Several gorgeous saris and Nehruvian jackets were to be seen at US President Barack Obama's inaugural ball, as a number of Indian Americans made it to the select list of invitees to the prestigious event, reflecting the emergence of this influential community at the national centre stage.
"The Indian American political tiger has arrived," said Tobby Chaudhuri, a White House advisor and a veteran political strategist as he danced with his wife Ruby on the floor, celebrating Obama's second inauguration.
Chaudhuri, who was among the few Indian Americans to have been invited to the inaugural ball, said the community has emerged as a force to reckon with at the national level – be it political, social or administrative spheres.
"The challenge is to sustain this momentum," Chaudhuri told PTI on the dance floor of the inaugural ball.
Arun Rao, a senior White House official from the Department of Justice, said that Obama has brought in his administration people from diverse section of the society.
There is a diverse representation in his Administration, he said, standing with his wife, attired in a sari.
Obama has the distinction of appointing the largest number of Indian Americans in any presidential administration, he pointed out.
Eminent Indian American chef, KN Vinod, was excited about attending the first inaugural ball of his life, with his wife.
"Hopefully the worst is behind us. Hope the economy would improve," he said.
"In the last four years the economy has been a very tough one for the small businesses – one step forward and one step backward," said Vinod, who has been to the White House kitchen several times during the first Obama Administration.
He says Obama loves Indian food.
Ahead of the inaugural ball, Vinod said it took him quite a while to decide what he should wear for the event -- a tuxedo or a Nehruvian jacket.
"Finally, I settled with the latter," he said. His wife Nisha Vinod joined him in an orange sari.