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Obama-Modi meet: This was our star showing his stripes for the visit

columns Updated: Feb 01, 2015 02:55 IST
Narendra Modi


After the historic Obama-Modi summit, the burning question on everybody's lips is: why on earth did the prime minister have to wear a suit with his name written all over it? It is of course inconceivable that our humble, modest Pradhan Sevak's flaunting his name on the suit was an expression of unbridled narcissism and vanity. No chance of that. Instead, here are a few theories explaining the choice, along with expert comments:

1. Writing his full name on the suit, over and over again, leaves the PM's dhobi in no doubt that it belongs to the PM.

Comment: Dhobis frequently put a mark on clothes to identify whom they belong to. The PM was merely helping the dhobi.

2. When Modi hugged Obama, the president whispered that one of his unfulfilled wishes was to wear a suit with 'Barack Hussein Obama' written all over it. 'But I'm too scared to wear it, as folks might die laughing,' he reportedly sobbed to the PM. The PM then apparently volunteered to wear such a suit, setting a precedent other world leaders could follow.

Comment: Typical of the PM to boldly take the lead.

3. Arvind Kejriwal allegedly intercepted the original suit, which was a perfectly ordinary one and substituted this horror in its place.

Comment: Such a serious allegation must be probed independently, preferably by a retired Supreme Court judge.

4. Wearing the suit was a challenge from Rahul Gandhi. Sources say he told the PM, 'Getting foreign investment and fixing the economy is easy. The really hard thing to do is wear a suit with your name as the pinstripe.'

Comment: A fine example of the PM's courage in accepting such a difficult challenge.

5. It was just a mistake. The PM merely told the tailor to write something impressive on the suit. He was under the impression it would be an inspiring message like 'World Peace' or 'Don't eat hamburgers'.

Comment: Ah, the tailor did it. If the PM really wanted his name on the suit, he would have ensured it was in Sanskrit.

6. After the Swachh Bharat campaign, the PM wanted to signal the start of a new scheme, the WNOSP or Write name on suit programme.

Comment: Please clarify whether we should write our own names or the PM's name on our suits.

7. The PM has an identity crisis with his suits, after a childhood trauma in which a crocodile bit his suit to shreds.

Comment: The trauma to the crocodile was much greater. It now scoots away whenever it spots a suit.

8. In ancient India, Bhasmasura was the first to introduce this style, by writing Bhasmasura Rakshasa repeatedly in the folds of his lungi.

No comment

9. Doesn't Jockey write its name on underwear? Don't people tattoo the names of their loved ones on their bodies?

Comment: Yes, this is pretty restrained by those standards.

10. The PM realised that ignorant ink-stained hacks who had no clue about nuclear deals would have nothing to write about the Obama-Modi summit. So he very considerately gave them this topic.

Comment: Thank you very much.


(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. The views expressed by the author are personal)