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Michelle Obama's Indian shopping list!

Last updated on: October 29, 2010 19:05 IST

Michelle Obama's Indian shopping list!

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For the Obamas -- and you're welcome!

We're guessing Mrs O would punch our beloved Singhji into the middle of next week if he dared to show up at the White House for Christmas, but since the President of the United States of America and his lovely wife have decided to interrupt our Diwali celebrations with a visit, we decided that we could help pack 'em off faster with a ready shopping list.

Why do we want to pack them off quickly, you ask? Because much as we love the Obamas (he can cook dal and carries a Hanuman amulet wherever he goes -- honorary desi!), it's going to be a nuisance having a VVIP in the city with all the festivities underway.

While we're trying to get last minute shopping done and go party-hopping, one-way roads, diversions, naka bandis and heaven knows what else is going to make it ten times worse than it usually is. And last we heard, they're proposing a ban on firecrackers, because apparently the jihadis' latest weapon against the free world is a fuljadi.

Anyhoo, coming back to our list -- Mrs O, if you're listening, we've saved you the trouble. Here's what you simply have to take home with you when you visit our lovely country.

In fact, if you want to spare yourself the trip, we can save you the trouble of coming altogether -- we'll put together a hamper and send it across to you, although we're thinking FedEx may draw the line at squeezing a pachyderm into a package.

Read on!

A light-up Taj Mahal souvenir

Hey, we'll have you know we have a White House of our own that's bigger than yours and it's so exclusive, nobody's allowed to live in it -- not even the PM.

No, you can't buy it even if you do have the money, but we'll allow you to take home a little replica that comes with a lightbulb attached, so you can just throw out that Tiffany lamp on your bedside table and use our Taj instead. You're welcome!


Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters
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A Tata Nano

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Yes ma'am, your golf cart is bigger than our little miracle machine, but here's the thing -- since your visit is going to cost about Rs 15,00,000 per hour, you may want to take a few economic measures of your own when you return home to show that you really are a frugal, down-to-earth family.

And you never know, with the state of the recent economic downturn in the US, the Obamas may well have to trade in their fleet of limos for Nanos!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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A Maharashtrian sari

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With your statuesque frame, you'd look like a bombshell baiko in one of our Maharastrian saris. All you gotta do is learn how to drape it right, hiking it up between your legs local style.

What Michelle Obama wears today is all the rage tomorrow, so who knows, you could probably land the cover of Vogue wearing it.

We'd suggest a parrot green with gold print. And if you really insist, you can top it off with one of your demure little cardigans. Haute couture!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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A stainless steel dinner set and tiffin carrier

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What's the use of all those murano glass dining sets when they're all going to break one day? Now what you really want is our long-lasting all-steel plates and glasses -- they'll go on for generations!

Plus, Obama works from home, so you can just send the butler across with a nice hot lunch in a dabba.

No, you will not get them in China for cheaper!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Rajasthani Kathputli puppets

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Malia and Sasha will probably love to see the Kathputli version of a Shakespearean play. Both the male and female dolls will most likely be wearing dresses, much like the old days, when young actors filled in the women's roles.

Would you want to deprive them of such wonderful toys, of both historic and cultural significance? We can just see it now -- Kathputli theatre sweeps Broadway!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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A CD of Anu Malik's music

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This is for all those times you feel homesick during the course of your visit. All these lovely songs will transport you back home to the good ol' US of A, namely because they're all from the good ol' US of A.

No, you can't sue him. He's the toast of our nation, although he does lift jams from elsewhere!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Asli paan

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We love your Big Mac, now you try our paan. Mainly because we'd love to watch you try to eat it and pretend that it's great.

Let's just hope it doesn't start growing on you though -- after those bathrooms in the Swiss Alps, Washington will be the next place where 'Ithe paan thooku nakaa' signboards will be on the agenda!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Kolhapuri chappals

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Ditch those Jimmy Choos and try on a pair of our sophisticated Kolhapuri chappals. Yes, they're handmade too and they're definitely more comfortable than kitten heels.

Plus, you could get about, what, 250 pairs for the same price? That takes care of your Christmas shopping too!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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A Kashmiri carpet

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Now these are a real Indian treasure. No, ma'am, they don't come in plain white. Yes, we know those will match your house better.

On the bright side, you can pick up one in pashmina, so when your aristocratic friends come over, all you gotta do is haul it off the floor and around your shoulders -- they'll never know the difference.

Just don't think of making the trip to Kashmir yourself, or you may come back rolled up in the carpet!


Photographs: Danish Ishmail/Reuters
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A cricket bat and ball

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We hear the Prez enjoys cricket. It's about time an American appreciated worldwide sports -- the nation is hung up on the World Baseball Championships, when you'll are the only ones who play the damn game anyway!

Maybe he can get in a little practice on the White House Lawns with his secret service agents. Just make sure your windows are well-protected.

PS -- if you get Sachin to sign your bat, we hate you!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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A copy of the Kama Sutra

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This is the land of the Kama Sutra, even if homosexuality was only legalised last year and the Shri Ram Sene won't stop protesting against Valentine's Day even if they're drowning in pink chaddis.

So, Mrs O, we suggest you pick up your very own copy of the best-known work of erotic literature on the planet from the perspective of a world traveller. Any other reasons you may have we don't want to know about (wink wink)!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Indian jewellery

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With the prices of gold as they are, we can't afford it anymore, so you may as well splurge!

We're not talking those sparkling diamond necklaces, you probably have enough of those. Go traditional! Anklets, toe rings, jhunkas for your ears, maybe even a mang tikka -- you can bet that you'll be the belle of the next ball. Oh, wait, you are anyway. You're the President's wife!

Just don't haul off another stone the size of the Kohinoor Diamond or we'll sulk for the next few hundred years -- just ask the British!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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An elephant

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Sure we think First Dog Bo is adorable, but is a pet pooch really regal enough for the most powerful man on the planet?

Where we come from, no. It's gotta be something large, majestic and spectacular -- like an elephant. You can dress him up in stars and stripes and the Prez can ride around on him on lunch breaks, just like in the Apollo Circus.

As for names, we're partial towards Rajah. Rajah Obama -- got a nice ring to it, doesn't it? His owner is king of the world anyway!


Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
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Attar and agarbattis

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Have we got a new fragrance for you! Hundreds, actually. Just ditch those posh perfumes and give attar a try -- so many aromas of sandalwood, rose, jasmine...you can smell like an Indian princess. From a hundred years ago, but a princess nonetheless.

You may also be interested in incense sticks, Mrs O -- just remember to keep them away from the fire alarms at home, or fire trucks from five different counties will land up outside your home in a span of about 25 seconds!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Mithai and pickles

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Here's a laugh -- 'President of the United States detained at customs for bringing food into the country.'

Look, if you're too embarrassed, just ask an Indian at the airport to do you a favour and haul them through -- we're only too happy to oblige and we do it on every trip anyway. What's a couple more barfis and achar bottles?


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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A Gujarati Sankheda sofa

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Aren't you bored with that stuffy antique furniture all around the White House? We say ditch that doddering old couch in your living room for a cool million and then install your very own multi-hued Sankheda sofa, with bells and pompoms hanging off the arms and backrest.

Mrs O? Mrs O? Someone bring a bottle of water, please -- make that mineral!


Photographs: Rediff Archives
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