Dancing, playing hopscotch… Michelle bowls over children (Lead)

November 6th, 2010 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Mumbai, Nov 6 (IANS) She did a little jig to a Bollywood number, thumped the tambourine and even played hopscotch barefoot! US First Lady Michelle Obama certainly conquered hearts with her spontaneity as she mingled with special children at a Mumbai event Saturday.

Dressed in an olive green top and a grey knee-length skirt, Michelle, 46, had a casual, fun-filled interaction with the kids at the Mumbai University library in an event organised by an NGO.

Looking relaxed, she took off her shoes — even as scores of photographers clicked on furiously — and played hopscotch with the kids cheering her on. She even broke into a jig, as the hit song “Rang De Basanti” from the Bollywood blockbuster by the same name came on.

“I love dancing,” said Michelle, who has two daughters — Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9. And sure enough, she took dancing cues from the children in attempting some bhangra-like moves!

Bringing a touch of compassion, Michelle hugged the children and sat with them talking about the importance of education.

“Working hard, studying and having courage are the important things in life. We did not have a lot of money, but it was because of working hard - I could never imagine being first lady of the US - that when time came to do this, I was ready,” she told the children.

Chatting them up, sitting with them in a circle, it seemed like she had known them forever. She comfortably kept beat on a tambourine as some of the children thumped on little drums. The wide grin on her face was hard to miss as everyone worked up a little musical crescendo.

Enthralled by Michelle’s warmth, 13-year-old Johny David, one of the children who got to be up close with the First Lady, said: “She was like a dream to me”.

The event was organised by the NGO Making a Difference (MAD). Michelle interacted with the children even as her husband, US President Barack Obama, was talking business with industry executives in another part of the city.

The Obamas are on a four-day visit to India Nov 6-9.

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