Padma Laksmi on the runway during Lakme Fashion Week.

What do you do when you’re on a book tour in India? Well, if you’re Padma Lakshmi, you walk the runway for designer Tarun Tahiliani during Lakme Fashion Week. “I think the heavens conspired to make this happen,” Tahiliani said. “She’s very spirited and cool. Lakshmi opened his show wearing an elegant white, embellished lehenga with a sheer dupatta, and closed with a pink paneled brocade lehenga.

A lehenga is a full ankle-length skirt worn by Indian women, usually on formal or ceremonial occasions. Tahiliani, among the top designers in India, is known for his draping.

“It’s been 15 years since I walked the runway, period,” Lakshmi said. She earlier modeled for designers like Giorgio Armani, Versace and Ralph Lauren. “I never really worked as a model here [in India], I lived in the West. So, I’ve done a couple of fashion shows, but never at the fashion week in Mumbai,” she said, adding “I love the fashion industry here. You have both Western and Indian clothes, and often many things in between — and I’ve really enjoyed getting to see these. I also went to see Ritu Kumar’s show — she’s someone I have admired for years and years,” she observed.

Lakshmi’s real purpose in India was to promote her books “Love, Loss and What We Ate” and “The Encyclopedia of Spices & Herbs.” During an appearance at the American Center in New Delhi on Tuesday, she spoke about the different aspects of her career, the ‘meritocracy’ that is the U.S., and about how President Trump’s new policies have “annihilated what is ideologically to me the most exemplary thing about America, and my country” with the stroke of a pen.

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