Twinkle toes Michelle Obama seemed to the dance floor born when first she wowed them in the aisles to a song from Rang de Basanti and then a fisherfolk song in Mumbai. Her husband shook the world’s powerful leg, though a little stiffer from musical Michelle. Was it practised or spontaneous? No one seemed to care as the Obamas notched up this PR coup.
While western dignitaries visiting India are known to shake a leg or two with rural women or underprivileged children, we are usually starved of similar moves thanks to our staid politicians. Gone are the days when Mrs Indira Gandhi and later her son, Rajiv would join in for a jig with folk dancers during their tours. The other honourable mention is the man from Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah. Light of foot and free of spirit, he was often criticised for “wasting” time on the floor.
But we need to loosen up a bit. Finance minister Pranab Mukhejee could break out into a robust bhangra as the sensex soars upwards on his watch. Defence minister AK Antony could rattle the sabre though some sharp kalaripayattu moves when our friends across the border get a little antsy. Post his services to the tribal community in Orissa, environment minister Jairam Ramesh could be the mascot for the dhimsa dance of the state. Among women, our favourite exponent is Mamata Banerjee. If she wins in 2011, she will probably settle for the flamenco with all its fire and drama. It would be a case of thinking on their feet, not something our politicians are famous for.