From ‘It happens only in India’ and ‘Des mera rangrez ye babu’ to ‘Teri mitti’ from Akshay Kumar-starrer Kesri, Bollywood chartbusters played out at the Motera stadium to welcome US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melanie Trump on Monday.
The atmosphere inside the stadium was all charged up as chants of “Modi! Modi!" filled the air at the grand Namaste Trump event.
People across age groups in colourful and traditional attire waved Indian flags and enjoyed the playlist curated by someone who certainly knew her music and possessed a sense of humour.
Hindi songs ranging from a Shankar Mahadevan number to Indian Ocean band’s ‘Des mera’ from the movie Peepli Live, the 2010 Indian satirical comedy on farmer suicide, also made an appearance. Hindi rap, extolling the virtues of the Indian premier, also played on the loop.
Celebrities, including Kailash Kher, performed at the stadium, which was decked up with huge hoardings and large-screen displays of Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Burly secret service agents stationed themselves at strategic points, as English songs started playing on the speakers, replacing the patriotic and martial Bollywood music as Trump was set to arrive at the venue.
Namaste Trump caps were distributed across the stadium, which erupted when Trump and the first lady walked in. They were welcomed at the dais by Modi who pulled out all stops to make this jamboree a global showstopper.
First, the Star Spangled Banner, the US national anthem, played out extolling Francis Scott Key’s poem about the battle of Baltimore, followed by the Indian national anthem as three giant digital billboards lit up with flags of both countries provided the backdrop for the dais.
“India gives hope to all of humanity," Trump said, while touching upon India’s soft power icons, such as cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, the colourful festival of Holi, the festival of light, Deepawali, and blockbuster Bollywood movies Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Sholay.
The Trumps arrived in India on a 36-hour trip, which saw them visit Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi on Monday. The Ahmedabad leg lasted for three-and-a-half hours.
True to style, Trump’s speech wasn’t without a few gaffes. His reference to Modi’s humble origin as that of a “chaiwallah" sounded like “chuawalaah". Then while referring to Swami Vivekananda, Trump mispronounced his name as Swami Vivekamamdan, leaving the crowd in splits.