Dubai: Hundreds of people gathered in Al Qusais Thursday morning for a glimpse of two favourite Indian stars. Looking beautiful in a red and gold churidar kameez Miss World Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan thanked her fans for being at the third store of Kalyan Jewellers marathon opening in the UAE.
“Thank you for being patient. I thank you with all my love. I personally thank you for your blessings, good wishes and love for me, my husband, my daughter and my entire family,” Rai-Bachchan told her fans as they pushed against the barriers to get at least a picture of hers.
However, before she walked out of the black Mercedes, the presenter had announced the arrival of the south Indian superstar Manju Warrier. But she came on stage after Rai-Bachchan.
Warrier, dressed in a glamorous, yet demure white pant suit, seemed to have managed the tremendous feat of being at all six Kalyan Jewellers stores openings in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Qusais, Karama and the two stores in Bur Dubai.
The crowd however seemed a bit tired of waiting as even the prompts from the event presenter didn’t really get too loud a cheer from them.
But those lining the roads outside the stage area proved it wrong when they wouldn’t allow the stars’ car to exit after the ribbon cutting, blocking the service road and chasing the car to the thoroughfare.
At the Bur Dubai event the parking opposite Dubai Museum started filling up from 3pm. The two stores, on Al Fahidi street and Meena Bazaar lane were to be opened at 3.30 and 4pm by Nagarjuna and Amitabh Bachchan respectively. Crowds had started gathering at the stores too as Gulf News made it’s way there around 3.30pm.
Shortly afterwards Al Fahidi street erupted with cheers, yet maintaining discipline as Dubai Police cordoned off the area. Warrier addressed the crowds from a small platform outside the store, once again in Malayalam.
At the store Gulf News asked Warrier how she managed to be at all store openings.
“It was fun,” is all she said, refusing to answer any questions about the store or otherwise. “I’ve said everything that needed to be said on the stage”.
At 4.40pm Bachchan was still making his way to Bur Dubai through Dubai traffic. Meanwhile the presenter kept the cheer up by getting the crowd to scream for the stars.
“It’s incredible to see this vast sea of people to greet us today,” said Nagarjuna, as he joined Warrier on the podium. The Telugu superstar, on the behest of the presenter, then addressed the crowd in Telugu, garnering loud cries from them.
Interestingly, the entire Kalyan clan, from aged men and women to kids, were present at all store openings, especially flown in on the chartered plane to Dubai. The same plane took the stars, who’d all arrived earlier in the week to Abu Dhabi and then Sharjah.
But as we know, no star pulls the crowd like Mr Bachchan.
Entering the podium directly from the main road opposite Dubai Museum, he made his way to the front waving his arms and folding his hands in Namaste [Indian greeting] as the crowd erupted.
“Every time I come to Dubai, I find your love and affection overwhelming,” said the legendary actor, dressed in a blue velvet jacket. “Hope your love for me and my family continues”.
When asked to say one of his famous dialogues, he seemed lost for words.
“Some other time, I can’t really think of what to say,” but soon gave in to the fans’ uproar by reciting the famous title song from his 1976 film Kabhi Kabhie.
He was then handed a tablet to press a button which let forth a burst of confetti to announce the official launch of Kalyan Jewellers in Dubai.
While T.S. Kalyanaraman, chairman and managing director of Kalyan Jewellers said Bachchan was now “like family”. The megastar said his association with the company was because the Kalyanaramans impressed him with “the faith, trust and integrity” they had earned as a company over the years.
“They made me aware of various aspects of gold jewellery, such as the purity and quality testings, pricing, etc. They are clean, open and nothing is hidden in their business,” said Bachchan.
Despite speculations on how Kalyan’s could do it, the company actually pulled off the show quite efficiently, with minimal delay keeping in mind it was a Bollywood event. The last store which was to open at 4pm was announced at 5pm.
Ramesh Kalyanaraman, executive director of Kalyan Jewellers, told Gulf News it was because they had “meticulously planned” the whole show.
“We’ve learnt from our earlier events, making sure no errors were repeated,” said Kalyanaraman. “And everything worked so well today. Manju was fantastic. In fact, Aishwarya had done a similar thing for us in Mumbai. Prabhu is like our talisman. He even made the token first purchase”.