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Dilip Bobb 

~By Dilip Bobb

So overwhelmed was Ivanka Trump by the red carpet welcome she received on her recent trip to India, treated like royalty plus, that she just had to send her father, President Donald Trump, a letter describing what she was experiencing. The White House, as we know by now, has been leaking like a jhuggi in a cyclone, so the missive duly found its way to the media. Trump promptly denounced it as ‘fake news’ but the lavish praise for her hosts and experiences could only have come from his favourite daughter. Excerpts:

President Donald J Trump
Oval Office
White House
1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Dear Dad,

Am writing this from this fabulous place I have discovered called Hyderabad. I am surrounded by cats but no dogs—by cats I mean Black Cats, the Indian equivalent of the Secret Service except they openly carry their weapons and dress all in black, like our SWAT teams. These guys look like they could swat anything that comes in my way, except there’s nothing in my way, I can see for miles and there isn’t a soul around. I asked someone where all the people of Hyderabad were and I was told not to worry, they have been given a national holiday in honour of my visit and told to stay at home. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, to get back to the cats and dogs stuff, I also haven’t seen any dogs around. I remember my briefing papers saying India was full of stray dogs and cows and beggars but I’ve seen none so far. I was told that Hyderabad has no stray dogs, anyone who says so is peddling fake news, something you well know about, dad. No beggars either, they have all moved on to the IT sector, I was told, something to do with Digital India. About the cows. I was told they are all housed in shelters, much like the homeless back home. Here they are sacred cows so they are quite at home, if you get the pun. I am just amazed at the cleanliness, I mean Washington looks like a slum compared to how clean this place is, not a speck of dust or abandoned wrappers, no garbage, the roads are gleaming, artwork on the sidewalks, greenery and plants all around; of course, I am only talking of the route my motorcade takes, from the summit venue to the hotel and the palace where Prime Minister Modi hosted a dinner in my honour. I really need to come to India more often, it’s such an ego boost. Talk about red carpet welcome, this is beyond what any head of state will get, even you, dad! There are very flattering portraits of me all over the city on hoardings, they flew in the Indian ambassador to Washington to personally greet me at the airport, I have a fabulous suite and an entire floor to myself and the security is even more elaborate than what you would get if you were to come on an official visit. I feel like a princess—just hope they don’t think I’m Pocahontas since you’ve already decided on who should wear that crown. She was Indian by the way, Pocahontas, I mean. What a weird coincidence.

I also have to tell you that the Prime Minister spoke very warmly about you; at first I was afraid he would hug me, as it warned in the briefing papers that it’s something he does quite frequently—I remember you looking quite uncomfortable dad, when he grabbed you in a bearhug when you guys first met. Anyway, he too treated me like a queen, hosting a fancy dinner for me in this fairy tale palace that beats the White House hands down—I mean a sit-down dinner for 1,000 people at the same table? Shades of Arabian Nights and the thousand and one nights! You would have loved it; forget the gold plates and crystal, there’s gold leaf in the walls, giant chandeliers, gilt-edged furniture, antique pieces and priceless ornaments and carpets. If Trump Tower needs refurbishing you really need to visit Faluknama Palace in gorgeous, beggar-free, dog-free, people-free Hyderabad.  My hosts tell me it’s all to do with something called Swachh Bharat. We really need to get our act together in Washington, dad, this Hyderabad place really makes us look like a Third World country.

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