Manmohan Singh gets Obama’s autograph

Dr. Manmohan Singh is a happy man today. He just got Barack Obama's autograph. The trip to London Obama Singh was well worth it.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, leader of the world’s largest democracy, used part of his one-on-one session with Obama to ask for an autograph on behalf of his daughter (or so he said). [Link]

Singh, 76, has three daughters, all accomplished women who probably wouldn't have bugged their dad to get Obama's autograph. So what gives? Surely a man of Singh's stature didn't need to look like a fawning fan.

Instead of speculating further, I decided to ask Singh himself. He graciously accepted my long-distance phone call.

Me: "Congratulations Dr. Singh! I heard that the G-20 summit went well."

Singh: "Thank you. It was very successful. I met The Man."

Me: "Yes, I heard. What did you say to The Man?"

Singh: "I said 'You da Man!' And I shared some turban-wearing tips with him."

Me: "I heard that you also got his autograph."

Singh: "Yes, I asked him for his autograph and he gave it to me quickly, without hesitation, without even looking away from the cameras. What a nice man. I am very pleased to have his autograph on a document called 'Pledge to Increase Outsourcing.'"

Me: "I knew you were a brilliant man, Dr. Singh, but I didn't realize how brilliant."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Good one Melvin! I was wondering what you were coming to, when you started with autograph.

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