Asian Invasian!

November 25, 2009
Last night’s event can’t be considered anything less than success for POTUS’ first State Dinner!  This much glamour hasn’t hit DC since…the inaugural balls? 
The invitation list was a veritable who’s-who of South Asian A-listers, including Deepak Chopra, Bobby Jindal, Kalpen Modi, Sanjay Gupta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amartya Sen, Fareed Zakaria, and M Night Shyamalan.  Other guests included Colin Powell, Katie Couric, Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, and Blair Underwood.  In addition to Jennifer Hudson’s vocal stylings, AR Rahman, Oscar winner for the “Slumdog Millionaire” score, also provided entertainment.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Hands down, FLOTUS! (Kamm/Getty Images)

 FLOTUS donned a gorgeous dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan.  The dress apparently took 40 people three weeks to custom create for the First Lady.

Is this the Oscars or the State Dinner? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Is Katie wearing a sari??? (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Kalpen really pulled a "Kumar" here--did someone not get the "black tie" memo? (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

We know who was there, but what did they eat?  Guest chef Marcus Samuellson prepared a mostly vegetarian meal, and used arugula, pineapple sage, fresh dill, oregano and thyme from the White House Garden.  Guests had their choice of roasted potato dumplings with tomato chutney, chick peas and okra or green curry prawns and caramelized salsify with smoked collard greens and coconut aged basmati for the main course, not to mention a bevy of dessert options.  Yum!

Beautiful! (Mandal Ngan, AFP, Getty Images)

Wow, that's TEMPORARY? (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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The Red Carpet meets the White House

November 24, 2009

As the White House prepares for POTUS’ first State Dinner, it’s not international relations with India and guest of honor Dr. Manmohan Singh that are of utmost concern.  The media is abuzz about who will show up and what FLOTUS is gonna wear:  Will she sport a new hairdo?  Show off her blazing guns?  Looks like the First Lady has always been a fashion plate, even as a wee lass at her 1984 senior prom. 

Va va voom! FLOTUS is scandalous with that thigh high slit! (Splash News)

Word on the street is that Jennifer Hudson will provide some American Idol-style entertainment at the gala event.  Other rumored guests: Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Bobby Jindal, and Kal Penn.  BoL can’t wait to see who else will grace the “red carpet” tonight! 

Be sure to catch the live streaming of the State Dinner tonight at 8:15 pm.


Guess who’s coming to dinner?

November 23, 2009

The Obamas are getting ready to host their first State Dinner Tuesday night, and all the A-listers have been clamoring for an invite.  While the formal guest of honor is Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, we all know people are hungry to rub shoulders with POTUS and FLOTUS! 

That ain't no REI tent! (Reuters Pictures)

Because the White House doesn’t have space to accomodate the huge dinner (400 guests!), an enormous tent is being erected in the South Lawn.   The White House has been discrete about the invitation list, so BoL figures our invitation was lost in the mail.  Rumor is that Kalpenn Modi (better known as Kal Penn or Kumar), resident White House desi, received an invitation–maybe so Singh doesn’t feel lonely? 

Kumar is in the House! (White House Photographer Pete Souza)

The dinner is so fancy that the White House invited guest chef Marcus Samuelsson of New York’s Scandinavian restaurant Aquavite  to prepare the meal.  While the menu is undisclosed, we know one thing–Dr. Singh is vegetarian, so Samuelsson’s specialty below better not be the only option!


Obama-ji’s karma is through the roof

October 15, 2009

Obama celebrated Diwali yesterday, the Hindu Festival of Lights. Although Bush started this White House tradition, Obama is the first prez to attend the actual ceremony, which involved lighting an oil lamp. Guests each received a small box of sweets blessed by the priest. POTUS also signed an executive order that restarted an Advisory Commission and White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Maybe this is call for Part II of My Name is Khan? BoL’s big question–where was Kal Penn through all this?

George Washington approves this messageI (Getty Images)

George Washington approves this message! (Getty Images)

I've got the golden ticket! Er, box of sweets... (Getty Images)

What does the sole yellow box hold? (Getty Images)

Here’s a video of the festivities (begins with a Penn Masala a cappella performance; Obama arrives at 5:06, and the Diwali celebration begins at 13:40).

It's marginally related to this post, but too good to pass up, yaar! (TOI Photo/Neelam)

It's marginally related to this post, but too good to pass up, yaar! (TOI Photo/Neelam)