He may have spent his entire adult life in diplomacy, but doctorate in nuclear physics Subrahmanyam Jaishankar's face betrays both fusion and fission of his moods.
Take a look at these images captured by Reuters Photographer Nic Bothma from Capetown on Thursday, June 1, 2023, where the BRICS foreign ministers gathered, and you'll see what we mean.
Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang stayed away from Capetown, sending Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu in his place. Brazil's Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira was there as was Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, whom Jaishankar met again within a month (they had met in Goa at the SCO foreign ministers' summit).
'Good to meet FM Sergey Lavrov of Russia in Cape Town this morning on BRICS FMM sidelines. Our discussions covered bilateral matters, BRICS, G20 and SCO', Jaishankar tweeted.
Citing a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry, the TASS news agency said Lavrov and Jaishankar had given high marks to the dynamics of cooperation in the important spheres of the special and privileged partnership of the two countries.
Diplomatic jabberwocky apart, did Jaishankar and Lavrov discuss the elephant in the room: China's growing proximity to India's all weather friend, Russia? All Photographs: Nic Bothma/Reuters
Did Lavrov bring up Russia's reluctance to be paid in rupees for the oil that it sells India, apparently a bone that has recently gotten stuck in the throat of India-Russia relations?
PTI quoting TASS, notes, 'The ministers gave a high appraisal of the cooperation dynamics on the important directions of the special and privileged partnership of our countries.' Plain speaking English anyone?
'The mutual intent was confirmed to continue following the policy of building a fair multipolar system of transnational ties including preventing and hindering the use of neocolonial practices,' TASS, quoting the Russian foreign ministry, stated.
The Soviet Union has been dead 31 years, but Soviet-era gobbledygook lives on, we guess.
Even though he has acquired a reputation for being feisty especially at press conferences since he became a Modi mantri, this picture captures the EAM's impish avatar, which we much prefer to his attacking everything in sight -- from Rahul to Soros.
What's Up Doc? Can you get the Chinese to withdraw from Ladakh before next year's Lok Sabha election?
Jaishankar with his BRICS counterparts: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu, Brazil's Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira, South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and Lavrov.
Photographs curated by Anant Salvi/Rediff.com
Feature Presentation: Mahipal Soni/Rediff.com