It was raining Bollywood and Southern stars in the UAE on 26 December as Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Manju Warrier, Nagarjuna and Prabhu were here to launch Kalyan Jewellers' new stores across the country.
It was a busy day for the celebs from start to finish as they inaugurated Kalyan Jewellers' new stores in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Amitabh Bachchan launched the store in Meena Bazaar, Bur Dubai accompanied by Manju Warrier while Aishwarya did the same for the store at Damascus Street, opposite Grand Hotel, Al Qusais. Earlier, Prabhu and Manju Warrier had launched the store at Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi; Al Ghuwair, Rolla Square, Sharjah and in Karama Park, Karama, Dubai. Meanwhile, Nagarjuna and Manju Warrier launched the store at Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai.
Finally, all the stars gathered at Dubai World Trade Centre in the evening and post a performance by Shankar Mahadevan (he sang Southern numbers as well as his hits from Dil Chahta Hai to Rock On!), here's what they had to say....
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, dressed in a glittering golden traditional outfit, said: "I congratulate the Kalyan family on such a grand opening. It's an honour to be with this family. They uphold values and traditions and they think about consumers. That is very close to my heart. Also, thank you all for your good wishes for my family: for my husband and Aaradhya. Happy New Year to you in advance."
Amitabh Bachchan was his usual eloquent self on stage. He said: "I am very humbled by everyone's love and affection. The amount of progress Dubai and the UAE have made is nothing short of miraculous, I am amazed by it. My association with endorsements has been for several years now. By far the most unique is the endorsement of Kalyan Jewellers. What they provide buyers as retailers is great. That's why they are close to my heart. They follow a certain philosophy based on a lot of trust, integrity and honesty. It was wonderful to bring all of us together on the same platform in this disintegrating world. Cinema is an integrating factor and I'm proud to be part of this cinema. I hope you will go and contribute liberally to this brand."
Nagarjuna said: "I learnt a lot about gold and jewellery through Kalyan only. They taught me not to get fooled while buying jewellery. Their service is exceptional, the campaign is incredible. Even in my movies they don't show me the way they've shown me in the ads."
Nagarjuna also revealed that he is such a huge Big B fan that he once did something rather silly. "Once we were shooting for a movie together and Mr Bachchan knocked on my door. I was so excited to meet him that I opened the door without realizing that I wasn't even wearing a shirt."
Southern star Prabhu added, "Never in my life did I think that I would stand next to Mr Bachchan, thanks to Kalyan Jewellers."
Manju Warrier spoke entirely in Malayalam, which we don't speak and couldn't follow!