American chat-show queen Oprah Winfrey is finally on her first visit to India. Considered one of the most influential women in the world, the 57-year-old arrived in Mumbai on Monday morning at 8.30 am and checked into The Taj Mahal Palace. Oprah is on a three-day stopover in the city, ahead of her visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival to be held from January 20-24.
Winfrey was welcomed with a special performance by visually-challenged students. "Nine boys from a special school sang the song Swagatam for her, and she was very touched. On her way to her suite, she enquired about the students and asked what the lyrics of the song meant. She was given a musical welcome because she loves music," says a witness.
She has been put up at the hotel’s Ravi Shankar suite, which is rarely given out to guests. The duplex suite is a tribute to eminent musician Pt Ravi Shankar and even houses one of his sitars.
A source says, "Everything in the suite has been personalised for Oprah. The hand towels and pillow covers have ‘OW’ inscribed on them."
Oprah, who has come with an entourage of 24, was expected to attend entrepreneur Parmeshwar Godrej’s star-studded private party at their beach house in Juhu on Monday. Jewellery designer Farah Khan Ali, who was to attend the party, said, "There will be around 150 people. I am taking a gift for her but I don’t want to reveal what it is."
While on her visit, Winfrey is also expected to meet actors Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at their home and interact with underprivileged children at Dharavi slums. She will shoot an episode of her new show at the Taj Mahal in Agra before heading to the lit fest. Buzz is that spiritual guru Deepak Chopra will feature in the episode.
Oprah’s India diaries
She landed in Mumbai with an entourage of 24
She’s staying at The Taj Mahal Palace’s Ravi Shankar suite, named after the sitar maestro
The towels and pillow covers in her room have her initials ‘OW’ on them