Sridevi’s Fashion Boo Boo

Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor. Click on the picture to enlarge and see what we're talking about!

Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor. Click on the picture to enlarge and see what we’re talking about!

Okay, first things first. I’m a fan of Sridevi’s dress sense. She can carry off a short tube dress with the same elegance that she does a simple chiffon sari or a heavily emroidered anarkali. She just turned 50 and still refuses to get predictable in the wardrobe department. An innate dress sense is unarguably a quality that most can only hope to posses, but Sri has it in abundance.

So, it’s surprising to see her turn up at designer duo Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla’s “The Golden Peacock”, an evening of couture for the Sahachari Foundation at The Ball Room, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai. While there’s nothing wrong with the choice of dress, it’s the bulging bosom that has us staring/ wondering/ confused…? You gotta admit, it’s very unlike Sri, who always dresses to impress, not to attract unwanted attention.

Sridevi and Boney Kapoor. Click on image to enlarge and get a better view.

Sridevi and Boney Kapoor. Click on image to enlarge and get a better view.

Sneak peak into Aahana Deol’s engagement ceremony

Looks like Bollywood’s evergreen couple Hema Malini and Dharmendra’s youngest daughter Aahana is taking a leaf out of elder sister Esha’s diary by following in her footsteps and getting hitched. Close friends of the couple say that Aahana and Vaibhav are very much in love and decided to get married and then pursue their respective careers. Vaibhav is a Delhi based businessman. Though till recently, rumours suggested that Aahana is readying for her big Bollywood debut, the fact is that the young lass is quite keen on pursuing a career in fashion designing and perhaps, at a later stage, even film direction. But for now, she’s thrilled about the impending big Indian wedding. Badhayi ho badhayi…

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Vaibhav Vora and Aahana Deol

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Hema Malini and Dharmendra shower Esha and Vaibhav with gifts

 

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Family portrait: (left to right) Bharat, Esha, Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Aahana and Vaibhav

 

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Sisters Aahana and Esha with their better halves

Ash’s Outstanding Hattrick

No matter how much flak Aishwarya Rai Bachchan gets for her dress sense, one must admit that she’s getting better these days. Finally! Hallelujah! Also, when in the West, the actor makes the effort to blend in and not stand out in a golden sari and jewellery (like she used to once upon a time). Kudos! Here’s Ash at the Ascot horse races in England. Having lost oodles of weight post pregnancy, she’s back to looking gorgeous. A black and white dress, with a bow tie in front and a gigantic hat — she makes fashionable Indians proud. Following this pic are images of the most beautiful lady in the world wearing her various hats 😉

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A highly emotional Shah Rukh clears the air about the “Nonsense” currently troubling him. For once, he’s right…

Shah Rukh Khan is no stranger to controversy. Be it his sexuality, choice of films, fidelity, friends, foes or religious views, the superstar has been subject to intense scrutiny time and again on all aspects of his professional and personal life. Only recently he was accused of using his religion to constantly play the ‘victim card’ to gain sympathy from his overseas fans. The allegation came in the wake on an article King Khan wrote for a foreign pubication. The negative reactions to the article went viral in no time and almost two days were spent analysing the actor’s words by leading television channels. That Pakistan offered to give protection to SRK, if he faced threats in India, certainly didn’t help the allegations leveled against him die a natural death.

Then, I happened to attend the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA), in association with British Columbia press conference on Tuesday evening. SRK, being the face of the TOIFA launch graced the occasion at a suburban five star hotel. Sensing the media’s eagerness to ask him all sorts of questions about the incident, he took aside 5 minutes to read out a statement that summed up his opinion on the controversy and fielded pretty much all queries relating to it. I’m no fan of Shah Rukh, but this time we got to admit that he’s at the receiving end of as he aptly put it “Nonsense”. He also pleaded with journalists to stop hyping the non-existent controversy, emphasizing that this kind of attention grabbing is not good for the media or him or young, impressionable fans. The actor made it clear that he is open to criticism on the article he authored, provided one READS it first.
So here’s a copy of the article that SRK wrote and his statement clarifying the “Nonsense” surrounding it.

