Wednesday 29 March 2017

No fallen coconuts for Obama visit

Indian officials hope Barack Obama won't be felled by falling coconuts
Indian officials hope Barack Obama won't be felled by falling coconuts

Security for President Barack Obama's visit to the Gandhi Museum in Mumbai, India, has included not just a vetting of staff at the historic building, but of its coconut palm trees as well.

A few days before Obama's visit, US and Indian security officials visited the small two-story building and ordered that ripe coconuts be lopped off the trees to prevent any accidental injury to the visitors.

"People do get hurt, or even killed, from falling coconuts. We had the ripe coconuts removed and some dried branches as well. Why take a chance?" said Meghshyam Ajgaonkar, executive secretary of the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum.

In preparation for the visit, the museum, located on a quiet street in India's bustling commercial hub, was shielded from curious onlookers and neighbours by a high white tent that enshrouded almost the entire building. The street was closed to pedestrians and policemen were positioned on neighbouring buildings.

If Michelle Obama goes shopping in New Delhi's upscale Santushti shopping center, she may be surprised to see her face jumping out at her from a home linen store.

"Michelle Obama pillows," are the latest offering from a boutique at the shopping complex, which is hoping to lure the first lady during her visit to the Indian capital. "I saw an opportunity here. These are conversation pillows meant to start conversations," Arpita Kalra, the New Delhi-based designer behind the square-shaped pillows, told The Indian Express newspaper.

The pillows have been reconstructed from the popular Mighty Michelle Shopper bag, which is on sale at the online shop Blue Q. The pillow shows Michelle Obama in a sleeveless red dress and pearls sitting on a swing and surrounded by smaller images of the White House.

Mrs Kalra said she made the pillows because she considers the first lady an "inspirational icon," and, of course, is hoping to lure her into the store to present her with a set.

Press Association

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