Mamallapuram: There is renewed hope of deepening of ties and announcement of a slew of confidence building measures as PM Modi and President Xi Jinping literally walked the talk on Friday evening in the backdrop of the scenic Shore temple. Later, they continued their one-on-one chat over dinner, much beyond the scheduled time.
The key free-wheeling meeting between the two leaders will take place on Saturday morning. They will have six hours of talks following which separate statements will be issued.
The tone for the second Indo-China informal summit was set at Mamallapuram, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, about 56 km off Chennai, with the PM explaining to XI the significant features of the Pallava era monuments.
A spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said that Modi had chosen Mamallapuram as the venue for the summit – not China as reported in some sections of the media – considering that the coastal town had trade and (Buddhist) spiritual connections with China during the time of the Pallava Kingdom.
Modi, who reached Mamallapuram by a chopper from the Chennai airport, turned up in the traditional Tamil Nadu attire of spotless white shirt and zari-bordered veshti (dhoti) and an angavastram (shoulder cloth). Xi too shed his suit for a casual white shirt and black trousers. Accompanied by two interpreters, who maintained a good distance, the two heads of State then walked to Arjuna’s Penance – the mid-seventh century sculptures depicting the penance. The Indian Prime Minister, who appeared to have prepared himself thoroughly with the historicity of the place, was seen explaining the significance of the sculptures to Xi.
PM wearing velcro veshti?
A veshti-wearing PM Modi caused informed South Indians to speculate whether he was wearing a velcro veshti as he received Chinese president Xi Jinping. While the veshti is the traditional attire of South Indian men, especially Tamilians, what is trending amongst youth is the ‘velcro pocket veshti’, which has a handy pocket to keep one’s mobile or cash. Additionally, this veshti makes for a clean silhouette, since it is without the bulge of the traditional version, resulting from it being tucked into the side to ensure that it stays put.