By dancing with children, and getting involved with the traditions and the age-old Indian art and culture, Michelle Obama has won over India's heart with gestures of openness to embrace a whole country. One could also say Michelle's dance spoke louder than Barack Obama's words during the Nov 2010 US presidential visit.
While Barack Obama's tight schedule on his maiden India visit has no doubt captured the world's attention, First Lady Michelle Obama has taken the global media by a storm with her very own and very interesting itinerary.
Michelle Obama, who has been in the eye of the world media ever since her husband was elected in May 2008, has been hailed for her style, elegance and of course the numerous causes she has adopted.
Carrying herself with the same poise, Michelle began her husband's India visit in a unique fashion. When the American president was busy addressing a business summit, the First Lady danced into hearts of little children by playing hopscotch with them and shaking a leg to a Bollywood tune.
23 poor children and 18 volunteers from four NGOs had a memorable date with Michelle on Saturday, Nov 6 evening, which ended with the first lady hugging and giving high-fives to the kids.
With this kind of direct involvement with India on the very first day of the trip, Mrs Barack Obama not only sent out a message that she has a mind of her own, but also set the tone for what to expect next.
Michelle did not disappoint the second day as she got up for another impromptu jig with students of Holy Name School in Mumbai.
In what came as a complete eye-candy to the Indian media that was counting on Obamas' Diwali with local children in Mumbai to produce some great copies, Michelle managed to inspire Barack Obama onto the stage as well.
The First Couple danced the traditional Koli dance with the children and the internet was flooded with comments. While Michelle invited praises for her dance, Barack Obama got a couple of bad reviews.
After charming the country with her matkas and jhatkas to the desi beats, Michelle wrapped up, what seemed to be, her three-day date with Indian culture with a visit to National Crafts Museum.
Soon after accompanying her husband to Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at the Rajghat, the 46-year-old first lady arrived at the museum to meet the skilled artisans of the country and to catch a glimpse of the India's rural and tribal art forms, documented and collected over an extended period of 5,000 years.
Michelle Obama's way of doing things are certainly very different from her predecessor Laura Bush.
The first African-American first lady of US, often compared to Jackie Kennedy due to her positive identity, pleasantly surprised the country with her openness to embrace India and Indian culture.
Even though what the President did during his trip would be considered far more significant, the first lady, who has no constitutional power, managed to win the country's heart.
After all, two countries do not come together only with political and economic treaties, but two nations truly stand hand-in-hand when the people open up to the differences of culture and share values.
"Suppose we were able to share meanings freely without a compulsive urge to impose our view or conform to those of others and without distortion and self-deception. Would this not constitute a real revolution in culture? "
— David Bohm