US President Barack Obama’s sign off talk at Town Hall on Tuesday before flying to Riyadh had a slice of a Bollywood romantic drama which he even used to send a social message.
In his last engagement at the Siri Fort Auditorium here, Obama charmed about 2,000 students, activists, scholars among others with his fairly impressive acquaintance of Bollywood when he quoted the 1995 blockbuster “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” to recall that the US first couple did bhangra in Mumbai during their last visit in 2010.
“We were not able to schedule any dance on this visit. ‘Senorita, bade bade deshon mein...you know what I mean’,” Obama said in heavy accented Hindi, leaving the audience unable to hide their glee.
The dialogue was rendered by Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan in the movie starring opposite Kajol that had the catch line – “Come fall in love”, which seemed to have underlined the three-day diplomatic engagement between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Obama.
After that, Obama switched over from reel life anecdote to draw main character Shah Rukh Khan’s name for reminding the country about its secular ethos. “Every Indian should celebrate the success of Shah Rukh Khan, Mary Kom and Milkha Singh equally, not by colour of skin or worship,” he said, which was interpreted as rebuke for fringe hindutva elements trying flare up communal passions.
Khan took to Twitter to humbly respond: “Proud 2 b part of the gender & religion equality speech of Pres. Obama. Sad he couldn't do the Bhangra...next time Chaiyya Chaiyya for sure.”
As the US first couple boarded Air Force One on Tuesday afternoon, Modi used the same repartee in his goodbye tweets: “As for the rainy day yesterday, as you yourself said @WhiteHouse today morning, Bade Bade Deshon Mein... :)”