Oprah connects to Jaipur with social message

The queen of television talk shows connected to more than 10,000 people in Jaipur with her own inimitable style.

Published: 22nd January 2012 03:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:19 PM   |  A+A-

JAIPUR: The queen of television talk shows, Oprah Winfrey, connected to more than 10,000 people in this historic pink city Sunday with her message on education, awareness and empowerment of women.

Clad in a mustard silk 'salwar-kameez' with a pink chiffon dupatta and sporting golden bangles, Oprah said her trip to the city to speak at the Jaipur Literature Festival was made possible by spiritual guru Deepak Chopra and was a "vision" coming true.

It was a connection she had made three years ago when she came across a picture of a woman on a camel. And since then, coming to India had been on her mind.

"As I entered the city I saw the camels and elephants. I said 'there is the vision, there you are'," Oprah said.

The talk show host earlier visited Mumbai, Agra and Vrindavan as part of her Indian itinerary. She is shooting some India-specific episodes and interviews for her next show, "Oprah's Next Chapter".

"For me, education is the most important thing. I have been from village to village in Africa looking for girls like myself... and families desperate for education. I was raised by my grandmother in poverty. My grandmother did not live to see me become an educated woman," Oprah said.

She was born in Mississippi in 1954 to a teenaged unmarried mother.

"The fact that I was born in segregated southern United States... The fact that I was born during the time of apartheid influenced me into becoming what I am," she said.

Oprah takes it upon herself "to be a connector".

"My entire school in South Africa is founded on the principle - 'I am because we are'. It is a miracle that each on of us gets to exist at this particular moment on this earth...

"I have spoken to millions of people around the world with the intention that every single show would land in the hearts and minds of those who are watching," Oprah said.

The television celebrity runs a "Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls" in South Africa.

Oprah said she was "enriched and blessed" by her maiden visit to India.

"When I called Aishwarya and Abhishek (Bachchan) to my show, I asked them, as all Americans do, that you all live with your parents, what is that all about? To which Abhishek replied, 'what is it about it that you don't'."

Oprah said the three things that struck her about India was "its chaos, the underlying calmness and love - and the fact that everyone seems to know where they are going".

"I have seen more people than I have encountered in my life," Oprah said.

The talk show host's visit to Vrindavan to meet widows brought "about a shift in my consciousness".

"I have spoken for years for women to own their voices. Just because your husbands have died, you cannot become second class citizens. This kind of thing should be eradicated from earth," Oprah said.

The American celebrity's connect with the literature festival was natural. She has helped revive the culture of reading in US with her book club.

Reports say 800,000 new copies of the Russian classic "Anna Karenina" had to be reprinted because she had recommended it.


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