The recently released ‘PIKU’ starring Amitabh Bachchan, Irfan Khan and Deepika Padukone was screened in Rashtrapati Bhavan for President Pranab Mukherjee, a Bengali himself and keen to watch the Kolkata-based movie.
Informing about it, Amitabh Bachchan, the lead character in the film, wrote in his blog: “The Honourable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherji, tonight watched ‘PIKU’ and May I say with great reserve of modesty, he absolutely loved it! Most particular he seemed to have enjoyed the ‘perfect’ Bengali-Hindi accent, which he felt was flawless. He later invited us over for dinner and we continued to discuss the film and its merits…”
Explaining about the venue, he said, “The grand halls of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, perhaps the biggest and largest Palace in the world, were a picture of the grace and dignity that such occasions demand. His felicitation to us by the mementoes was remarkable. Greatly indebted to him for having found the time to be with us…”
He added saying, “I absolutely love the protocol of order and designed fan fare that comes along with the Head of the Country, the President. As you begin to approach the massive portals of this majestic building, its sheer magnificence overwhelms you. I may have visited it more than I would imagine, during my early years when we would come to watch films in a small auditorium within the Bhavan; the swimming pool where each summer heat was defeated in the bright cool waters; the many investiture ceremonies, the swearing in ceremonies, personal visits, and on. A joy and privilege. There has since been great improvement in the building of a separate structure that houses all the important cultural activities, and it is a joy to see the President taking personal interest in it …”
“This then is the venue of our screening, much like the screening of ‘Bhootnath Returns’. Screening over the President welcomes us on stage and presents us with a gift that forms the mementoes he presents and then invites us over for dinner, in one of the many ornate halls that this Palace possesses!! It is an honour that cannot be replicated. Thank you Honorary President of India for your time and grace!!!” he added.