Shah Rukh Khan at the launch of The Times of India Film Awards on Tuesday evening

Shah Rukh Khan at the launch of The Times of India Film Awards on Tuesday evening

THE ARTICLE:

Outlook Turning Points 2013 [Published By The New York Times]

I am an actor. Time does not frame my days with as much conviction as images do. Images rule my life. Moments and memories imprint themselves on my being in the form of the snapshots that I weave into my expression. The essence of my art is the ability to create images that resonate with the emotional imagery of those watching them.
I am a Khan. The name itself conjures multiple images in my mind too: a strapping man riding a horse, his reckless hair flowing from beneath a turban tied firm around his head. His ruggedly handsome face marked by weathered lines and a  distinctly large nose.
A stereotyped extremist; no dance, no drink, no cigarette tipping off his lips, no monogamy, no blasphemy; a fair, silent face beguiling a violent fury smoldering within. A streak that could even make him blow himself up in the name of his  God. Then there is the image of me being shoved into a back room of a vast American airport named after an American president (another parallel image: of the president being assassinated by a man named lee, not a Muslim thankfully, nor Chinese as some might imagine! I urgently shove the image of the room out of my head).
Some stripping, frisking and many questions later, I am given an explanation (of sorts): “Your name pops up on our system, we are sorry”. “So am I,” I think to myself, “Now can I have my underwear back please?” Then, there is the image I  most see, the one of me in my own country: being acclaimed as a megastar, adored and glorified, my fans mobbing me with love and apparent adulation.
I could say I fit into each of these images: I could be a strapping six feet something – ok something minus, about three inches at least, though I don’t know much about horse-riding. A horse once galloped off with me flapping helplessly on it  and I have had a “no horse-riding” clause embedded in my contracts ever since.
I am extremely muscular between my ears, I am often told by my kids, and I used to be fair too, but now I have a perpetual tan or as I like to call it ‘olive hue’ – though deep In the recesses of my armpits I can still find the remains of a fairer  day. I am handsome under the right kind of light and I really do have a “distinctly large” nose. It announces my arrival in fact, peeking through the doorway just before I make my megastar entrance. But my nose notwithstanding, my name  means nothing to me unless I contextualize it.
Stereotyping and contextualizing is the way of the world we live in: a world in which definition has become central to security. We take comfort in defining phenomena, objects and people – with a limited amount of knowledge and along  known parameters. The predictability that naturally arises from these definitions makes us feel secure within our own limitations.
We create little image boxes of our own. One such box has begun to draw its lid tighter and tighter at present. It is the box that contains an image of my religion in millions of minds.
I encounter this tightening of definition every time moderation is required to be publicly expressed by the Muslim community in my country. Whenever there is an act of violence in the name of Islam, I am called upon to air my views on it and dispel the notion that by virtue of being a Muslim, I condone such senseless brutality. I am one of the voices chosen to represent my community in order to prevent other communities from reacting to all of us as if we were somehow colluding with or responsible for the crimes committed in the name of a religion that we experience entirely differently from the perpetrators of these crimes.
I sometimes become the inadvertent object of political leaders who choose to make me a symbol of all that they think is wrong and unpatriotic about Muslims in india. There have been occasions when I have been accused of bearing allegiance  to our neighboring nation rather than my own country – this even though I am an Indian whose father fought for the freedom of India. Rallies have been held where leaders have exhorted me to leave my home and return to what they refer
to as my “original homeland”. Of course, I politely decline each time, citing such pressing reasons as sanitation words at my house preventing me from taking the good shower that’s needed before undertaking such an extensive journey. I don’t know how long this excuse will hold though. I gave my son and daughter names that could pass for generic (pan-Indian and pan-religious) ones: Aryan and Suhana. The Khan has been bequeathed by me so they can’t really escape it. I pronounce it from my epiglottis when asked by Muslims and throw the Aryan as evidence of their race when non-Muslims enquire.
I imagine this will prevent my offspring from receiving unwarranted eviction orders and random fatwas in the future. It will also keep my two children completely confused. Sometimes, they ask me what religion they belong to and, like a good Hindi movie hero, I roll my eyes up to the sky and declare philosophically, “You are an Indian first and your religion is humanity”, or sing them an old Hindi film ditty, “Tu Hindu banega na Musalmaan banega – insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega” set to Gangnam Style.
None of this informs them with any clarity, it just confounds them some more and makes them deeply wary of their father.
In the land of the freed, where I have been invited on several occasions to be honored, I have bumped into ideas that put me in a particular context. I have had my fair share of airport delays for instance.
