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The Rediff Special/ George Iype in Hyderabad
Mangoes for Bush, pearls for Laura, sari for Rice
March 03, 2006
What better gifts can the world's most powerful couple -- United States President George W Bush and First Lady Laura Bush -- and American Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice get from Hyderabad?
Bush, a farmer himself, was presented with a box of Banganapalli mangoes by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy when the American President visited the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University on Friday.
The Andhra Pradesh government also gifted him with a replica of an Indian plough -- to remind the American President of the great strides Indian farmers have taken in recent years.
Apart from the mangoes, officials who were present during Bush's visit to the university said that the chief minister also presented Bush with a portrait -- an oil painting by city-based Narender Reddy -- and a silver veena.
First Lady Laura Bush was gifted a set of Hyderabadi pearls and the university presented a handloom-woven sari to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Before the US President's arrival at the university, Rice and US Ambassador to India David C Mulford mingled with women volunteers and artisans.
Bush, Laura and Rice spent time with farmers, scientists and members of self-help groups.
The US President interacted with representatives of non-governmental organisations helping in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
He visited an exhibition where handicrafts and colourful lambada - not the dance, but a kind of traditional embroidery -- dresses were on display.
He might have been officially 'suited' during his stay in New Delhi on Thursday, but on Friday, Bush was dressed in a blue shirt and a pair of black trousers.
Accompanied by Chief Minister Reddy, Bush walked around the Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University campus, trying his hand at the threaded weaving looms on display.
The American President posed for pictures, signed autographs and took straw hats as mementos.
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