Arré Checklist: Pro-tips for PM Modi’s London Trip


Arré Checklist: Pro-tips for PM Modi’s London Trip

Illustration: Akshita Monga

The city of London is playing host to our Prime Minister this week, as Mr Modi takes his Eurotrip from Sweden to United Kingdom. Can’t hardly blame him: It must be nice to get away from his bumbling coterie of ministers and legislators, who when not committing or defending crimes against women, are ratcheting up the list of achievements of ancient Indian mythology. Of course, Mr Modi knows that right now, the eyes of the nation are on him. The events of the last few weeks have seen his invincible aura dim to the extent that even his meek predecessor Manmohan Singh is taking shots at him in the media. It’s good to get away from the pressure.

Perhaps it’s time to take a cue from another famous Gujarati, Falguni Pathak. Pathak knows the value of recycling your greatest hits to keep the fans hooked, and the one thing Mr Modi has definitely proved to be great at, is the art of the foreign visit. There’s no better time than now for another clutch away performance from Modiji, so we’ve taken the liberty of preparing a To-Do List for our PM. Should he keep this advice in mind during his trip, his follower count is sure to reverse its recent downward trend.

Talk the Talk

Modiji’s latest string of domestic appearances have left something to be desired in the strongman department, what with all the beta male tears he’s been shedding. So it’s time for that 56-inch chest to burst forth once again in a speech full of all the trademark bluster. However, given the grim situation back home, he might have to limit himself to strong-sounding statements like “don’t politicise rape” because “rape is rape” for the moment. However, the latest reports from his trip show that the PM has already checked this item off the list, so it looks like we’re off to a good start.

Be Mr Bright Side

While this might not be the highest point of Modi’s term so far, the first rule of positive thinking is to always see the silver lining. Groups of protesters have turned up in London to demonstrate against him, making this an alien experience to his fond memories of sharing the stage with Hugh Jackman. However, this is still our PM we’re talking about, so along with the protesters there’s sure to be the usual throngs of fawning NRIs ready to receive him. He’d be well served to focus his attention on them, and give the dissenters the silent treatment – which is something he’s been practising for a while now. God forbid he’s forced to acknowledge them and ruin his holiday with an ill-timed hunger strike. Things should be fine, as long as there are no black balloons in sight.

Hug it Out

Now for the main event. The money shot of every foreign trip our PM takes. All the subtle nuances of diplomacy, distilled into one all-enveloping embrace – the patented Modi hug. Theresa May is next in line to be the recipient of global politics’ most feared finishing move. However, our PM might want to reign in his unbridled virility when going for the hug, as his last physical contact with a British dignitary left a rather painful impression. Should he manage to stick the landing, he’ll come away with a glorious photo-op that can then be used as proof that UK is going to solve all of India’s problems for free.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Once all the serious business of hugging has been taken care of, a hardworking man like Modiji deserves a spell of leisurely recreation. Why not embrace the Namaste London spirit wholeheartedly and go hopping around the famous tourist spots? He could visit the Big Ben and get shocked that it’s not a large Gujarati lady, try some of the famous local cuisine like fish and chips (hold the fish), and maybe even stop by Buckingham Palace. Indeed, the only thing Modiji needs to refrain from doing is indulging his hat fetish and trying on the ones worn by the Palace’s guards. It might be tempting for a profligate headwear connoisseur, but the guards are called Beefeaters, and he’d never be able to live it down.

Have a great trip, dear Modiji! Hopefully you bring us back more than a lousy t-shirt.