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When I get time, I listen to music, or read books. If any is left, I blog!

Tuesday 21 September 2010

Face Reading

When our Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao flew into Pakistan recently, among those present to receive her at the airport was Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi, a senior diplomat known for his uncanny ability to read the faces of people.
Someone close to Hashmi was once quoted as saying, “It becomes very difficult to hide one’s inner self in front of him”.  Hashmi is also said to possess a strange skill in predicting the immediate future.  According to one story, during a foreign office briefing on an upcoming visit by Zia to the UN General Assembly in 1988, Hashmi happened to remark, “He won’t come”.  When asked why, he refused to speak further.  The next day, Zia was killed in a plane crash.
Physiognomy or Face Reading was prevalent in ancient Greece, but was abandoned later as a questionable science.  Pakistanis seem to be resurrecting it and gaining an edge over India in bilateral talks.  Remember, Pervez Musharraf’s visit to India in 2001, and how his breakfast meeting with journalists was ‘stealthily’ uploaded to Pakistani channels, leaving us red in the face!  
And more recently, I wonder, if Hashmi was around to read S M Krishna’s face!
-  August 2010

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