I became so sick of being mistaken for some crazed terrorist who coincidentally carries the same last name as mine that I made a film, subtly titled My name is Khan (and I am not a terrorist) to prove a point. Ironically, I was interrogated at  the airport for hours about my last name when I was going to present the film in America for the first time. I wonder, at times, whether the same treatment is given to everyone whose last name just happens to be McVeigh (as in Timothy)??
I don’t intend to hurt any sentiments, but truth be told, the aggressor and taker of life follows his or her own mind. It has to nothing to do with a name, a place or his/her religion. It is a mind that has its discipline, its own distinction of right from wrong and its own set of ideologies. In fact, one might say, it has its own “religion”. This religions has nothing to do with the ones that have existed for centuries and been taught in mosques or churches. The call of the azaan or the words of the pope have no bearing on this person’s soul. His soul is driven by the devil. I, for one, refuse to be contextualized by the ignorance of his ilk.
I am neither six-feet-tall nor handsome (I am modest though) nor am I a Muslim who looks down on other religions. I have been taught my religion by my six-foot-tall, handsome Pathan ‘Papa’ from Peshawar, where his proud family and mine still resides. He was a member of the no-violent Pathan movement called Khudai Khidamatgaar and a follower of both Gandhiji and Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan, who was also known as the Frontier Gandhi.
My first learning of Islam from him was to respect women and children and to uphold the dignity of every human being. I learnt that the property and decency of others, their points of view, their beliefs, their philosophies and their religions were due as much respect as my own and ought to be accepted with an open mind. I learnt to believe in the power and benevolence of Allah, and to be gentle and kind to my fellow human beings, to give of myself to those less privileged than me and to live a life full of happiness, joy, laughter and fun without impinging on anybody else’s freedom to live in the same way.
So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India. I have been showered with love across national and cultural boundaries, from Suriname to Japan and Saudi Arabia to Germany, places where they don’t even understand my
language. They appreciate what I do for them as an entertainer – that’s all. My life has led me to understand and imbibe that love is a pure exchange, untempered by definition and unfettered by the narrowness of limiting ideas. If each one of us allowed ourselves the freedom to accept and return love in its purity, we would need no image boxes to hold up the walls of our security. I believe that I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience the magnitude of such a love,
but I also know that its scale is irrelevant. In our own small ways, simply as human beings, we can appreciate each other for how touch our lives and not how our different religions or last names define us.
Beneath the guise of my superstardom, I am an ordinary man. My Islamic stock does not conflict with that of my Hindu wife’s. The only disagreements I have with Gauri concern the color of the walls in our living room and not about the locations of the walls demarcating temples from mosques in India.
We are bringing up a daughter who pirouettes in a leotard and choreographs her own ballets. She sings western songs that confound my sensibilities and aspires to be an actress. She also insists on covering her head when in a Muslim nation that practices this really beautiful and much misunderstood tenet of Islam. Our son’s linear features proclaim his Pathan pedigree although he carries his own, rather gentle mutations of the warrior gene. He spends all day either pushing people asie at rugby, kicking some butt at Tae Kwon Do or eliminating unknown faces behind anonymous online gaming handles around the world with The Call of Duty video game. And yet, he firmly admonishes me for getting
into a minor scuffle at the cricket stadium in Mumbai last year because some bigot make unsavory remarks about me being a Khan.
The four of us make up a motley representation of the extraordinary acceptance and validation that love can foster when exchanged within the exquisiteness of things that are otherwise defined ordinary.
For I believe, our religion is an extremely personal choice, not a public proclamation of who we are. It’s as person as the spectacles of my father who passed away some 20 years ago. Spectacles that I hold onto as my most prized and personal possession of his memories, teachings and of being a proud Pathan. I have never compared those with my friends, who have similar possessions of their parents or grandparents. I have never said my father’s spectacles are better than your
mother’s saree. So why should we have this comparison in the matter of religion, which is as personal and prized a belief as the memories of your elders. Why should not the love we share be the last word in defining us instead of the last name? It doesn’t take a superstar to be able to give love, it just takes a heart and as far as I know, there isn’t a force on this earth that can deprive anyone of theirs.
I am a Khan, and that’s what it has meant being one, despite the stereotype images that surround me. To be a Khan has been to be loved and love back – that the promise that virgins wait for me somewhere on the other side.

