A confident Prime Minister Manmohan Singh touched down at New York on Tuesday with the clear assertion, "I am hopeful that the nuclear deal will happen during my visit to the US."
Speaking to media persons on board the flight, the prime minister exuded confidence even as he was restrained in whether he would return home with the nuclear trophy.
His response, "I am not an astrologer. Let us first see what happens. Let us first get there."
Dr Singh, who is meeting President Bush in the White House on September 25, was asked whether he would be disappointed if the deal did not come through, and whether he expected it to materialize during this visit.
He said, "In politics, one has to learn to deal with disappointments but I do not believe we have reached that point yet. I am still hopeful it will happen".
The prime minister's assessment was that the US Congress was pre-occupied with the global financial meltdown so they would have to watch the situation.
Apart from the Indian delegation's concerns with the nuclear deal, the other highlight of the prime ministerial visit would be the one-on-one meeting with Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday.
While sources in the Indian foreign office were deeply critical of the political situation in Pakistan, the prime minister was in the mood to put a balm on the relationship and did not want to appear to make any controversial statements.
On his meeting with Zardari and the roadmap ahead for India-Pakistan relations, the prime minister said there are enormous challenges ahead and our task would be to face these common challenges and convert them into opportunities.
He said India welcomed the advent of democracy in Pakistan and looked forward to working with them.
Questioned on whether he would raise specific cross-border violations, the Kabul bombing and other issues with President Zardari, the prime minister sidestepped the question saying he would speak later after the meeting was over.
As the prime minister had a brief interaction with the Indian media, moving from group to group, he was seen smiling and even offered a few light asides. The body language was that of a leader who had stacked a great deal on the indo-US nuclear deal and with his dream.