Thursday, June 18, 2009

Prim and Proper PM.

The poet, T.S.Eliot, was known for his orthodox style. He was always dressed in a 3-piece suit. He was never seen without a tie. He kept his hair neatly trimmed. He abhorred ostentation of any kind. He knew that people found him quite conservative and wrote this self-deprecating poem, which best describes himself:

How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot!
With his features of clerical cut,
And his brow so grim
And his mouth so prim
And his conversation so nicely
Restricted to What precisely
And if and Perhaps and But…

The poem, with a few minor changes, would fit Dr. Manmohan Singh very well. The man is so ‘standardised’ in his appearance and manners. He wears the same type of dress all the time; the only time I have seen him look different was when on a visit to Philippines, he obliged the host by wearing their national dress, the ‘barong”. Unlike Sidhu's, his turban is always the same shade of blue. He has not changed the frame of his spectacles ever since I started seeing his photos. His voice employs the same, flat monotone without any modulations or variation of pitch whatsoever. He never raises his eyebrows when he speaks, nor moves his hands. For that matter, he doesn’t even swing his arms when he walks. I am quite sure that even his ECG will register a perfect sinusoidal wave instead of the PQRST wave pattern of lesser mortals. And, when he smiles, you can discern only the slightest movement of the facial muscles. No wild gesticulation, guffaws or chuckles.

Angry, excited, disappointed, worried or jubilant – his facial expression remains the same. Does he never lower his guard or loosen up? Like Jeeves, who was bound by the rules of the Butlers Guild and, regardless of provocation, couldn’t raise his eyebrows more than an eighth of an inch, is Dr. Singh a member of some Club that stipulates such behaviour? Or is he guarding his carefully-cultivated brand image zealously and making sure that there is no dilution or inconsistency?


ramesh said...

i know what an unexciting PM :(

Balajisblog said...

Raj - It would be good for him to team up with " Anjaa Nenjan" Azhagiri to make his TV appearance more exciting. Alternately, they both can swap their attire....

Raj said...

Ramesh, yes, he should let his hair down once in a while..

balajiblog- brilliant idea. Fusion at its best.

dipali said...

His deadpan expression is so much a part of his persona- anathema to imagine him grinning or gesticulating wildly:)