A Fine Slice Of History
Abode under the Dome; by Dr Thomas Mathew; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 2,300
Who are all the state guests who have stayed at Rashtrapati Bhavan? Whom did they meet? What did they eat and how did they dress? This fascinating book—Abode Under the Dome—by a senior bureaucrat in the President’s office, Thomas Mathew, covers the 52 state visits of 32 leaders in the 30 years between 1947 and 1967. The meticulously compiled and detailed book is full of surprising stories and stunning images—some of them being made public for the first time. Here are some gems: Queen Elizabeth was served the depressingly predictable Quaker Oats for breakfast on her 1961 visit to India. President Dwight Eisenhower had a particular penchant for barley-water that was flown in from America to grace his banquet dinner. The menu for the banquet held in honour of President Nasser, President Tito and his wife had Chicken Mosallam and Grilled Fish. In addition to all this, there is also a detailed essay on the architecture, the gardens and halls of the building.