Barack Obama and David Letterman

A few years ago, if someone had said that someday I’d be writing moony words about the American President I’d have rubbished it aggressively.

But here goes…

It was a real treat to watch Barack Obama on the David Letterman show. Besides his clarity of speech and thought, one couldn’t ignore his casual warmth and sense of humour. A willingness to listen and to converse. No shouting invectives or with-us-against-us insecurities here.

When Letterman brought up the suggestion that most of criticism on Obama was probably racially motivated. Obama retorts “I think its important to realize that I was actually black before the elections!”  Letterman quips “How long have you been a black man?” Finally someone the world can laugh with rather than at!

The episode  made me wonder about the accessibility of most politicians/ (some may say ‘leaders’) for the common public – when it NOT an election campaign period.

Sure we hear about Rahul Gandhi, three puris and the handpump shower at a Dalit home. But do you think if you had a problem you could go to the concerned official/department/ Ministry to speak to someone?  Or do they run you around in bureaucratic circles and then wrap you in scarlet red tape until you’re asphyxiated?

Am sure not anyone could speak to Mr.Obama to sort out their mess, but there must be an effect that a President with such a demeanour has. To work together his action team  right down to the nth subordinate and intern would in the smallest way be influenced by the tone that he sets. The kind of quality expected of any leader – in a family, in an office, in a department, in a government department (trust me, they deserve a special mention!), in a country.

Like the old peom “Abou ben Adhem… May your tribe increase!”

David Letterman too, demonstrates something most of our television presenters cant do … let the other person speak.

12 thoughts on “Barack Obama and David Letterman

  1. Well, reading your blog first time. Saw your blog link in your Facebook account . Right about Obama in his clarity of thought , but not sure about his sincerity in what he says or its just for the VOTERS consumption or really he meant it. But in general he is way ahead of Intelligence to Bush Jr . One of the best Orators in Recent times amongst American Presidents.

  2. first of all happy new year maam. i am actually a new reader of your blog. this post maam in my opinion is quite vague in travel from US to India ,though both democracies have a very different political structure.I mean will all due respect Barack Obama’s presence on David letterman is more of a publicity affair rather than an actually political statement.
    So maam plz put perspective in your statement and with respect to India jst chk out a few of the developments in Gujrat (obviously it has a tainted history)but it is miracle in the Indian scenario.

    best of luck for your future ventures ,hope that u do take politics as a subject on your future ventures.

    1. @ Nura, Thank you for reading the blog and your comments & wishes.
      After reading them, I re-read my post and realised that to someone who doesn’t know me personally, it can seem that I hold the American Ideal high up and trash everything local. There are many who do this, but please do understand that am NOT one of those!
      I believe in this miracle we call India and have consciously made the choice to live here despite having spent more years of my life outside India. For me that was an act of faith. When I made this choice a few years ago, a lot of people thought it ridiculous, but over the past five years more and more people have been making this choice. The multiplicity in this country is not easy to fathom. Like you have pointed out there are fantastic developments we are making and yes there is a long way to go. The manner in which our democracy functions is itself very unique and without a parallel.
      Politics is everywhere and does always enter work. Which article of a newspaper does not have a political element? it may be electoral, racial, sexual, corporate, continental… now that’s another blogpost 🙂 Good day!

      1. well to be honest i have a similar background…i too am an unfortunate NRI…i respect ur decision to stay in INDIA. Though i dont thnk i will hav the guts to follow your decision. waitng for your next blog….

          1. aaa….i knw fr a fact maam that i hav seen more perspectives in my life…but the thng is when u put an opinion to public opinion thy tend to frgt the message and initially chk the validatn of the source….therin cms the issue of being an NRI…..and HAPPY HOLI….

        1. Nura,,,,Wonderful to meet you here in Anjalis blog… sorry for cutting into your space with anjali, “the unforunate NRI”is something which you should not address yourself. How you feel ,where you are makes us what we are, isnt it? being in gulf i have many restirictions, i see my kids who are caged , unlike the open sky , rain , freedom of speech and life that i had back in the 80’s. There is something that is holding here , having the NRI stamp isnt it? and some day we will go back to our good old land .Be happy where ever we are… if you let the native feel, we are not happy ,dont you thing they will take advantage of our weekness??

    2. well said….bt not only de democrazy,,,,deir system, culture,,thinking …all lot different frm us,,,it may change wid us too,,, bt may take a bit long time,,,may be when these system makers realise which is impractical …and merely impossible…or may be when the younger thoughts have a value,,,, till den let any one rule,,,be it latest,,,things be same,,,bt keep ur voice up,,,,and @ anjali menon,,,,keep doing wht you do…gr8

  3. wonderful. I watched ur interview yesterday on indiavision and impressed a lot. I follow u marvellously after u won IFFK award. In a very humble meaning I am a script writer of 18 short films telecasted on Kairali TV, for which have no comparision to ur exalted work, but just mentioned to get an access.
    Sincerely, Subu.

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