– Shah Rukh Khan

Shiamak Davar, Shah Rukh Khan, Vineet Jain, MD, Times of India Group and  Jim Nickel, Deputy Hugh Commissioner and Acting Consul General on Canada at the launch of The Times of India Film Awards

Shiamak Davar, Shah Rukh Khan, Vineet Jain, MD, Times of India Group and Jim Nickel, Deputy Hugh Commissioner and Acting Consul General on Canada at the launch of The Times of India Film Awards

SRK’S STATEMENT TO CLEAR HIS STANCE SURROUNDING CONTROVERSY TO THIS ARTICLE:
According to me, all our lives we are defined by three identities. Two of which are fortunately acquired by birth and are a matter of unconditional love and acceptance. The first identity is acquired by where one is born. Our Motherland. That defines us. So foremost all of us here like me are proud Indians.
Second the family name and upbringing that our parents give us. Mine is Khan, like some of us here. I am very proud of my parents, like all of us are here. I love them unconditionally.
The third is the profession we choose that defines us. By some quirk of fate I am a celebrity… a public figure in the fields of art and media. Like most of us are here today.
As I said being an Indian and my parents’ child is an unconditional accepted truth of my life and I am very proud of both.
The third… being a public figure makes me open to any kind of questioning, adjectives good and bad and or sometimes makes me an object of controversy as people use my name and statements to attach any positive or negative sentiment to it. I accept all the above because this is the life I chose and will stand by it. I am what I am, because of the love and admiration that comes with being who I am in my profession…so I thank everyone for making me the star I am.
Now to address this whole issue, with regards to my Article, that has taken an unwarranted twist . I do not even understand the basis of this controversy.
Ironically the article I wrote (yes its written by me) was actually meant to reiterate that on some occasions my being an Indian Muslim film star is misused by bigots and narrow minded people who have misplaced religious ideologies for small gains….and ironically the same has happened through this article…once again.
The reason for this primarily is….I think some of the people have not even read it and are reacting to comments of people, who in turn have also not read it. So I implore you all to first read it.
Second if you read it, nowhere does the article state or imply unsafe….troubled or disturbed in India.
It does not even vaguely say that I am ungrateful for the love that I have received in a career spanning 20 years. On the contrary the article only says that in spite of bigoted thoughts of some of the people that surround us….I am untouched by skepticism because of the love I have received by my countrymen and women.
I will paraphrase the beginning and the end of the article to clarify and substantiate my stand.
“Then, there is the image I most see, the one of me in my own country: being acclaimed as a megastar, adored and glorified, my fans mobbing me with love and apparent adulation.
So I am a Khan, but no stereotyped image is factored into my idea of who I am. Instead, the living of my life has enabled me to be deeply touched by the love of millions of Indians. I have felt this love for the last 20 years regardless of the fact that my community is a minority within the population of India. I have been showered with love across national and cultural boundaries, they appreciate what I do for them as an entertainer – that’s all. My life has led me to understand and imbibe that love is a pure exchange, untempered by definition and unfettered by the narrowness of limiting ideas.
Sometimes, they ask me what religion they belong to and, like a good Hindi movie hero, I roll my eyes up to the sky and declare philosophically, “you are an Indian first and your religion is Humanity”, or sing them an old Hindi film ditty, “tu hindu banega na musalmaan banega – insaan ki aulaad hai insaan banega” set to Gangnam style.
Why should not the love we share be the last word in defining us instead of the last name? It doesn’t take a superstar to be able to give love, it just takes a heart and as far as i know, there isn’t a force on this earth that can deprive anyone of theirs. I am a Khan, and that’s what it has meant being one, despite the stereotype images that surround me. To be a Khan has been to be loved and love back….”
Please I implore everyone here to read the article and convey through your respective mediums of communications, all the good things that it expresses to youngsters and my fellow Indians. It is a heartfelt and extremely important aspect of my life, an appreciation of love that all of you have bestowed upon me and also a point of view from my being a father of two young children I would like to tell all those who are offering me unsolicited advice that we in India are extremely safe
and happy. We have an amazing democratic, free and secular way of life. In the environs that we live here in my country India, we have no safety issues regarding life or material. As a matter of fact it is irksome for me to clarify this non-existent issue. With respect I would like to say to anyone who is interpreting my views and offering advice regarding them, please read what I have written first.
Also some of the views that I have been made to read are just an extension of soft targeting celebs and creating an atmosphere of emotional outbursts and divisiveness based on religion…in the minds of some. I implore everyone to understand, that my article is against exactly this kind of giving in to propaganda and aggressiveness. Lets not be misled by tools which use religion as an anchor for unrest and a policy of divide and rule.
I would also like to add here, that my profession as an actor makes me, liked beyond the borders of my nation and culture. The hugs and love that I am showered upon by Nationalities all around the world, make me safe all over the globe, and my safety has genuinely never been a matter of concern to me…and so it should not be a matter of concern to anyone else either.
We are all educated and patriotic people. We do not have to prove that time and again because of divisive politics of a few.
My own family and friends, are like a mini India…where all religions, professions and a few wrongs included, all are treated with tolerance and understanding and regard for each other. I only sell love…love that I have got from millions of Indians and non Indians….and stand indebted to my audience in my country and around the world. It is sad that I have to say it to prove it, in my country, which my father fought for, during the Independence struggle.
That’s my piece and having said all this…I would like to request all of you present here….that henceforth ask me questions regarding….my next movie. The songs that I have recorded. The release date of my film. The heroines cast in it. The Toiffa awards in Vancouver, because I am an actor and maybe I should just stick to stuff that all of you expect me to have a viewpoint on. The rest of it…maybe I don’t have the right kind of media atmosphere to comment on. So I will refrain from it. And please if you can…put all I have said on your channels, or mediums of communication, in the exact same light as I have said it and meant it in. 24 hrs of unrequired controversy is more than enough for all of us I assume. So do not sensationalize and hence trivialize matters of national interest and religion any further and drag a movie actor in the middle of it all…and let me get back to doing what I do best….making movies.
Shah Rukh Khan

