Rahul Da Cunha: Make in India. Hug in India.

USA politics fascinates and foxes me in equal measure. The Senate, the primaries, why Utah and Ohio are so vital. Too confusing and multi-layered for me. All I know is that the US Prezzie race is hotting up.

The Republicans, the pro-money, pro-bombing Islamic countries, capitalists, who’ve had debatable leaders in their midst, like Nixon and Bush Jr are desperate to win back governance after eight years in the wilderness.

Illustration/ Uday Mohite
Illustration/ Uday Mohite

The Democrats, made up of more likeable folks like John F Kennedy and Bill Clinton. No Weapons of Mass Destruction for them. Just women, who destroyed them.

Eventually for us desis, it doesn’t matter who wins; our only concern is dollar to rupee ratio...rokda, boss, rokda!

You see, I don’t judge world leaders by their foreign policy, financial acumen or feisty speeches, but by one yardstick and one yardstick alone — how they respond when our PM Narendra Modi embraces them. How do they bear up to his bear hugs. No one in global politics has handled our PM’s ‘aa gale lag ja’ better than the boss of the U S of A — Barack Obama (even though Modi has often referred to him as Mr Barack).

Take some of the other leaders at the receiving end of Modi’s ‘jappis’:

President Hollande of France was the most zapped by our PM’s exuberance (Frenchmen are not big on ‘human touch’ as you know).

His expression on physical impact was like:

1. He’d eaten a bad croissant
2. His response to Charlie Hedbo’s new anti Prophet cartoon and the potential aftermath

Closer home, the NaMo/Nawaz Sharif embraces seem very affectionate and neighbourly to the naked eye. But close observers will tell you that the two aren’t in fact ‘bromancing’. Each man is actually patting the other down and checking for a bullet proof jacket and a wire.

North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un will be handled very tentatively by our head of state, considering he could well have the N-Bomb strapped on his person. One tight hug and large parts of Asia could be flattened.

Which brings us back to my original point:

How will each US Presidential candidate respond to our PM’s tight embrace?

Hillary Clinton, I feel, may have serious issues with this. Or not. Considering the amount that Bill Clinton hugged Monica Lewinsky, she may run a mile or welcome it.

Cruz and Sanders, one doesn’t know much about their personal issues with hugging.

Donald Trump, the Laloo Prasad Yadav of US politics, I feel, is the man to watch. Ten years from now, with property prices in BKC and Lower Parel escalating, he may be selected as the BJP candidate (Bandra East) for Lok Sabha 2024.

My interest is very focused and one-dimensional. How will that Goldilocks wisp of wig he wears on his head cope with the force of Mr Modi’s thumping embrace?

Will it be pinned down firmly in place? Or will the property moghul leave it to fate?

Let the wig fall where it may, so to speak.

That, my friends, will determine the future of Indo-American relations.

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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