A surgeon specialising in transplant and obesity – "with particular interest and expertise in kidney and pancreas transplantation" – met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Glasgow on the sidelines of the COP26 climate change summit on Monday.
However, it was neither ecological crisis nor the global public health good that was on award-winning British-Lebanese Professor Nadey Hakim's agenda during audience with the Indian Prime Minister.
Hakim, who also often swaps the scalpel to cast bronze sculptures, had travelled from London to Glasgow to present a bust he had made of PM Modi.
As the Prime Minister interacted with some Indologists, including those who have made significant innovations in contributing to climate change adaptation, the prominent surgeon waited for his turn and was nearly left speechless after a "memorable" interaction with the leader.
"I have done the sculpture of PM Modi because, as you can see, he is quite a popular gentleman. Everyone likes him. I really liked his features and decided to do it (make the sculpture). I must say that I am very thrilled, first by his reaction – as he is obviously so easy-going," said Hakim in a video shared by the Prime Minister's office after the meeting.
In a last-minute improvisation, the 63-year-old took off PM Modi's glasses and put them on to the bust saying it ultimately proved to be "a good move" and would hopefully be liked by the people of India.
Hakim, who also speaks French, Italian, German, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Japanese besides English, said he was quite impressed with the way PM Modi spoke to every single person patiently and gave them the "time necessary to respect them" and respond. He said that the Indian PM had "kind words" for every single person.
"I had never met him before but he automatically made me feel at ease to speak to him like a brother. We are all human beings, does not matter if you are a Prime Minister or the Pope. This is why we give respect to each other regardless of our level. That is also why I have a lot of respect for him," he said.
Hakim's sculptured artworks also include busts of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a number of other prominent world personalities.
As he carries out surgical procedures at several London Hospitals – and continues to expand his love for sculpting with the same passion and exuberance – one of his works will now be displayed at a prominent place in India – hopefully, with glasses!
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