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Bollywood’s superstar Shah Rukh Khan mixes Rabindranath Tagore’s eternal symphony ‘Bideshini’ in West Bengal Tourism ad

The newest ad promoting Bengal Tourism is a visual treat full of Tagore's tunes, Bengal's majesty through a foreigner's eyes and SRK's natural charisma

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A fan Dangal between the onscreen Dangal girls for Shah Rukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan, VOA
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Kolkata, Feb 6, 2017:  Bollywood’s superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s signature style mixes with Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore’s eternal symphony in inviting tourists from faraway lands to Bengalin the latest advertisement to promote tourism, that cuts through stereotypes.

The three-and-half minutes long video montage takes viewers on a joy-ride from the chandeliered Rajbaris of Bengal, ceiling-high stacks of books in the narrow alleys of College street, immersive terracotta temples of Bankura, psychedelic masked Chhau dancers, Sundarbans mangrove’s fishermen with backward facing masks to the rolling tea gardens of Darjeeling hills — all through the experiences of a foreigner.

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The video, which has been receiving “an overwhelming response” from viewers on social media from all over the world, sees Shah Rukh, Bengal’s brand ambassador, crooning to Tagore’s “Ami Chini Go Chini Tomare, O Go Bideshini” (“I know you, oh lady from faraway land”) while serenading the foreigner in a tram car in typical Shah Rukh way.

“We have received extremely positive response from the ad and it is being shared all across on social media as part of our aggressive tourism campaign,” Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb told the media.

According to Deb, “The essence of our tagline ‘Welcome to Bengal – The sweetest part of India’ is the state’s hospitality which caters to guests from India and abroad. We want foreigners to think of Bengal first when they see the ad and plan to visit India.”

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An Ogilvy & Mather, Kolkata, concept, the film has been directed by Prakash Varma of Nirvana films.

Instead of opting for typical and very age-old Bengal tourism props such as rosogollas (spongy sweetmeats) or hand-pulled rickshaws, the montage offers glimpses of relatively lesser known prospects such as the state’s relationship with graffiti art and its love for mustard-infused bhetki paturi (fillet of bhetki in banana leaf envelopes).

A touch of tradition is played out at the same time as the foreigner lady indulges in Sindoor Khela (women smear vermilion at each other at the conclusion of Durga puja), listens to Bengal’s very-own folk baul music and drives through the expansive Howrah Bridge across the Hooghly river.

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Reflecting the continuity of cultures, the viewer rides along with the fair lady, who has come to attend a wedding, in buses, a yellow cab, the toy train and the tram. Her journey in Bengal is matched to score with a Bong background laced in baul tunes and sounds of the Shehnai, with the lilting tunes of Tagore accentuating the ebb and flow of a sojourn. (IANS)

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

 

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State Honours For Sridevi’s Funeral, Procession Is Among Largest Recorded In Mumbai

Maharashtra government accorded full state honors for the funeral of Sridevi

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The other big funerals of non-political personalities in Mumbai included those of Raj Kapoor (June 1988) and Vinod Khanna (April 2017). IANS

Several lakhs turned up to join a long procession — among the largest in recent times — to mark the final journey of actress Sridevi which started near her residence to a crematorium in Vile Parle on Wednesday afternoon.

A tall, open truck, fully decorated with white flowers — her favorite color — carried her body which was first draped in the national tricolor and then loaded in a glass casket, as cries of �Sridevi Amar Rahe’ rent the air among her fans.

Maharashtra government accorded full state honors for the funeral of Sridevi — who was conferred a Padma Shri in 2013, which included draping her body in the national tricolor, elaborate arrangements by the Mumbai Police and a gun salute before the cremation.

ALSO READ: Dubai Police: Famous Bollywood Actress Sridevi Died from Drowning

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Her grieving family members including husband Boney Kapoor, her step-son Arjun Kapoor and brothers-in-law Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Kapoor were among those who traveled in the truck with the body. Wikimedia Commons

Inside the truck was Sridevi lying serenely with full make-up, a large south Indian style vermillion and wearing a ceremonial gold and maroon colored Kanjeevaram sari. A heavy, large necklace adorned her since she died an �suhaagan’ (still married), giving the appearance of a resplendent �devi’ (Goddess) in deep slumber.

The truck slowly negotiated the approximately six km passing through some of the poshest areas of Andheri and Vile Parle suburbs, with a massive portrait of Sridevi visible from a distance.

Several lakhs of people including students, office-goers, and others accompanied or waited on both side of the roads, looked on from buildings and bungalow terraces. Many climbed on signals and lamp posts for the last glimpse of their beloved heroine.

In terms of sheer numbers, Sridevi’s funeral is estimated to have attracted the highest number of mourners, ranking on par with the previous biggest funeral processions of the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi (July 1980: around a million mourners), and India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna (July 2012: a little less than a million mourners).

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The procession was led by several family members, close relatives, friends and even neighbors of the Green Acres society where the family lived in Lokhandwala Complex. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Sridevi’s daughter Jhanvi Kapoor all set to debut in Bollywood

Among the prominent personalities who attended the funeral in Vile Parle were Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Randhir Kapoor and others who came to bid a final goodbye to Sridevi.

Sridevi’s daughters Janhvi and Khushi Kapoor performed the final rituals before the body was consigned to the flames with husband Boney standing nearby.

Earlier, since dawn, thousands of teary-eyed fans and admirers of the late actress, many carrying flowers, had queued up outside the Celebration Sports Club at Lokhandwala Complex for a final �darshan’ of their idol.

After the flower-bedecked body was brought to the club premises a steady stream of celebrities came in their vehicles and was whisked inside to pay their last respects.

Among the early callers seen were Rekha, Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, Arbaaz Khan, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Akshaye Khanna, Tabu, Farah Khan, Nitin Mukesh, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vidya Balan, Sushmita Sen, Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Madhur Bhandarkar, Deepika Padukone, Sanjay Leela Bhandsali, Jackie Shroff, Farhan Akhtar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan, John Abraham, Ajay Devgn and Kajol, Anupam Kher and Sulabha Arya, among others.

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In the past four days since her demise, the Kapoor household had witnessed a steady stream of visitors including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Krishna Raj Kapoor. Wikimedia Commons

ALSO READ: Janhvi’s Onscreen Mom Worried About Sridevi’s Daughters

Most of the visitors on Wednesday were sporting dark sunglasses to ward off the harsh early-summer glare, carrying flowers or small bouquets, embraced and consoled the bereaved family members, entering from the main entrance and leaving quickly from the other side as fans tried to catch a glimpse.

Sridevi’s body was flown to Mumbai from Dubai where she passed away following an accidental drowning in a bathtub in her hotel room around 11 pm on February 24, and from the airport was taken to the Kapoor residence in Green Acres.

Meanwhile, Green Acres housing society on Wednesday canceled Holi celebrations as a mark of respect for Sridevi.

For the final journey, at the club and the crematorium, the Mumbai Police implemented elaborate security arrangements at various venues and arranged special traffic and crowd management measures. (IANS)