rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Aamir wows Kolkata lit fest with mesmerising speech on Abul Kalam Azad

Aamir wows Kolkata lit fest with mesmerising speech on Abul Kalam Azad

Last updated on: January 09, 2014 11:09 IST

Aamir wows Kolkata lit fest with mesmerising speech on Abul Kalam Azad

     Next

Next
Indrani Roy

When West Bengal Governor introduced the Bollywood star as an “icon who needed no introduction” – he seemed to sum up Kolkata’s frenzied response to Aamir Khan, reports Indrani Roy.

The Kolkata police will not forget the date, January 8, 2014, in a hurry.

They had a tough time looking after security in and around the iconic Victoria Memorial that day when actor Aamir Khan shared the stage with West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan along with other dignitaries.

In the city to deliver the keynote address on Maulana Abul Kalam Azad at the inauguration of Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2014, Khan in his usual inimitable style talked at length about his great grand uncle Azad.

The fest, organised by Apeejay Surrendra Group and Oxford Bookstores, will witness the participation of around 60 delegates, including authors and panelists from Europe, Britain, Egypt, China, Ghana and neighbours Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

The speakers and panelists will include the likes of former BBC journalist and author Mark Tully, British author and playwright Farrukh Dhondy, Pakistani artist and writer Salima Hashmi, novelist Nabaneeta Dev Sen and Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

Though no one was allowed entry without a formal invite and the police had cordoned off the entire area, that couldn’t deter the spirit of film enthusiasts.

They had been thronging the place from early afternoon hoping against hope to get a glimpse of their favourite star who has just rocked the box office with Dhoom 3.

Please click on NEXT to read further...

 


Image: Actor Aamir Khan at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival opener on Wednesday.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

     Next

Aamir wows Kolkata lit fest with mesmerising speech on Abul Kalam Azad

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Indrani Roy

That Khan was going to attend the inauguration had generated so much enthusiasm among Kolkatans that Maina Bhagat, director of the literary festival, lost her voice attending to requests for entry passes for the event.

Tui ki mone korish, Aamir tor saamne diye hente hente dhukbe (Do you think Aamir Khan will enter the Victorian lawns so that you can see him)?” asked a man in his mid-30s, sarcasm aimed at his younger companion.

Hoteo to pare. Chance nite khoti kothaye (Could be possible, what’s the harm in taking a chance),” came the sharp retort.

The uncle-nephew duo from Shyambazar in north Kolkata are diehard fans of the actor and catch the first show of his every new release.

At a short distance was another man in his early forties with an autograph book.

Seeing that we were from the media, he politely said, “Madam, amar jonnyo Aamir Khan-er ekta autograph ene deben, please (Madam, can you get me Aamir Khan’s autograph please?). 

His last name was Sharma, his first lost in the din.

When I asked even if I get an autograph (which I knew was impossible) how would I locate him among such a huge crowd, his answer was classic: “Aapni amar jonnyo deoa autograph aapnar kacchei rekhe deben, amar jonnyo Aamir kichhu likhechhen eita bhebei anondo pabo (You keep the autograph book with you. I will be happy know that Aamir (Khan) has written something for me).”

Please click on NEXT to read more...

 


Image: Actor Aamir Khan with West Bengal governor M K Narayanan.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Prev     Next

Aamir wows Kolkata lit fest with mesmerising speech on Abul Kalam Azad

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Indrani Roy

Given such fanfare at the gates, when Khan took the stage he was greeted with thunderous applause.

As if sensing the audience’s pulse, Governor Narayanan refused to be felicitated first and stepped aside to make room for the actor, whom he described as an “icon who needed no introduction”.

Admitting that he was no cinema buff, Narayanan said he was wowed by films like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Taare Zameen Par.

On a lighter note, Narayanan said he hoped to get Dhoom 3 passes from the superstar.

After him, it was Khan’s turn to speak his mind.

And that he did.

He gave an impromptu speech to a crème de la crème audience that was all ears.

The actor shared his experiences of working with his uncle Nasir Hussain.

Khan explained how Hussain learnt to do what his heart told him to do, taking a cue from Azad, and he infused the same spirit into him.

Please click on NEXT to read more...

 


Image: Actor Aamir Khan caught in a pensive moment.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Prev     Next

Aamir wows Kolkata lit fest with mesmerising speech on Abul Kalam Azad

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Indrani Roy

I hope that someday I can use my capabilities, and through the art form that I practise, to make a film on (Maulana Abul Kalam) Azad,” Khan said.

“It's my dream to bring his life to a larger populace of India," he added.

The actor wished he had met the freedom-fighter, and read out excerpts from one of Azad's interviews published in 1946.

Khan said he was “amazed” by Azad's clear thinking and political predictions, a year before India's Independence.

“I owed my career to my great grand uncle. If he hadn’t inspired my uncle and my father to join the film industry, I wouldn’t have been where I am today,” the actor said.

There couldn’t have been a better way of summarising Khan’s thoughts than what a Victoria Memorial official, who was acting as the emcee, said. “If one holds his head high and follows one’s heart, one can proudly sing, ‘Aaal is well’.”

As we walked out of the historic building’s North Gate, I tried locating the autograph seeker but in vain.

Though I couldn’t get Khan’s signature for him, I wanted to tell him that we should learn to follow our hearts a la Abul Kalam Azad’s able descendant.

 


Image: Aamir Khan with West Bengal governor M K Narayanan.
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty

Prev     Next

TOP photo features you missed last week

Prev     More

Click on MORE to see another PHOTO features...



Tags: 1

Prev     More