It is said that he can also predict the future. He is not trained but has a natural knack.
Now, as those who have been here for some time know, and the devil is my witness, I have deconstructed many a photograph and my hunch has not been far off the mark. I don’t even have to shake hands or anything.
Therefore, in the interest of the Indian side, here is my humble reading of Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir who have had "closed door talks" by now:
Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said India had approached the talks with "open minds, fully conscious of the trust deficit between the two countries…Talks were candid. There was good chemistry between the two delegations. We had useful discussions.”
Good chemistry is like love. You don’t know what the hell is happening, but something is. It also results in suspicion. Every bit of information, even about orangutans, appears useful.
She said Pakistan wanted to resume the so-called "composite dialogue" - covering a range of key issues - but India felt the time was not yet right to do so "because the climate of trust and confidence has to be built up… I told them about our concerns about terrorism emanating from Pakistan. We agreed on step-by-step engagement."
It is clear from the picture. Although they are facing the same direction, they are looking at different cameras and her head is tilted slightly at an angle to the other side. It won't be step by step but a tangential idea.
Her Pakistani counterpart, Salman Bashir, wanted to discuss Kashmir and had already met the Hurriyat leaders before. It shows in his visage. Although Pakistan admitted the 26/11 attacks had been partly planned on its soil, he has an all-knowing look on his face but trepidation regarding this meeting; his left hand is too close to his body and straight.
Their clothes are also interesting. She is wearing a saree blouse with too short sleeves revealing thick arms. Good enough for flexing? The lower button of his jacket is unbuttoned, which one would expect him to do just before sitting. Either he forgot to button up or that’s the way he likes it. It shows a laidback attitude that seems to suggest: do what you want, say what you want, I am cool with it. And, yes, I can stomach things.
"We have agreed to remain in touch," concluded Nirupama Rao.
Sure. Like a cat offering a ball of wool while the bone remains buried (Kashmir, Hafiz Saeed, Baluchistan, all that Pakistan wanted to discuss).
End result: It was just a meeting, stupid. No strings attached to be detached.
And: As for the Pakistani ‘face reader’, let me tell you what I think. He is good with headaches and he will return with one!