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Stars glitter at charity auction


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Bollywood actor Salman Khan joked on stage, theatre exponent Lillete Dubey showed her new act "Zen Katha" and former cricketer Kapil Dev urged the audience to be generous, as former British prime minister John Major smiled on the front row at a charity art auction.

Download Shaadi Karke Phas Gaya Yaar WallpapersThe auction of 50 canvases was held at the lawns of the residence of the British High Commissioner in India Michael Arthur to raise funds for Khushii, a charity for underprivileged children late on Thursday night.

"I am here to do my bit," said Khan, in a full-sleeve blue T-shirt, jeans and a brown fur-lined jacket. "We sometimes forget that we have a greater responsibility. But we never should and especially children are so precious."

Khan mingled with the children of Khushii (Kinship for Humanitarian Social and Holistic Intervention in India) and posed for photographs. "This is wonderful," he said. "The only thing wrong about this whole programme is me," the star laughed and winked.

Socialites and businessmen, including IT entrepreneur Shiv Nadar and his wife, sat on satin chairs, with red satin bows tied on them, in the event that stretched almost till midnight.

The paintings were arranged in the garden before the auction for guests to look at them up close, as liveried waiters carried canapés and drinks around.

The 90-minute play was about the life of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen and the martial arts, complete with Buddhist chants and extensive martial arts exercise by the actors of Dubey's Primetime Theatre Company.

After the performance, Khan came onto the stage and aped the martial arts movements of the actors to the cheers and laughter of the audience.

When the first painting was unveiled, Khan looked at it for a long time and then took the mike. "Wow, this is cool. What is it?" he grinned. "Now I know why you need me to sell these paintings, if this is what the best artists in the country are producing..." he laughed.

The most expensive painting at the auction was Man Dreaming And Animals by veteran artist Manjit Bawa, which was priced between Rs.700,000-900,000.

"Tonight, when you buy the paintings, think for a moment that this is not just another collectors bid for you. This is to help give a roof over the heads of so many children."


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