Bollywood diva Aishwarya Rai’s association with the city’s photographers goes a long way back and the camaraderie was evident when she came as the chief guest of an exhibition by the photographers. “I was at my annual event which I celebrate on my father’s birthday and there was someone who invited me to come for this event and I agreed immediately. And there, right next to the guy inviting, was this man quietly putting out his phone camera and shooting. I asked what are you doing? And he replied, ‘Yes, I am taking confirmation that you have agreed to come,” laughs Aishwarya Rai on the sidelines of the Mumbai Moments 2018, an exhibition by press photographers from Mumbai. “I want to know who he is?” she chuckles.
Interestingly Aishwarya Rai spoke in Marathi when she started addressing the gathering with a new year greeting, “Saglyanna 2019cha shubecha!” and then went on to thank the organisers for getting her homemade food as a gift. “Hana, puran poli aahe. Saglya maahit aahe mala, (Yes they are puran polis, I am aware of everything,” she says exhibiting a lot of camaraderie and bonhomie with the shutterbugs.
Interestingly Aishwarya’s picture of her coming back after winning the Miss World crown was also a part of the exhibit and she couldn’t help comment about her 23-year-old association with the photographers.
“It’s been so many years; over two decades and we have been a part of it all. You have been quietly recording these moments, patiently waiting and sometimes impatiently making sure we get it. That’s our life together has been intertwined,” she says.