Whether it is the Indian dresses, our tried-and-tested traditions or even that great Indian fascination Bollywood, they have all got takers among the high and mighty of the West this festive season.
Wife of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Samantha floored us with her perfectly pleated Banarsi saree on the occasion of Diwali. On Wednesday, it was the turn of Camilla -- wife of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall -- to sport a turquoise kurta and a scarf while attending aarti on the banks of river Ganga in Rishikesh.
Prince Charles and Camilla are on a nine-day visit of India which began on Wednesday. Wearing a turquoise tunic-kurta with colour-on-colour embroidery, the consort of the king-in-waiting was a picture of subtlety. She may not match to the standards set by Princess Diana who used to sport couture kurta-salwars on her frequent trips to Pakistan but, in her own way, Camilla did make an elegant statement.
Praises for Sam Cam, as Samantha Cameron is fondly called, were far more effusive. Both in India and Britain, she was lauded for choosing a classic Banarsi saree with intricate embroidery for the occasion.
She not only wore the saree, she did it with style. No tacky polyester salwar-kameezes a la Cherie Blair, Sam Cam had practiced her Diwali look and it showed. She had the elegance and she had the right ‘saree walk’.
(From left to right): Camilla with Prince Charles, Michelle Obama dancing on Diwali, Samantha Cameron during India visit
Another first lady who got the moves right was Mrs O, Michelle Obama. Instead of sporting an Indian dress while celebrating Diwali at the White House, she wore a dress by Indian origin designer Naeem Khan. But what floored us were her Bollywood jhatkas and matkas.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles offering prayers at Parmarth Niketan on the bank of Ganga, in Rishikesh, India. (Photo by Rishi Ballabh/ Hindustan Times)
After lighting the traditional diya and being garlanded, she grooved to some peppy Hindi tracks in the East Room of the US President’s residence with Indian-American children.
"We got to practice a little Bollywood this afternoon. We had a wonderful time. It was the first time that we did Bollywood in the State Room here at the White House," she told some members of the Indian community later.