Bush to miss date with the Taj

But the US President says he would like to come back to see "one of the great magnificent sites of the world".
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Updated on Feb 24, 2006 11:44 AM IST
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None | ByPress Trust of India, Washington

Non-inclusion of a trip to the Taj Mahal in his itinerary for his upcoming visit to India has left US President George W Bush disappointed.

But the US President says he would like to come back to see "one of the great magnificent sites of the world".

Expressing sincere regrets over not being able to visit the Taj, Bush said while he has not broken a promise to First Lady Laura Bush, he may have to come back to India, "hopefully on invitation" to visit the world famous monument.

"I am disappointed with that (not visiting Taj). People who have seen the Taj Mahal say that pictures don't do justice. It's one of the great magnificent sites of the world," the US President said in an interaction with two Indian journalists in Washington.

In a lighter vein, Bush blamed the miss on the scheduler. "And look, if I were the scheduler, perhaps I would be doing things differently. But you want me doing one thing. I'll be the President, we've got the scheduler being the scheduler," he said.

Asked if he could be in trouble with Laura over not visiting the Taj, he said, "Yes. Well, she's certainly the star of the family. She's really looking forward to going with me."

When asked what he would choose between cricket and a Bollywood movie, he said he was a "cricket match person."

"I appreciate it. As I understand it, I may have a little chance to learn something about cricket. It's a great pastime," he said amidst laughter in the room.

Towards the end of the interaction in Roosevelt Room, when Bush was asked what his earliest memory of India and Indians was, his prompt reply was "Gandhi".

"Gandhi. It's my first memory as I think about India. A person who was so spiritual that he captured the imagination of the entire world. He is proof that throughout history there have been individuals that have had the capacity to shape thought and influence and beyond border. And he did that," he said.

Asked if he had watched the acclaimed movie Gandhi, Bush replied, "I watched that too. But my memory (of Mahatma Gandhi) was earlier than that."

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