The USS Nimitz, one of the largest warships in the world, was anchored off Chennai last week.
The aircraft carrier's visit marked yet another effort to expand the India-United States defence relationship.
Commissioned in 1975 by then US President Gerald Ford, she was named for the American admiral Chester W Nimitz.
When the 104,000 tonne nuclear-power-driven ship was parked in Chennai, politicians, bureaucrats, film stars and artistes were invited on board by the US embassy in New Delhi and consulate in Chennai.
Dancer-choreographer Astad Deboo spent a few hours aboard this ship-city. This is his account of the visit:
We had to report at the Raja Rathnam stadium in the centre of the city at 11 am and were taken down to Chennai harbour by bus to board a large boat taking us to the Nimitz. It took nearly half an hour to reach the ship which was anchored about 50 km away from Chennai. We arrived at 1 pm.
I made sure I was right in front so I could have a panoramic view of the Nimitz. From far it was just a solitary ship in the ocean. But when you came closer it was an overpowering vision. She is 23 stories high!
As told to Vaihayasi P Daniel. Image: The USS Nimitz. Photographs: Astad Deboo.
Earlier slide show: The call of the Ganga