‘Kesariya balam’ to welcome Obamas to Mughal Gardens

November 8th, 2010 - 7:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama New Delhi, Nov 8 (IANS) “Kesariya balam, padharo mhare des…” The Rajasthani folk song will fill the air, welcoming US President Barack Obama and wife Michelle as they arrive for a reception at the flower bedecked and illuminated Mughal Gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan Monday evening.

According to highly placed sources, Obama will first have a meeting with President Pratibha Patil at 7.30 p.m. in the Morning Room of Rashtrapati Bhavan. Done up in bright yellow, the room is adorned by Ajanta-style cave paintings and has been personally redecorated by the Indian president.

The room has been chosen over the North Drawing Room, which is the room usually used to greet visiting head of states.

After the half-hour talks, Obama and Michelle will be guided to the beautifully lit Mughal Gardens where Rajasthani singers will belt out “Kesariya balam, padharo mhare des…” - “meaning welcome to my land, beloved”.

There, under a specially-erected canopy, the two will meet guests along with Patil and her husband Devisingh Ramsingh Shekhawat, the sources said.

The over 100 guests will include a whole range of politicians including Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur, Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, and oppsoition leaders and diplomats.

After Rajasthani songs, it will then be time for showcasing India’s cultural extravaganza in a 20-minute performance. The first to enliven the evening will be some instrumental music by a live orchestra with the sounds of mridangam, tabla, ghatam and khanjeera.

The percussionist group will be led by known musician Guruvar Dorai and V. Raja Rao.

After the drums their will be a choreography titled ‘Maitrayee’ - a mixture of India’s diverse classical dances bharatnatyam, odissi and kathak. The choreography has been put together by Seher - an organisation committed to the promotion of culture.

This will be followed by the 16-member Shillong Chamber Choir. The choir grabbed the gold at the World Choir Olympics and won an Indian reality show too.

The choir performance will comprise a melange of music from the northeast of India, a friendship song from an Indian film and a solo song written by an American Gospel singer.

“Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todege..” - the hit Bollywood number - is certain to bring smiles to the faces of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Obama who are known to have a high regard for each other.

The cultural show has been organised to showcase India’s rich culture and heritage, said the sources.

As the over 100-guests settle down to a sumptuous dinner, the stage will be set for the Navy Band which will play music from old Bollywood films of the 1960s and 70s.

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