She came before the scheduled time, she danced the bhangra on the groovy dance number from the Bollywood film Rang De Basanti, not once but twice, and finally, when it was time to leave, she gave a tight hug to each of the 32 children whom she met at Mumbai University for more than half an hour.
The first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, was full of enthusiasm and energy when she interacted with children from four orphanages in Mumbai, at a special event organised by an NGO, Make A Difference (MAD), working among the poor children and helping them to get a better education.
“She was so happy to meet all of our kids. She played hopscotch and missing letters game with them and also wanted to see how we teach them. She even joined the kids in the dance, not once but twice. It was hugs and high-fives all over. She never let the kids think that she was someone important,” said Tanmay Arora, a volunteer from MAD.
The children were overjoyed to see the first lady sitting with them, dancing and playing drums. “We were doing the bhangra, when she saw us, and she danced just like us. She even gifted us a bag full of goodies. I enjoyed my time with her,” said Johny David, one of the children of Father Agnel school.
“We got chocolates, soft toys, notebooks, sketch pens, pencils and a memento [with Michelle Obama written on it] from her. When we asked for an autograph, she signed it for all of us,” said Sachin Jadhav, another child.
The MAD volunteers were visibly happy for the recognition of their work. “It was just 15 days earlier when we got the call from the American officials. They wanted to see our work and I am very proud that our work among the children has been appreciated internationally,” said Jithin C Nedumala, founder of MAD.
During her half-hour interaction, Michelle spoke to the kids and inspired them to reach greater heights, bringing a touch of compassion and social care to the presidential visit.
"I love dancing," she told the kids. "You are very lucky and blessed. I also have two children," she said.
"Working hard, studying and having courage are the important things in life. I also studied hard in my life. I never thought I will become the first lady. But when I got a chance, I was prepared for it because of education. You can be successful and smart with education," she said at the programme organised by the NGO.
She also invited queries from students. A girl told her that after meeting the first lady, her dreams had come true. Michelle responded saying, "No. You are my dream. We are very proud of you.
"President Obama is trying to make this world better so that kids like you can get better opportunities."
Michelle asked the children to work hard and "educate yourselves". She signed autographs on their hands and shirts and danced with them once again to the RDB title song.
(With Inputs from PTI)