When Pattala stopped prime minister in his tracks...

When Pattala stopped prime minister in his tracks...

In the midst of his hectic diplomatic engagements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday spent a couple of minutes enjoying the notes played by a young musician on a Myanmarese xylophone, locally called ‘Pattala’.

Modi’s encounter happened at the foyer of the sprawling Myanmar International Convention Centre here when he was returning to his hotel after his bilateral meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The prime minister, looking dapper in a black suit, was seen smiling as the young man played his music confidently.

Modi had bilateral meetings with six world leaders besides attending the Asean-India summit. Wednesday’s encounter was a sort of throwback to Modi’s Japan visit in September when he was in an upbeat mood and wowed a set of suited businessmen by playing traditional taiko drums, a day after signing a clutch of deals with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe.

Modi’s performance in Japan had come at the launch of TCS’ Technology and Cultural Academy. After TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran finished his opening remarks, inviting Modi to play a note on the drums after the professional drummers had finished, Modi asked “Pehle drum bajayen?” and could barely wait his turn.

The two drummers - a man and a woman - did their number and then Modi took over, playing the drums at a rapid beat and holding his own when the male drummer joined him. The audience - some of it on videoconference - burst into applause when he had finished.

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