London, Apr 2 (ANI): The 'family picture' of the 22 heads of state and institutions that is a photo opportunity usually, is an occasion to show unity and bonhomie. But the few minutes that the leaders stood together for a photograph seemed more like a forced exercise in congeniality. Somewhat similar to a wedding picture of families...a HUF (Hindu Undivided Family...that is all but divided for property purposes).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pursed her lips tight, while French President Nocholas Sarkozy looked anything but happy (was he missing his wife Carla Bruni who didn't come...and why didn't she by the way...did she not want to steal Michelle Obama's thunder?).
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh didn't smile even once. Even Obama was not beaming....no Colgate moment here.
But it wasn't a total disaster like in November in Washington D C, when the then President George Bush walked across a line of world leaders without shaking a hand or being asked to shake their hands. CNN's Rick Sanchez reporting on the event said that Bush "looked like the most unpopular kid in high school that nobody liked."
Obama in contrast has come across as warm and friendly without being overtly chummy. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he met briefly for the first time last night at the Queen's reception.
President Obama called out to him and then walked up to the septuagenarian respectfully and spoke to him for almost ten minutes. The conversation was warm and friendly said one delegate ho was present at the reception. This was the first face-to-face interaction between both leaders. By Smita Prakash (ANI)