Shabana Azmi was one of the few celebrities who managed to bag the chance to attend the sit down dinner in Delhi with President Obama and wife Michelle Obama while he toured the country. And while the Shabana is said to have got along exceedingly well with Michelle, she was incredibly excited to hear that the First Lady was interested in Indian designs and fabrics. Upon hearing this, the veteran actress and social activist immediately rung up ace designer Manish Malhotra and ask him to fly down to the capital. Unfortunately, the designer was unable to make it on time but has arranged to send fabrics from India to the U.S. which will be selected by Shabana herself.
At the dinner, Azmi was seen wearing a vintage traditional sari which she is said to be her mothers. When the President was introduced to Shabana and Javed Akhtar, he is said to have commented, “‘Oh, so you’re both artistes and you combine it with politics.” Apparently, Shabana and Michelle enjoyed each other’s company as they chatted about Indian designs and Shabana’s career. Michelle expressed the desire to watch Azmi’s play, Broken Images, which will go on its second leg of touring come 2011.
The actress however, chose to stay hush-hush about her interactions with the Obama family. She did say though, “It was a very pleasant evening. Serious and informal issues were discussed. Yes, I did recommend Indian designs. And she seemed really eager to learn more. The reason why Michelle is the darling of the US people is that she promoted young American designers when she became the President’s wife. There is a paradigm shift in the Indo-US relations. We used to be recipients of aid from the US. Today we’re in a position to provide jobs in the USA. So, a confident India welcomed the American President with its head held high.”