Archive | October, 2014

On taking selfies with a cheetah and Narendra Modi

20 Oct

Feel awful that am resuming my blog after such a long and deplorable interlude. A lot has happened over the past month ranging between the surreal, the bizarre and the predictably normal. But a packed schedule and a writer’s block the size of T-Rex have prevented me from looking my laptop in the eye.

Let me take you through the highlights of my month in the next few blogs anyhow, under the overarching presumption that you are “that” interested in my life.

I took a few days off to go on a safari at the Masai Mara, Kenya with the husband and some friends and returned with not just packets of Kenyan coffee but also a bunch of selfies with a cheetah who decided to spring himself over the roof of our jeep. It was truly a blood-of-the-Punjab moment with the cheetah spread languorously in the backdrop and me posing away for the camera, throwing caution to the wind.

Cheetah Selfie

My friend sitting next to me in the jeep too joined me in this endeavour and touching up her lip gloss made herself sufficiently presentable for the camera. Half a dozen selfies later realization dawned upon me that I must look unrecognizable with my aviators and hat in the photos. This was promptly rectified by way of me removing the accoutrements and adjusting my hair etc for a fresh set of pictures while the spotted chap waited around patiently in the backdrop. (P.s: The Cheetah will make for a very good husband one day.) Friends in the other jeep, parked not far from ours, congratulated me later for my courage and my overall intrepid stance concerning the cheetah. Truth be told, the Masai assisting our jeep had assured me that the slinky chap wasn’t particularly hungry for human flesh with so many zebras and wilder beasts around and it was unlikely that he would make a meal of me.

I returned from the trip only to find that my mother had gone and tattooed herself in my absence. This discovery shocked me more than the cheetah materializing on the jeep perhaps. If you knew my mother, you would logically conclude that a tattoo was the furthest thing from her mind. All I can say after seeing her tattooed butterflies is that you can spend nine months growing inside of somebody and another eighteen years growing around them and still not know them. (P.s: This isn’t to imply that I am 18.)

Anyhow, my daughters think that their nani is really cool to be inking herself at her age. The siblings have been found discussing in hushed tones that their own mother lacks spunk and a youthful spirit.

Little do they know that I save my spunk for more meaningful occasions such as the one that presented itself to me this very afternoon.  It so turned out that my friends received a call today informing her that PM Narendra Modi was rallying in our neighbourhood and in a moment of incredible idiocy I agreed to accompany them to the rally. They wanted pictures with him but I could not see that happening with ease.

We spotted the vehicle on top of which NaMo was perched and waving away at the crowd on the streets. In spite of his bhakts and the police bandobast, he could not help but notice three Ray Ban donning groupies wave at him and smiling uncertainly he waved back at us. When my friend requested him for a picture he considered the matter for a few seconds and finally consented, telling the cops to let us climb into his truck. “Do you want to take a selfie?” he asked me as he saw me flip the camera around. “Yes Mr. Modi, that would be nice,” I said beaming back at the Prime Minister of India. I had already taken a selfie with a cheetah and now I was taking one with a lion. This was a moment to be remembered.

“Isn’t he a rockstar?” a young woman from his team asked rhetorically. If you consider it, did any other PM before Narendra Modi manage to become such a phenomenon in such a short time? I could never imagine wanting to click a selfie with Manmohan Jee. In fact, the last time I displayed this “groupie-like” behaviour was when I came across Enrique Iglesias in the ITC hotel when I was still in my twenties.

So back on the truck Mr. Modi seemed a little subdued. The charisma one reads about and witnesses on television was conspicuously dormant. This disappointed me but I blamed the oppressive heat of the afternoon for it. My friends spoke to him, lavishing compliments and much praise, but he stood there tepidly, somewhat smiling but mostly just bored.

As we walked back towards our car the three of us discussed that even though this man looked like NaMo he lacked the confidence, the personality and the unmistakable presence that the PM commanded. On our way home we Googled Modi’s pictures and compared that to this gentleman’s and realize that we have been had. This person was not our iconic PM but his body double.

I cringed and laughed simultaneously as I recalled our one sided conversation and the insipid personality of the fake Mr. Modi. I wondered if the rest of them knew any better and were just playing along… the BJP flag bearing junta, the industrialist’s wife on the truck, the cops?

This incident amused the husband no end and he smugly informed me that the PM was campaigning for the state assembly elections in Thane at the same time that we were taking selfies with his doppelganger in Khar. The girls also had a good laugh at my expense.

My friend, his hardcore supporter, justified his using a body double by saying, “I think it was an ingenious idea to find a look alike to campaign for himself instead of a poster or cut out. Narendra Modi is such a genius.”

Good logic. How could I argue with that? Besides, I like Mr Modi enough to hold something like this against him.

My friend Tina and Narendra Modi (?)

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