 

…… Yes, I know… SRK likes to write a lot!!! But he has a point, folks 😀

Facebook Trends, 2012: Select City Walk in Delhi the ‘Most Checked In’ location, and Tumhi Ho Bandhu from Cocktail the most Shared song on FB…

Facebook Trends, 2012 in India

Facebook Trends, 2012 in India

Facebook’s 2012 trends list for India reveals fascinating insights into India’s social behavior.

Chart showing most 'Checked In' locations on Facebook, in India, on 2012

Chart showing most ‘Checked In’ locations on Facebook, in India, on 2012

§  India’s Most Checked-in locations in 2012

Based on the list of most checked-in locations, it shows that people from India’s metro cities tend to check in more, in comparison to other Indian cities. Delhi-ites seem to be the more proactive, as most of the checked-in locations in the top 20 list belong to the capital city.

The Indian urban consumers’ love for modern day retail outlets is reflected in the fact that Select City Walk, a popular mall in south Delhi, is the most checked-in location on Facebook for 2012. Ambience mall from Delhi, Inorbit mall from Mumbai and The Great India Place in Delhi NCR are also within the overall top 15.

Café 1 Boulevard, a café in South Delhi, eclipses chains such as Hard Rock Café, Delhi, Leopold Café, Mumbai and Toit, Bangalore, to claim the top spot for cafes and restaurants, in the most checked-in location for 2012. Local north India favorite, Sukhdev Dhaba at Murthal, took number #4 spot, in the most checked-in location for 2012.

The top songs shared on Facebook in 2012 for India goes to reiterate that Bollywood continues to dominate the Indian music industry. The most shared song on Facebook was ‘Tum Hi Ho Bandhu’ from the movie Cocktail. That was followed by ‘Daaru Desi’ again from Cocktail and then ‘Pani Da Rang’ from Vicky Donor, at number #2 and #3 spots respectively. The results clearly showcase the fascination for the music from Cocktail.

Chart showing most shared songs on Facebook in 2012

Chart showing most shared songs on Facebook in 2012

Exclusive pics: Supermodels Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and actor Demi Moore don outfits by Indian designers at Jodhpur bash

Naomi Campbell and Indian designer Manav Gangwani. Naomi is wearing an Indian outfit from Manav’s collection


You must, by now, know that British supermodel Naomi Campbell and her Russian boyfriend Vladimir Doronin are in Jodhpur, celebrating the latter’s birthday. We know that Naomi is 42 years of age, but Vladimir’s age is not as known as his famous girlfriends. We wonder if the number of candles on his birthday cake were the equivalent of his age and if anyone bothered to count. Anyway, what’s important is that the high profile couple decided to party with their famous friends in the land of royalty – Jodhpur as they stay in the stunning Umaid Bhavan Palace. Sources from Jodhpur, however, say that they don’t understand the hype surrounding these ‘celebrity firangs’.

