29 September, 2020

Durban Diary

What is a trip to South Africa without lions? Signboard at the entrance of a lion park—“trespassers will be eaten.”

Durban Diary

The Zulu Minute

They call it the Zulu minute. And it was on grand display at the brics summit in Durban in March. For the Indian delegation, it was a rollercoaster that began with the annoyance of having to stay at a hotel nearly 40 kilometres away from the main venue, while the other leaders had hotels in Durban itself. Then the ‘Zulu minute’ kicked in. The opening dinner on the 26th was so badly delayed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was served food close to midnight. A senior minister accompanying the PM was visibly jet-lagged and irritated the next day, complaining how disorganised it was. The next day, the plenary was delayed by over an hour. Once it began, there were long statements by each leader, though Manmohan and President Vladimir Putin kept it short and crisp. It was followed by a rather bizarre “statements to the...



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