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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
Outlook.com

It Takes An Indian Village

US presidents have always liked their little photo-ops in Indian ‘gaons’, the villagers don’t mind the spot in the sun either

It Takes An Indian Village
Tribhuvan Tiwari
It Takes An Indian Village
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

In Nayla village, about an hour’s drive from Jaipur, everyone knows Chelsea. Only, this Chelsea is no Clinton. Waif-thin, shy and quietly enjoying the perks of her unusual name, Chelsea Chaturvedi knows nothing about her celebrity namesake except that she’s the daughter of a US president who came calling in March 2000, days after she was born. Yet, ironically, this 10-year-old, who was Chetan Kumari before her zari craftsman father got carried away by the Clinton aura and decided to rename her Chelsea, keeps the memory of Bill Clinton’s visit to Nayla alive.

Not that the villagers need reminding, of course. Mohini Devi Gupta, a plainspeaking housewife, appears a tad tired, in fact, of recounting the tale. Yes, she had tied a rakhi on Clinton’s wrist; yes, she had performed the mandatory aarti-tika ritual; and yes, she had danced with the world’s most talked about leader. Then, she breaks into a laugh: “Wherever we went after that, people would identify Nayla as the place ‘Quintal saab’...

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