While the “Namaste Trump” event held at the Motera Stadium on Monday grabbed a fair share of eyeballs from across the country, those closest to action were up against two adversaries: The language barrier and the scorching Ahmedabad sun. Unsurprisingly, by the time the US president started addressing the gathering, many in the 100,000-strong crowd were not present on their seats. Most of them, or at least the ones who were bothered by the heat, lapped up the one relief available: Refreshments, mainly packets of buttermilk. Now the rush at the counters serving those was only because of fatigue or was it simply a pretext to leave the venue, one can only guess.
Trump the entertainer
US President Donald Trump (pictured) on Monday struck a chord with the crowd that gathered to listen to him by turning to popular culture, including praising the “genius” of the Hindi film industry. He recalled blockbuster movies Sholay and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ). His pronunciation bloopers had the crowd laughing. He pronounced Sholay “Shojay”, Swami Vivekananda “Vivekamanaman”, Sachin Tendulkar “Suchin”, and chaiwala, a reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as “cheewala”. Yash Raj Films, the makers of DDLJ, later posted on Twitter: “DDLJ trumps!” A marble replica of Mahatma Gandhi’s “three wise monkeys”, a copy of his “talisman”, a special edition of his autobiography were among the items gifted to Trump during his visit to the Sabarmati Ashram. Trump left a message in the visitors’ book at the Ashram without any mention of the Mahatma. In the book, Trump wrote, “To my great friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi, thank you for this wonderful visit.”