Table ke neeche kya hai? Trump, Modi and the tale of two pictures


The iconic British business newspaper Financial Times used to run a fine weekly feature, not so long ago, on the tables in the corner offices of top business leaders.

The feature was a stand-alone photograph of the chairman/CEO/whatever, in his/her lair.

The FT feature was intended to give an insight into the mind of its owner, his or her interests, priorities and preoccupations, accomplishments, family, mottos, etc.

In one word: personality.

Today’s issue of Bild, the German tabloid newspaper, carries a picture of US president-elect Donald Trump as he meets its representative—and his table (above) looks full, loaded, colourful and messy but organised.

How does it compare with prime minister Narendra Modi‘s, as he met India Today‘s Raj Chengappa a couple of weeks ago (below), bare as bare can be.


What do the tables reveal (or conceal) about the leader of the world’s oldest democracy and the largest, respectively, even after conceding that Trump met Bild not in the Oval Office but in his private towers?

Photograph: courtesy Bild and India Today