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In Japan, PM Modi Proves He Never Forgets a Face

Author: Vishnu Som
Publication: NDTV.com
Date: August 31, 2014
URL: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/in-japan-pm-modi-proves-he-never-forgets-a-face-584580?utm_source=taboola

For hours she stood silently with her husband waiting for a glimpse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Kyoto.

Mina Chudgar had a reason to want to see Mr Modi. Seven years ago, she had cooked the then Gujarat Chief Minister a proper Gujarati vegetarian meal when he had visited Osaka.

But it has been seven years now and Mr Modi is Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world. Why would he remember, let alone speak to one lone woman among dozens of well-wishers waiting to catch a glimpse of the Indian PM?

But Narendra Modi has a reputation of not forgetting a face. And so all it took was a bit of luck.

And today was clearly Mina Chudgar's day.

Moments before Mr Modi was to get into his car to leave Kyoto, he happened to spot Mina in the crowd. And a few excited words in Gujarati from her sealed the deal.

Not only did Mr Modi turn around to re-enter the hotel he was exiting, he went straight up to Mina, spoke to her for a few moments, and happily posed for photos with her.

Stunned by the gesture, Mina broke into tears telling everyone around her repeatedly, "I have been blessed."

Today was, in fact a day in which the Indian Prime Minister was truly in his element. Passionately gesturing as he spoke to the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe as the two leaders walked around the historic Toji temple, Modi also seemed happy to communicate with people looking on.

At the Kinkaku-ji temple, the second Buddhist temple he visited today, Modi waded into a group of tourists. He patted a child, posed for photos before being introduced to the 83-year-old head priest Yasu Nagamori . "You are Mori, I am Modi" is how the Prime Minister broke the ice.
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