors. After seeing Taj they all blurt out their most emotional, profound and quotable quote on Indian culture. May be Bush didn’t want emotions to take over. That’s a different story.
But what Bush did do right was a photo session with a buffalo and some village women without even going to a village. The buffalo was lucky as she spent some exclusive time with the most powerful man in the world. And that is something that every visiting US president makes it a point to do. They spend time with people who matter like leaders and top honchos and well groomed villagers, who are so much overawed by the situation that they only know how to smile.
Let’s mover over to the guards. All this while Bush’s security persons featured in newspapers more than the President himself. An exercise that is routine for them becomes a matter of great debate in our country. As a typical Old City Chicha will say, “Kya sekirity he baap. Uno jahan bhi jaate, pachas sau logan aju baju rete.” And some times these stories also get fabricated. For example, “Aapko ku malum, sale ye commando logan missilan leke chalte. Kuch hua to wahin pe start kar dete.” And the later was a revelation made by an auto driver who thinks like his auto, missiles are also “started” and not fired.
Let’s now discuss the favourite fetish of visiting US presidents – food. Although it is a public knowledge that most Americans are not comfortable with spicy Indian food, almost every US official that visits our country will make a statement saying that he or she just loved India food. Thing is that with so much secrecy we don’t even know what they actually eat and how much. And we were also surprised when Bush expressed his liking for cricket, a game most Americans have no clue about. The funny part is that all these leaders make a lot of homework before they visit a country. It is like Musharraf having a liking for Bollywood movies or let’s assume the president of Albania having a special taste for biryani. Now let’s end it all with a piece of trivia. How much time Bush took to visit the Great Wall of China? Exactly thirty minutes. He certainly has a taste for history, isn’t it?