The venue was Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the most important Mumbai landmarks and the evening was dedicated to King Khan. The French Minister for Foreign Affairs & International Development H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius had come all the way to Bollywood to confer on Shah Rukh Khan his nation’s civilian honor Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur. Chevalier (Knight), the start-up rank in the Légion d'Honneur, the highest civilian awards of France, is conferred for ‘minimum 20 years of public service or 25 years of professional activity’.
However, what overjoyed the French guests sitting in the audience was when SRK spoke a few lines in French such as ‘merci beaucoup’ (thank you very much). They lustily cheered him after his brief French speech. And then came the humor part of it. He said that he had written those lines in Hindi to be able to read them and speak in French. He called it as a fine example of Indo-French cooperation. He also wished the French football team victory in the World Cup and said Sab ki vaat laga do’ (Beat them hollow).
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)