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Loaded shopping bags for Michelle in the city

delhi Updated: Nov 08, 2010 23:52 IST
Jatin Anand

She hopscotched from one handicraft stall to another, wore 36 glass bangles in each arm and even saw her husband's likeness in a clay statue.

At a sculpture gallery, Michelle Obama set her eyes on several small sculptures. But out of more than a dozen on display, only one caught the First Lady’s fancy. “She said that the figure looks like Barack and laughed out, while the children accompanying her joined her,” said Ruchira Ghose, chairman of the National Crafts Museum.

Handcrafted exclusively by a group of women from rural Karnataka, the sculpture in the likeness of Obama had been created using a mixture of sand, cow dung, wheat scruff and bamboo. Even as President Obama discussed politics and governance with Indian MPs, Michelle had a gala time shopping for Christmas presents for the first couple’s two daughters. She ‘overstayed’ an hour at the National Crafts Museum at Pragati Maidan on Monday afternoon.

When one of the girls accompanying her asked her who was the first one to usually make up after a fight between the first couple, Michelle said: “I always wait for the president to say sorry because I am a woman”.

Located on a quiet corner of the Bhairon Marg, the museum has previously figured on the itinerary of Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton, and Cherie Blair, former British PM Tony Blair’s wife. Before leaving, Michelle listened to a baul rendition of Bengali philosopher and saint Lalan Fakir’s songs. She was particularly impressed after visiting a gallery of Bhoota sculptures from Karnataka, Ghose said.

Michelle reached the museum at 10:45 am, 10 minutes before she was scheduled to arrive, and spent the next two hours buying bedspreads, Lord Ganesha idols, bangles et al.

“She said she had run out of money, so I offered her a pair of earrings that she had set her eyes on for free, but she refused to take them. She promised to return soon,” Mohammad Mustakin said.