New Delhi: Hours before her banquet in honour
of US President Barack Obama, President Pratibha Patil stepped
into the Mughal Gardens this afternoon taking officials and
staff by surprise.
Playing the role of a perfect Indian hostess, she oversaw
all the arrangements for the high-profile event and gave last
minute instructions in connection with the state dinner for
Obama, who is on his maiden visit to India.
75-year-old Patil took everyone by surprise when she
started enquiring about the seating arrangements and
facilities for serving and warming food, officials said today.
She was keen to know about the arrangements for
warming of food keeping in mind the cool evenings in the
capital at this time of the year.
The garden, which is contiguous to the main Rashtrapati
Bhavan building, spans an area of 15 acres. It was designed by
Edwin Lutyens and drew inspiration from the Mughal Gardens of
Jammu and Kashmir, the garden around the Taj Mahal and Persian
and Indian miniature paintings.
The President even decided the spot where a "rangoli"
had to be made on the ground. Rangoli is a traditional
decorative folk art of India which dates back to the
Mohenjadaro and Harappa civilisations.
She later went around the sprawling lawns and enquired
about the lighting system for the grand evening.