Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | November 8, 2009

PM at Supermarket

A funny incident happened yesterday. As a very reluctant couple we were doing grocery shopping at the supermarket like we do every Saturday. Suddenly, we notice the Kiwi Prime Minister too was doing the same thing with his wife. He was standing infront of us in the queue at the checkout. There was no fuss around him and while everyone recognised him there was no additional frenzy at store. I was a bit stunned.

In India you cannot take security for granted. Also, people such as a Prime Minister cannot avoid being mobbed. Further anyone with slightest authority is good at delegating work and so you find even the smallest of public figure longing for attention in a public place. Forget Prime Minister in a supermarket queue, you would not even get his Secretary probably.

Anyway, this incident does not necessarily mean the Kiwi PM is a better administrator or something but it just shows there are places which are still considered safe for people to engage in their daily lifestyle in a normal way.



  1. Another old boy told me in the same wondering tones about an encounter with Kim Clijsters on one of the boulevards of Paris: he had exactly the same kind of experience.

    It’s not just a question of security – though I’m sure that security is a big problem in India, we being a people who are easily aroused to senseless violence, and lots of VVIPs are on the hit lists of all kinds of terrorists and maniacs. It’s the fear of being mobbed even by admirers and petitioners…

    We are an attention seeking society. In more civilised countries the Paris Hilton type is a sick aberration; with us it is the norm. Very often a VVIP uses the massive ‘security’ paraphernelia merely to make a lot of heads turn; and as a society we rather expect VVIPs to act like that: the truly self-effacing gentleman is regarded with wonder, and even some contempt: ‘what is the use of power and wealth if we can’t show off?’ The irony is that sometimes the attention becomes too much for the VVIPs to handle!

  2. Forget the PM, I can’t even imagine IPS and IAS officers doing that…in fact I don’ know a single one who will voluntarily go grocery shopping :-/ On another note, Hi 🙂 How are you, long long looonng time no see, I ended up deleting my old blog by mistake, had to create a new one.

  3. You are correct, in India you wont find the PM in a grocery supermarket, for that matter I would be surprised to find even see we are a large country with a huge is everybody’s responsibility to create jobs…and the PM and his Secretaries lead the way in creation of jobs by hiring people to their shopping…like you had a driver and I had maid to look after Neel. In addition the PM of NZ is not faced with threats from all corners of his country and neither are the neighboring countries of NZ constatntly plotting to destabilize the country by blowing up people…

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