Friday, 15 July 2011

Aishwarya: Nation before French award

Aishwarya Rai
Aishwarya Rai

Aishwarya  Bachchan made her first public appearance after news of her pregnancy was made public — at the Taj Palace in the Capital on Wednesday evening.

The event, which was organised on the eve of the National Day of France, would have seen the Bachchan bahu accept the special honour of L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres ( Order of Arts and Letters) from French ambassador Jérôme Bonnafont.

In the wake of the Mumbai blasts, she refused to accept the honour and requested the French ambassador to postpone the ceremony.  Going with the sombre mood of the evening, she chose to dress down and wore a green and yellow sari. She teamed it with a single string diamond necklace and golden danglers. But the actress consciously hid her baby bump with the elegant sari throughout the evening.

Aishwarya with Abhishek during the event
Aishwarya with Abhishek during the event
“I am shocked and saddened by the news of the blasts. It’s disturbing.  This is not a moment of celebrations or conferring of awards. My family and I would like to request Mr Bonnafont to postpone the event. “ At the moment, we extend our support ( to the victims) and we shall stand strong. This is the time to show the true Indian spirit,” a grim looking Aishwarya said

While Aishwarya went up to the stage before addressing the audience and dignitaries, husband Abhishek chose to sit among the audience. Ash insisted that he come up to the podium, twice. The French ambassador accepted her request of postponing the event and said that the whole of France extended its support to India in this moment of crisis.

Farooq Abdullah, minister of new and renewable energy, who was also present at the event, expressed his shock and distress over the serial blasts in Mumbai.  The award, meant to honour Aishwarya’s contribution to the world of cinema, was to be conferred back in 2008 but she could not receive it then owing to her father’s illness. Indian celebrities, who have been conferred with the honour in the past, include Sharmila Tagore ( 1999), Habib Tanveer ( 2006), Shah Rukh Khan ( 2007), Raghu Rai ( 2008), Upamanyu Chatterjee ( 2008), and Nandita Das ( 2008).

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