Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday gifted his British counterpart David Cameron a pair of handcrafted bookends engraved with verses from the Bhagavad Gita, and a book compiling letters sent by Indian soldiers during the World War I .
“Presented PM @David_Cameron a specially handcrafted pair of bookends made of wood, marble and silver,” Modi tweeted.
The centrepiece of each of these bookends is a silver bell which has a verse from the Bhagavad Gita etched in Sanskrit, and its English meaning on the inside rim. The verses are taken from Chapter 13 of the Bhagavad Gita.
Knowing Cameron’s fondness for Robert Graves’ work on World War I ‘Goodbye to All That’, the Prime Minister also presented to him David Omissi’s ‘Indian Voices of the Great War’.
The book was presented in view of PM Cameron’s fondness for Robert Graves’ work on World War I Goodbye to All That. @David_Cameron— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 13, 2015
It is an edited collection of the correspondence between Indian soldiers in Europe and their families in the subcontinent.
First Lady Samantha Cameron was presented an Aranmula metal mirror, a unique GI protected handicraft from Kerala, and some pashmina stoles.
For the First Lady, presented Aranmula metal mirror, a unique GI protected handicraft from Kerala, and some pashmina stoles.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 13, 2015
Modi stayed overnight at Chequers, the 16-century mansion in Buckinghamshire, which is the country retreat of the British Prime Minister.
The two Prime Ministers got a chance to relax over an “intimate dinner” for which Cameron’s chefs prepared a British autumn salad of beets and roots as a starter, followed by a main course of porcini mushroom pulao, tarka dal and cucumber salad with mango pudding for dessert.
Modi’s vegetarian tastes were well catered for at Chequers and the menu reflected a India-UK blend with some of Britain’s seasonal vegetables used in Indian dishes.
In the morning, the ministry of external affairs tweeted a picture of Modi and Cameron taking a quiet walk along the lawns of the country mansion.
“A lovely fall morning at Chequers as the Prime Ministers hold a private tete-a-tete to begin 2nd day of engagements,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
Later, Modi returned to London to meet with Chancellor of Exchequer Gordon Osborne and key British CEOs. In the afternoon he will have a quiet lunch with Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace.
Cameron will accompany Modi to the Wembley Stadium in the evening, where about 70,000 people, mostly of Indian origin, are expected to attend a rally.
(With inputs from agencies)