the-south-asian Life & Times                 January - March 2011




 Editor's Note


 Cover Story
 Kashmiri Pandits

 Eminent Pandits
 Neel Kashkari

 Veer Munshi

 Pradman Kaul

 Pandit Bhajan Sopori

 Photo Feature
 The Obamas in India


 100 years of aviation
 in India

 Mt. Kailash
 Stairway to Heaven

 In the footsteps of
 Smythe in Garhwal


 The Wild Ass

 By O P Dutta









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The Obamas in India

Day 2 - Mumbai / Delhi - Nov 7, 2010

President and First lady visit Holy Name High School in Mumbai

President and Michelle Obama began their second day in Mumbai by visiting students at Mumbai’s Holy Name High School, and joined them in Diwali celebration as they danced to a folk song. The First Lady picked up a tambourine and danced with the children.

Town hall meeting at St. Xavier College in Mumbai

A town hall meeting at St. Xavier College followed. The students, from other colleges as well, engaged the President with thoughtful and precise questions.

Amidst their hectic schedule, Michelle Obama had already won the hearts of the country with her warmth and spontaneity.  A Princeton graduate and Harvard-educated lawyer, Michelle Obama grew up in Chicago’s black South Side, and was one of the very few blacks at a prestigious law firm in the city, Sidley Austin, when she met Mr. Obama. She is now on leave from her more-than-$300,000-a-year job.

She is passionate about organic gardening (the White House grows its own organic vegetables) - and healthy living, and has made efforts to open up the White House to ordinary Americans. Admired for her warmth, and known for her wonderful taste in dressing, she is seen by many designers as a new icon for American fashion – with a great ability to mix off-the-rack and designer wear. Only Jacqueline Kennedy before her had such an impact on fashion – though in a vastly different style.

President Obama aboard Air Force One to Delhi

Delhi is where all the pomp and ceremony began. The nation’s capital is known for its lavish hospitality.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur received the Obamas at Delhi airport

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur were at the red-carpeted tarmac to greet the First Couple when Air Force One landed in New Delhi at 3:30 PM local time. The two leaders are known to share a great personal rapport.

President Obama at U.S. Ambassador’s residence in New Delhi

Visit  to Humayun Tomb

After spending some time at the US Ambassador’s residence, where the President could not resist the feel of a basketball, the First Couple visited Humayun’s Tomb. Here they interacted with the families of workers and their children.


In the evening, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, held a lavish dinner in honour of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The light-filled, sprawling garden at 7 Race Course Road, the official residence of the Prime Minister, was transformed into a magical wonderland with buglers and trumpeters atop thirty camels, and a Navy Band perched on the roof of the residence – together they played traditional Indian music, and Bollywood hits.
The splendid menu, a mix of traditional and modern dishes based on Awadhi platter, was created by chefs from Bukhara, one of New Delhi's finest restaurants.

Before dinner at Race Course Road, the President and Prime Minister met privately for a close to an hour bilateral talks, while Mrs. Obama met with Mrs. Kaur.

Dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur at the Prime Minister's residence

The seventy guests sat around twelve dinner tables, with colourful floral centrepieces.

Day 1 - Mumbai

Day 2 - Mumbai/Delhi

Day 3 - Delhi

Day 3 (cntd.) - State Dinner - Delhi


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