The iconic Barabati Stadium reverberated with Oscar-winning music director AR Rahman’s soulful renditions during the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup celebrations event on Wednesday.
But, it was Bollywood superstar Salman Khan who stole the show. The heartthrob of Indian cinema greeted thousands of his fans in Odia, “Namaskar. Mu tumaku bhala paaye. Baliyatra kemiti chalichhi.”
For fans of ‘Bhaijaan’, it was worth the wait as Salman heaped praises on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. “I heard CM Naveen Patnaik has four pairs of ‘Pyjama’ and two pairs of ‘Kolapuri chappal’. I am impressed with his simple lifestyle,” he said. The superstar said he is eagerly looking forward to Cuttack’s famous snack ‘Dahi bara Alu Dum’.
There was more in store for Salman fans as their ‘Bhaijaan’ crooned ‘Pehli baar mile hain’ from Saajan.
Earlier, the Chief Minister felicitated India’s Class of 1975, the only group of players to have won the World Cup for the country. “I welcome the 1975 Indian Hockey World Cup team and hope their presence will inspire everyone,” Naveen said.
Music maestro Rahman too enthralled the 35,000 strong audiences with his 70-member troupe as he began his concert with ‘Nadan Parindey Ghar Aja’. He then moved on to other hits like ‘Muqabala Muqabala, ‘Dil Se’ and Tere Bina Beswaadi Beswaadi Ratiyaan’. The event concluded with Gulzar’s Hockey World Cup anthem ‘Jai Hind Hind, Jai India’.
The Chief Minister felicitated Rahman and Salman with silver filigree miniature Hockey mementoes made by national awardee differently-abled craftsman Pankaj Sahoo.