Open Letter to Barack Obama
There is a song sung by a famous Pakistani singer which has been immortalized over years of being played on loop in Delhi’s Blue-line buses -‘accha sila diya tune mere pyaar ka, yaar ne hi loot liye ghar yaar ka.‘ (You repayed me well for my love by robbing my own house, you heartless person)
In case you didn’t notice, i addressed you as Barack. Because we Indians call friends by their first names. Formalities are for strangers, not for people we love with our hearts.
So you came to India. We turned out all of our fancy crockery. We cleaned up our roads. Even UP brought out the police and spruced up Agra for you. We showed you all of our toys at the Republic Day parade. It was love – sheer, unadulterated love – Barack.
Our good Prime Minister Modi ji broke protocol to receive you right at the door of your plane. The embrace in which he held you had more love than Brangelina at their peak. The handshake that lingered on for just a few minutes extra, the sweet aroma of that orange shawl, the warmth in those eyes – such gestures would make any mortal go weak in the knees, but look what you did.
He broke protocol, and you broke our heart.
We thought we were a couple, like Deepika and Ranveer. How wrong we were. You’ve made us seem more like the Shahrukh of Darr, pining away for a love who just doesn’t reciprocate.
Why, Barack, why?
Why do you have to raise so much stink about India and our intolerance? So what if our police choked an innocent Black man in the middle of the street for selling cigarettes? Oh wait i am sorry it was YOUR police. Oops, my bad.
Yes sometimes we have riots, i mean on Arnab’s panel discussions. Sometimes we have incidents in our cities as well. We fight, like a robust Punjabi family. But we mind our own business. Oh by the way how is the war against terror coming along? Already the world seems like such a safe place. Or IS it? How many billions have you sunk in the black-holes that are called Pakistan and Iraq?
I am sorry, i am just being petty. America is a wonderful country that accepts people of all races and colors. Why they even elected a Muslim president. And Ferguson was a mere anomaly, a grayish shade of violent racial conflict that can’t be easily broken down into err, black and white.
You broke our heart, Barack. You broke it into more pieces than the number of trashy songs Britney Spears will ever sing.
After all the red carpet that India rolled out to you, you showed that you are after all a liberal at heart, by taking a dig at our communal harmony right before you took a rushed flight to the funeral of the king of a country where your own wife was apparently blurred out of videos because i guess she wasn’t appropriately hidden in a burqa. A country where women cannot drive, vote or try out clothes while shopping. Where men get sentenced to ten years and 1000 lashes on the back for daring to speak their mind. If this is not secular tolerance, then what is? You are the beacon of tolerance, Barack. You shine brighter than Lady Gaga’s dresses.
It is of course important to be present along with your top diplomats at the funeral of a man who did so much for the cause of women. How else would you be able to spread the message of religious tolerance and secularism? I pity the fools who question you on this. They’re just flogging a dead horse. They’re just dumping petrol into the fire.
It is so admirable that you worry so much about Gandhiji and how he must have been shocked at the acts of intolerance in the country. Trust me, he has got bigger worries looking at the damage being inflicted to his name by a certain young man by the name of Rahul. So let Gandhiji be, please.
But please don’t turn such a cold shoulder to us, Barack. Modi ji loves you. India loves you. Why, half of India uses iPhones produced by your very own Apple. The other half eats apples every day, or every year, depending on their purchasing power. Because together we can, Barack. Together we can. We even sent you Bobby and Nicky to help you run your country, and Bharara to strip-search naughty diplomats. We’ve bought your jets and are in the market for more. We are in it together. In IT also.
So fret not. What’s a small riot here, or a little hypocrisy there. After all, chhote chhote shehron mein…you know what i mean.