Updated: October 2, 2012 - Happy 143rd Birthday, Mahatma Gandhi. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 - 1948) was commonly known as Mahatma, and affectionately, also as Bapu.
Posted on Nov. 18, 2010:
Mani Bhavan - Gandhi's home in Mumbai (Nov 6, 2010)
This actually happened... although I still had to pinch myself to believe my eyes when I saw the newsclip on Indian national TV! (see video below)
Breaking News: My Aunt, Usha Trivedi, met Michelle & Barack Obama when they visited Mani Bhavan in Mumbai, during their first visit to India (Nov 5-7, 2010) - a historic visit for the Obamas and... Trivedis!
Mani Bhavan was Mahatma Gandhi's residence in Mumbai and now belongs to a caretaker trust. Usha Bafoi (that's Indian for Aunt = Dad's sister) joined Mani Bhavan in the 1950s as an apprentice and is today, a Trustee.
If that's not amazing enough, she'd even met Martin Luther King, Jr. & his wife Coretta Scott-King during their visit to India in 1959. She has fond memories of going shopping with Coretta around Bombay city.
Martin Luther King, Jr. held Gandhi in high esteem and was so inspired by his teachings, he embraced Gandhian principles of non-violence during his Nobel Peace Prize-winning fight for Civil Rights & Equality.
Barack Obama has always considered Martin Luther King, Jr. his idol (certainly shows in his oratory skills!) and in turn, has a special place in his heart for Gandhiji - his mentor's mentor.
(-: Hey Obama... you got USA, we got USHA :-)
Both Michelle & Barack Obama were touched when they saw an entry in an old guest book written by Martin Luther King, Jr.! Quite visibly, they felt privileged to be at a place of such historic value & personal relevance.
As she said in the video, President Obama was so happy, he kept shaking her hand. (-: Now I know why Bafoi hasn't washed her hands since :-)
Here's an article in USA Today on Obamas' visit to Mani Bhavan and how they paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi when there.