US First Lady Michelle Obama danced to Hindi tracks in the East Room as she led Diwali celebrations at the White House on Tuesday. Michelle, who wore a jasmine garland, lit a lamp and a diya amid Vedic chants, said: “We got to practise a little Bollywood this afternoon.” Striking some of the poses from the Bollywood moves she had picked up earlier in the day, Michelle said she danced along with the kids who were seated in the front row of the East Room. “We had a wonderful time. It was the first time that we did Bollywood... here at the White House,” she said.
“Of course, as you all know, I think I can dance,” she said in an apparent reference to her dance in Mumbai three years ago when she celebrated Diwali. “But not as good as they can dance,” she said, referring to the members of the Gold Spot Band, a New York-based Indian-American group.
Michelle’s skirt for the occasion was designed by India-born Naeem Khan.
Back in India on Wednesday, Vedic hymns were chanted and conch shells sounded for other guests from the West. Prince Charles and his wife Camilla took part in a “Ganga Arti” in memory of those who died in the mid-June calamity in Uttarakhand. The Prince of Wales said he would cherish all his life the colourful ceremony and the moments spent on the banks of the Ganga at Parmartha Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh.
White House pictures: AP and PTI. Rishikesh pictures by Yasir Iqbal