Dancing Flotus

She came, she danced and she conquered. The first lady of the United States of America is a tall woman and that, as has been proved many times before, puts him /her at a disadvantage as far as making smart moves on the dance floor is concerned.

By Sudha Menon

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Published: Sat 13 Nov 2010, 11:53 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:52 AM

But then, she is not the average tall person. No sir. Flotus or the First Lady of the United States, as she is often called in the American media, is a smart cookie and she knows how to groove and millions of Indians who watched her dance with school children on the couple’s weekend visit to India, will vouch for it.

Michelle Obama proved her credentials as Mom-in-Chief categorically when she left her man to do his statesmanship and devoted herself to what she knows best — reach out to children and youngsters and talk to them in the language they know best. And she rocked. First she left Mumbaiites gobsmacked when she took to the floor with dozens of children and boogied to a Bollywood number which is a hit with the younger generation. And, the very next day, she repeated her act, this time winning hearts when she elegantly followed a group of school children who performed a Koli dance, the dance form of Mumbai’s original residents, the fisherfolk. Her dapper husband joined the revelry for a few minutes but his performance, if we can be excused for saying that, was not a patch on his better half’s moves!

It is not for no reason that Michelle Obama has carved her own distinct identity in the United States, despite her husband’s failing popularity. On the couple’s first day in Mumbai, minutes before her husband was to address a gathering of hundreds of college students at the St.Xaviers college, she took the podium, talking about her humble beginnings in Chicago and asking them to dream “gigantic dreams.” And, she followed this up by introducing her husband and urging the youngsters to ask him some tough questions. Obama might not have convinced many with his diplomatic answers but his wife got brownie points by the sackfuls, everywhere she went.

As was expected, sections of the media talked about her sartorial sense, fashionistas commented on her rather conservative style but then, if you are the First Lady of the United States, almost everything you wear is guaranteed to generate millions of dollars for the brand that you choose to wear. Who cares what the media thinks?

On her visit to Mani Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi’s residence in Mumbai and later, his memorial Raj Ghat in Delhi, Lady Obama warmed many a heart when she said Gandhi’s message should be carried to children across the world.

What is a woman without a little shopping to add to her personality? Michelle Obama found immediate acceptance into the hearts of women folk when, on her last day in India, she went shopping, splurging on textiles, embroidered bed spreads, dolls, beads and dozens of hand crafted gifts, including a wooden toy trains for her two daughters, from the handicrafts and handloom museum in India’s capital. The couple’s family and friends can look forward to lots of interesting gifts from India, this Christmas.

Did she wear a saree or don a traditional Indian attire while she was here? Unfortunately no. But then, like her predecessor, Hillary Clinton, Michelle seemed to have been smitten by India and promised to be back. Maybe the next time, she will buy herself a Kanjeevaram saree! We sure hope she does….


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