NRI Dunia
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Elusive quest for ‘Biden from Mumbai’

When Joe Biden was elected as one of the youngest US senators in 1972, one of the first letters that he received was from Mumbai, with the sender sharing the same last name.

About five years ago, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee learned that there are five Bidens living in Mumbai, but is probably yet to make a connection with them.

The “Biden from Mumbai”, then known as Bombay, had congratulated Biden on his election as the senator from Delaware and told him that they were related to each other. Biden, then 29, wanted to follow up on the letter and get in touch with the Biden from Mumbai. However, his family and active life in politics meant that this wish remained a wish, something he still wants to fulfill nearly five decades later.

It may have remained unfulfilled, but the 77-year-old Democratic presidential nominee never misses a chance to narrate the story when he meets Indian-Americans and Indian leaders.

Biden assures them that he too has an India connection, however distant it might be.

In his address to the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on July 24, 2013, during his maiden visit to India as the US vice-president, he went off-script to narrate his story of the Biden from Mumbai.

“It’s an honor to be back in India and to be here in Mumbai. Off script for a second here, I was reminded — I was elected to the US Senate when I was a 29-year-old kid back in 1972, and one of the first letters I received and I regret I never followed up on it. Maybe, some genealogist in the audience can follow up for me, but I received a letter from a gentleman named Biden — Biden, my name — from Mumbai, asserting that we were related,” Biden told the audience.