Friday, October 29, 2010

US presidential visits: From J-Bombs to N-Bombs

By: TR Vivek, ET Bureau

For a measure of how the relationship between India and the United States, and indeed the nature of Presidential visits has changed, you only need to look at the front page of the New York Times on the eve of President Richard Nixon’s 22-hour New Delhi stopover in 1969. The biggest concerns, it would appear, weren’t the South Asian arms race or even the brewing crisis in East Pakistan.

It was the weather and the fickleness of the capital’s flora.

“If Mr Nixon rides under clear skies with the top of his bubblecar down, he will have to beware the fallout from Delhi’s ubiquitous Jamun trees. Their purplish bounty , a semi-sour cherry like fruit with a big, hard pit, splatters indiscriminately on heads of passersby these days,” the paper recorded prominently.

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