Michelle and I are basically BFFs!

I have had tea with Michelle Obama. That’s right.

Let that sink in.

Oh no. Not for you.

Let that sink in for me.

This is my pep talk to me. To try and deal with this new addition to my ‘Have dones’ list.

Let’s make that my ‘Have done but cannot get myself to process’ list. Or my ‘OMG WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED WHAT IS EVEN MY LIFE PINCH ME NOW’ list.

Whatever list it goes on, or not, either ways, let that sink in.

 

My way of dealing with things, that I know will make me nervous, is by not dealing with them at all. Hence, when I woke up the day we were going to shoot with her, my first thought wasn’t to look for my notes or write down questions I had. It wasn’t even about how big a deal this was. It was about what I thought mattered most.

“What am I going to wear?”

I zeroed down on a green sweater and went for a shower. Sang as loudly as I could to consciously push all the nerves away. Got ready almost an hour before time. (You know the nerves are real when that happens with me. Or I am always late. Not proud, but happens. I mean we live in Mumbai and the traffic is horrible and…)

ANYWAY.

Before I could grab breakfast or a hold of my nerves, we were at the venue.

Turns out, this is where the Obama family loved coming for hummus and tea.

I love hummus and tea!

I liked how things were working out for me in my head.

I am not going to lie to you. There was something about being there that hit me like a truck.

Looking at the setup, rehearsing our bits, writing down questions. An hour passed by.

And then we were told that she’s on her way to set. ‘

I had never felt my heart beat this fast. I had never been so numb in a loud room full of people. My mind hadn’t been more blank. My mouth hadn’t been more dry. I wonder where that hummus and tea were when I needed them the most.

 

And before I knew it, she walked in. And I froze. If you see the episode, you’ll see my brain internally yelling at my limbs to do their job and move. They did, eventually.

You know when you’re meeting someone you’ve admired, loved and looked up to for years and you get into that awkward should-I-shake-their-hand-or-hug-or-namaste?

Yeah. That did not happen this time because she is a HUGGER!

The warmest, tightest, mushiest hugger in all of the land!

She hugs you like she knows you. She hugs you like she means it. She hugs you and she is a hugger and in that moment all the nerves vanished. Poof. Just like that.

All us ladies, we sat down. Liza, Thembe, her, me.

“Let’s have tea.”

“Thank you for flying all the way down!”

“How has the experience been?”

“Prajakta?”

Of course I was dumbstruck. IT WAS MICHELLE OBAMA! AND SHE WAS TALKING TO ME. SHE KNEW MY NAME!

 

But I think I came a little into my element when this happened-

So she started talking to us about what thought went into the entire Girls Education initiative. How the Obama Foundation was working in the field. And she goes, “My husband Barack…”

And before I could think, I went, “Who?”

She goes, “My husband, Barack…”

Liza jumped in here with a classic, “Hmm.. the name rings a bell…!”

And there was laughter. Roaring laughter across the table. I remember thinking, “Wow. It’s just a bunch of girls chatting over tea about things they all feel passionately for. Education.”

The next hour was spent discussing every lesson we learnt, every new experience we had, every new inspiring girl we met while filming. Now if you ask me for exact conversational details, I am going to go a little blank. (Thank God the cameras were rolling.) But I knew every minute I spent on that table was priceless. It was what was going to go down as one of the most iconic hours of my lifetime. And yet there was no pressure there. We spoke like old girlfriends.

That’s how she makes you feel. That’s how she is.

Normal. Regular. Relatable.

 

I wake up almost everyday thinking about that day. How everything just came together beautifully. How girls sat down and spoke about girls’ education. How all of us had a voice and we weren’t scared to make it heard. How we were in a point in time where girls from different parts of the world were picking themselves up and building a life they wanted. How we as a gender were owning up to our realities and using them as our strongest forces. How I got to wake up to a life that lets me have tea with Michelle Obama.

 

I have had tea with Michelle Obama. That’s right.

Let that sink in.

65 Comments

  1. Sejal

    Wow prajakta di! What an amazing day you had with her! Your writings are so beautiful that we felt as if we are there…..u got that close to reality. I love your work prajakta di. U are a gr8 inspiration to me. Even I have my own blog. Plz check it out readerschannel101.blogspot.com

  2. ashu

    i think you’re amazing !soo good at everything ,living life to the fullest ,and best version of yourself ! yep i know im supposed to write what i think about this blog , but i wanted to say what i feel about you . hope you notice this comment . love love di

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