The Dude did it to me again! As my scheduled Air India flight from Kochi, Kerala, was attempting to make its final approach to Indira Gandhi International Airport, his much bigger horse, Air Force 1, was heading towards the nearby base.
It was exactly 10 o’clock in the morning. My eyes were infected after catching some mysterious bug, as I was told, a common Kerala disease. I was exhausted after writing countless essays (some directly related to the Dude), and what was ahead of me was yet another flight, this time to battered Srinagar in Kashmir.
But the Dude’s flying horse had priority. It always has!
“Your President will come; soon”, I had been told by a security officer at Kochi Airport, three hours earlier.
“Your President is landing,”, the drop-dead gorgeous Air India chef de cabin whispered into my ear, as our plane embarked on yet another aimless loop, some 90 kilometers south of the capital. “Since we don’t have permission to land, would you like to have another cup of coffee, sir?”
“Why not! Yes!” I said. Let’s celebrate the arrival of the Chief!
My plane circled for another 30 minutes, and then it was allowed to embark on the final approach.
On the ground, at Indira Gandhi Airport, everything was a total mess. All flights were delayed and at the transfer desk, and at yet another security checkpoint, there were stampedes. Passengers were jumping queues, pushing and screaming.
“Heart-wrenching shouts like ‘my flight will depart in 10 minutes!’ were countered with brutal force by men from the security apparatus, who yelled back: ‘you will not miss anything! Back to line! Everything is delayed!’”
I wondered how much had Air India, Jet Airways, and the other airlines lost in fuel costs as a result of the Dude’s visit. How much had been burned by circling around the airport, and because of the delays?
As hundreds of people tried to make their connecting flights, the television monitors were beaming images of Chief Obama, of his wife and the ultra-conservative Indian Prime Minister Modi, all of them in staged G-rated love scenes. The love was stately, mixed with dignity and purpose. And with ‘symbolism’, all major Indian newspapers carried reports, well in advance.
It was both Hollywood and Bollywood hard at work, hand in hand, in unison.
Of course there was no TeleSur, no RT, Press TV or CCTV, nothing that was likely to put things in a different perspective. The Indian mass media diet mainly consists of the colonialist and neo-colonialist BBC, CNN-India, and several local, mainly big business-owned, strongly pro-capitalist and pro-Western channels.
I tried to work the crowd!
“This country is turning back into a colony!” I shouted, stuck somewhere in the middle of security line. “It’s a shame!”
“Yes! Yes!” Answered few voices. “A colony! What a shame!”
And then, nothing… After a few seconds of patriotic shouting, the stampede continued. Nobody smashed the TV monitor, and nobody confronted the arrogant security agents.
The Dude keeps doing this to me. I am not sure whether he does it on purpose, but our paths often cross, and when he visits, the countries become grotesque, and go totally gaga.
Just as happened recently, with his ‘pivot to Asia’, when he suddenly landed in Malaysia, again on the same day as I did, and the nicest and the kindest immigration officers on earth (yes, many consisting of super-friendly, homey-looking Muslim ladies with headscarves, offering visitors tasty candies), suddenly converted into a bloodthirsty Rottweiler breed! Fingerprinting machines were introduced on that day. KLIA – one of the best-organized airports on Earth, descended into complete chaos, and even the expresses, the trains connecting it with Kuala Lumpur, totally changed their schedules.
Which made me think that the dude must be really scared, even petrified. Of something, who could guess what of?
Well, with his murderous track record, one could not be surprised! And with the murderous track-record of his predecessors…
These dudes, really, keep creating those ISIS or ISILs or whatever; they keep manufacturing entities like Al-Qaida, and yet they are scared of the monsters and of darkness. They are even scared to land at the same time as others! It is so childish and so ridiculous, but nobody seems to be, for some reason, laughing at them!
You see, the leaders of Cuba or Eritrea, of Uruguay, Venezuela or Ecuador, never bring their countries to a standstill, when they have to travel. They are just a bunch of nice folks who want to improve the lives of their people. They don’t have to be scared, or to shut down the airspace every time they are ready to land somewhere. Can you imagine any idiot who’d try to shoot a missile at Evo’s or Michelle’s planes? Unless of course, it was an apparatchik in the service of the Dude…
Well, the catch phrase this time is “The Future We Can Build Together”. The “Deccan Chronicle” the largest South Indian daily newspaper ran as the cover story on the same day the Dude arrived: “India, US hope to iron out nuke issues”.
Nice, truly! Iron out… nuke issues! What a language!
“Moving forward on issues of the civil nuclear deal, technology transfer and joint ventures in defence will be among the key areas where India and the US would like to have ‘concrete deliverables’ during the three day high voltage trip of Mr Obama.”
Oh, high voltage… That is Bollywood, right? Like those wet saris…
And here is the punch line, still from the Deccan Chronicle:
“Also, cooperation in key areas of security, counter terrorism and the situation in India’s extended neighborhood would be among the issues to be discussed between Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
What the hell is the ‘extended neighborhood’? China? The Dude is obsessed with China. He seems to be obsessed with provoking WWIII, against China or Russia, or both.
The Hindu made no secret and proudly declared: “INDO-U.S. TIES: Defence partnership takes centre stage.”
The day earlier, the editor of “Countercurrents” magazine, Mr. Binu Mathew, told me in Kochi, Kerala:
“What you see now, it is the final stage of India becoming a US-client state. It all began with the previous administration, but is accelerating now. It is a betrayal of BRICS: economical, political and military betrayal!”
One should not be bitching too much about having to circle around the airport for 40 minutes, when such a huge, respectful betrayal is taking shape!
Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His critically acclaimed political revolutionary novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear” (Pluto). He just completed feature documentary “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website.