And Along came Trouble: Thanks Obama!

Even though it’s not in our nature to blame people. Come on, Delhiites are so welcoming.

As the capital gears up for the Republic day celebrations on Monday, extensive (I can’t emphasize this enough) measures are being taken to ensure that the First family experiences the best that the city has to offer.
It’s quite similar to how quickly and efficiently we have to clean up our home before The Guest arrives, except this time it’s on a national level.

With problems in Delhi being varied and widespread it is a fact that we do have enough to complain about. Though now, it’s time to raise our voices as we have been subjected to (a few) more problems because of, what is being touted as the Nation’s biggest social event yet.

Let’s get our hands together and thank President Obama for the following:

1. Blocked roads, more traffic:

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Ahead of the parade, there have been several restrictions imposed on Delhi roads with lanes and areas being cordoned off. Vehicular movement around Rajpath (effective 25th evening) and ITC Maurya Hotel has been disallowed, with traffic being affected in areas like Ring Road and Matuhra Road.

Contrary to popular belief, turns out greater havoc on roads was possible.
Who knew security measures were this inconvenient?

2. The Metro shut down:

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Six metro stations around Rajpath will be closed to the public on 26th (during the parade). Further, all metro parking lots are closed on Sunday and Monday. All this, despite the armed men who have stormed the metro stations the past week, coupled with thorough and time consuming checking.

The time it takes to get inside a metro coach is a journey itself!

3. Up in the Air. Not:
Following Obama’s arrival, changes are possible in the path of civilian aircraft on 25th and 26th, with flights being grounded from the IGI airport.

Further, India had to give in to the US demand of declaring a No-fly zone around Rajpath during the R-day parade.
Affecting the roads and metros is not enough, apparently.

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4. Stalker much? :

New Bitmap ImageWith all news channels following Obama’s every move, it’s all we have heard about these days.

“Obama boards flight!”

“Obama arrives in India!”

Let’s tone down the stalking and maybe discuss other global events. How about the very recent Boko Haram attack in Nigeria?

Not to mention how aggressively we’re shipping two internationally renowned leaders. Let them have their NaMobama moments in peace.

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5. Much Modi. Such Wow! :

Just in case you were thinking of enjoying the brief respite from hearing about our Hon’ Prime Minister’s public appearances and speeches, think again.

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From Modi’s invitation to his thoughtful gift to the president, this visit is as much about the PM as it is about Obama.
The relentless coverage of almost every step they take ensures that we hear and see Mr. Modi even more.

6. A number of warm welcomes:
Regular, meaningless status updates weren’t annoying enough. With the President’s arrival, ardent bloggers welcome him as if he’s their house guest.

So what we didn’t get to greet him on arrival at the airport, or in fact that we won’t even get to see him within 50 feet of us. We believe in extending a public welcome, hoping that Obama notices and appreciates it.

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Obama, Modi and 2 others like this.
(And well, for those who did this, your display of hospitality is appreciated!)

7. The Beast:

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All of us, mostly unintentionally have heard about ‘The Beast’. To be fair it sounds like some harm causing instead of harm reducing invention.

The Beast: Obama’s ride, a bulletproof, bomb-proof mean machine has even made the BMW/Audi/Mercedes owners in Delhi feel inadequate.

Now, that, is simply unacceptable. Also, it costs only 1.5 million dollars.

8. Speculations, discussions and relations:

Countless conversations are in store, as we evaluate what his visit means to the economy and to the relations between India and U.S.

Unassuming people will be dragged into discussing international relations, when all you’re really thinking about is how much you want to watch Theory of Everything.

Now, his visit is not entirely bad. Definitely, not as much as it was made out to be above. We appreciate the 15,000 CCTV cameras (even if they’re not for us), we also deeply appreciate the up and coming jokes about this.

7 (2)The least Mr. Obama could have done would be to oversee the timely release of Birdman as a gift to the nation, the Republic Day parade celebrations are, as it is troublesome enough for Delhiites.

In closing,
President Obama is an honored guest at the Republic day celebrations, and as nation we welcome him and hope that he enjoys the parade as much as we take pride in it.
Also, it will be extremely easy for children to remember the chief guest of the parade this year.

Thanks Obama!

 

By Manvika Athwani

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