All roads led to Army Stadium as the decked out stage was all set to welcome the ‘King of Bollywood’ Shahrukh Khan on December 10. Countless die-hard fans of the ‘Bollywood Badshah’ waited with bated breath to catch a glimpse of their favourite ‘hero’.
Most of Shahrukh’s Bangladeshi fans are seemingly youngsters. Of them the number of female fans might surpass that of men. They had so far watched Khan’s charismatic performance on the small screen, and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to see him perform live in Dhaka.
The show, titled ‘King Khan Live in Dhaka’ was organised by Antar Showbiz.
A team of performers, which included Bollywood, stars Rani Mukerjee, Arjun Rampal and Isha Koppikar joined Khan in the three-hour live performance.
Bangladeshi singer Parvez opened the show. Parvez started with a high-pitched melancholic rock song “E Jibon Hariye Jaye”.
Chairman of Antar Showbiz, Swapan Chowdhury with his wife Nasreen Chowdhury, took the stage and delivered speeches.
A visual presentation featuring Bollywood actress Isha Koppikar was on next. The performance featured dances routines from films “Qayamat” and “Don” (2006).
Arjun Rampal arrived on stage in style — on a bike. The actor sported a guitar and performed to the song “Rock On” and “Aap Ka Kya Hoga”.
“How is Dhaka? I love you,” Arjun yelled in Bangla. He also said, “Couple of days ago I suffered a back injury, but I had to come to Dhaka. I didn’t want to disappoint you all.”
The ravishing Bengali belle Rani Mukerjee danced to a medley of some hit songs from her films, including “Saathia”, “Hum Tum” and “Shava Shava”.
Dazzling the audience with her cordial smile and girl-next-door charm, Rani spoke to the audience in Bangla and said, “You folks have been supporting me since the beginning of my career. I want your love and support more in the days ahead, so that I deliver better performances.”
Silence prevailed as footage of Shahrukh Khan went on the screen. Khan with his entourage of performers appeared on stage at 8:47pm. The mega-star performed a segue of hits — “Love Mera Hit Hit”, “Dard-e Disco” and “Abhi Na Jao Chhor Kar.”
Audiences were chanting “Shahrukh”, “Shahrukh” as he disappeared from stage, leaving them craving for more of the star.
Wearing a white shirt, Khan appeared again on stage after a while and said, “Ami Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman-er deshey Bharatbarsho thekey onek onek bhalobasha aar shubhechcha boye enechhi.”
“I’ve heard of Kazi Nazrul Islam, Jasimuddin. I love Runajee’s (Runa Laila) music. That’s why I’m in Dhaka,” he added.
As per Khan’s request, a couple from the audience joined Khan on stage and interacted with him.
Khan also delivered dialogues from his films “Devdas” and “Baazigar” on the show.
The highlight of the night was a duet by Rani Mukerji and Shahrukh Khan. The performance included “Tujhey Dekha Tho Ye Jana Sanam”, “Tum Paas Aaye”, “Tawba Tumharey Ye Isharey”, “Koi Mil Gaya” and “Mitwa”.
Later, all the artistes performed to the song “Om Shanti Om.” A rendition by Neeraj Shridhar wrapped up the show.
Boishakhi TV aired the event live.
Though several press conferences and features published in newspapers claimed that Shahrukh Khan will vote, and inspire his fans to vote, for the Sundarbans (largest mangrove forest in the world) to be included in the Natural Wonders List, he didn’t do so. The audience did not seem satisfied with the overall management of such a major event. Some fans also misbehaved, disrupting the experience for the rest of the audience.