13-year-old Satvik Hegde was standing at the end of a line of children dressed in Indian garb as two of the biggest leaders in the world — US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi — walk past them. As they reach the end of the line, young Satvik, dressed in all white, boldly steps forward. A mobile phone in his hand, he asks the two leaders for a selfie.
As Trump and Modi turn back to him, the girl who was standing next to Satvik, expresses the kind of shock that eventually rippled through the internet, her eyes wide and her hands covering her mouth in surprise.
Trump puts his hand on Modi’s back and they huddle together for a selfie. A video of the encounter has received thousands of shares on Twitter, and the photo of Trump, Modi and the braces-wearing boy, smiling widely, has gone viral.
The boy, discovered to be Satvik Hegde whose family hails from Karnataka, was a part of the yoga showcase at the massive Howdy Modi event, which saw over 50,000 people in attendance. The event saw Bharatnatyam, Garba, Mohiniattam and other dances.
Satvik’s family is from Uttara Kannada, Sirsi and moved to San Antonio, Texas 17 years ago. His father, Prabhakar, works for a private company and his mother, Medha, is a public school teacher, his uncle Ganesh Hegde told TNM.
"We knew that he was part of a yoga programme but in TV, we could not identify that it was him. He was doing surya namaskaara in the programme held during the day yesterday. We received the selfie on WhatsApp but when we saw it we were surprised," Ganesh said.
The uncle was all praise for his nephew. "The boy is disciplined and does all his work on time. Not just because he is my relative but because I cannot argue with him in our family! He has the knowledge that none of the others in the family have."
Howdy Modi, which was held in Houston, Texas, also saw US President Donald Trump in attendance. Modi called US President Donald Trump a friend of India, and gave a wide-ranging speech that referenced Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan's animosity towards India.
The event was organised by the Texas India Forum (TIF), Inc.