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  • Published 19.10.12

Agnimitra Paul got her best Puja gift on Wednesday afternoon — from none other than Hillary Clinton! The messenger? American Center director Jeffrey K. Reneau. The gift? A letter from the US secretary of State, “...sealed & delivered”.

“Jeff had called me a couple of days back saying that he wanted to meet me. He has a wedding to attend in November and he had wanted me to design a kurta for him. I thought he was coming for measurements. Little did I know what he was coming with! I am absolutely thrilled!” an excited Agnimitra told t2 moments after Jeff dropped in at her Palit Street studio on Thursday.

Hillary’s letter is an acknowledgement of a bottle-green and beige kantha stole that Agnimitra had gifted the US secretary of state during her Calcutta visit in May this year. “I could not give it to her personally and had handed it over to a member of her entourage. I had attached a letter with it that I would appreciate if she wore it and it would be great if she could send me a note once she receives it... that I will cherish it all my life. I cannot believe it!” gushed the designer. The letter reads, “Dear Ms. Paul: Thank you for the beautiful shawls and blanket you gave me during my visit to Kolkata. Please know I appreciate your thoughtfulness and good cheer, and that you have my best wishes for continued success with your fashion design company.”

Agnimitra Paul

The fact that it is signed by Hillary herself makes it all the more special for the Asansol-born designer who was in the audience at the La Martiniere for Girls interaction between Hillary and a bunch of Calcuttans during her Calcutta trip. “She might look like an iron lady, but I remember coming away from that meet feeling that she was like one of us. She is a complete woman... a super woman... intelligent and so articulate,” reminisced Agnimitra.

The designer, who has dressed stars like Mithun Chakraborty and Sourav Ganguly, plans to frame the original letter in her studio and make copies for her Gurusaday Road apartment, her parents and in-laws. “This letter is very close to my heart! It is also a learning for me. And we say we are busy with work. Such courtesy!” she signed off.