Kate Moss wearing a design by Indian designer Manish Malhotra in Jodhpur

Most in the hospitality sector in Jodhpur have no clue who Naomi Campbell is or Kate Moss, for that matter. “Some firang actor or model,” they divulge. But being experts in the hospitality business, they know how to take care of VVIP guests, whether or not they recognise them. The most recognised by the staff, however, was designer Manish Malhotra and they loved him. Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger performed for the couple and guests present. Naomi and her model friends, Kate Moss, Karolina Kurkova, Hollywood actor Demi Moore and others donned creations by Indian designer Manish Malhotra. Naomi even wore a colourful Indian ghagra choli by Manav Gangwani and a white ensemble from Manish’s Mijwan collection for a brunch do. Here are some pics yours truly managed to lay hands on…

Supermodel Karolina Kurkova in a Manish Malhotra sari in Jodhpur

Naomi Campbell in a white Indian outfit from designer Manish Malhotra’s Mijwan collection, in Jodhpur

The world’s most sought after cougar – Demi Moore in a Manish Malhotra outfit, during her stay in Jodhpur, India

Finally! Aishwarya Rai Bachchan shows off her daughter Aaradhya to the world as she receives the award of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government

Aishwarya with daughter Aaradhya

A visibly emotional Aishwarya Rai Bachchan flaunted her daughter Aaradhya at a French event held in Mumbai to honour her. Finally! Here’s taking a good look at Baby B and Ash’s speech at the event which coincided with her birthday, November 1. Her family and friends were present to cheer for her:

Over to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan:
“Good evening and thank you to the French Ambassador Francois Richier, Eminent dignitaries, respected members of the media, my dear family and friends, ladies and gentlemen….
I must begin by sincerely thanking the French Government, for honouring me with this award of Knight of the Order of Arts and letters, the 2nd highest civilian award, for my humble contribution to the world of cinema over the years. To be conferred with this distinction is truly overwhelming. And given the fine company of distinguished Indian personalities from the fields of cinema, art, literature as well as those conferred with this honour internationally, this is treasured.

FRANCE has been quite the symbol of the celebration of ART and CULTURE globally…much like India…and immensely contributed to and influenced the ever-evolving world of cinema, theatre, literature, music, architecture and fashion. Mention PARIS and you witness this very celebration in its FULL GLORY and its magnetic romantic CHARM. Mention CANNES and you recognize one of the World’s most glamorous celebrated films festivals experienced
Ten years ago, I had the privilege of representing an Indian film for the 1st time here with DEVDAS being screened at the PALAIS at Cannes. And, what a memorable reception it was an Indian horse carriage,……….a standing ovation…overwhelming. To experience an Indian film being celebrated with such fanfare in France was immensely special. Personally speaking, it was thereon, that International media and the world of cinema recognized my work in Indian Cinema…and for this, I will always thank you sincerely, for the immense love and appreciation I received first from the people of
FRANCE, on a global platform. To be invited back again as jury member of this festival, a 1st for a member of the Indian Film Industry gave me much pride, at being given the responsibility of representing MY INDIAN FILM INDUSTRY, in France, internationally.

From thereon…. till date…. opportunities and experiences have been aplenty…. Each one memorable and cherished… occasions strengthening creative ties etween France and India and therein our beautiful countries…both so rich in ART, HERITAGE & CULTURE. I could go on and on, because of so many beautiful memories but I’ll end, by thanking the French Government once again for this overwhelming honour and your patience with me at conferring it. I also thank EVERY PROFESSIONAL (Directors, actors, technicians, crew and my personal staff) I’ve worked with throughout my career in this wonderful and glorious family of the Indian Film Industry. My ever-loving audience in India and the world over, for your unconditional love, acceptance, appreciation, prayers and blessings. Members of the media and critics for all your support and most importantly, and most precious my family, my father-in-law and mother-in-law for their blessing. Thank you PA for coming here today. It’s extremely important for me to dedicate today’s honour to the unconditional love, support, sacrifice and prayers/blessings of my mother, father and brother. And to the love of my life, my husband Abhishek and our Aaradhya.”

FAMILY TIES: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (in pink) flanked to her right by husband Abhishek Bachchan, and to her left by father Krishnaraj Rai, father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan, French official, mother Vrinda Rai and brother Aditya Rai