Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan on Saturday regaled the audience with smatterings of Bangla at the gala opening of the 24th Kolkata International Film Festival here.
"Mamata di amaar film to na bhalobasi, (Mamata di, you may not love my film)," Khan made an attempt to speak in Bangla.
He jokingly said that last year he was asked to learn some Bengali words and grace the occasion but he is never given any 'intellectual role' to play.
As always, he wooed the audience by shouting 'I love you all' and also called Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee 'beautiful'.
Bachchan inaugurated the event by lighting the ceremonial lamp while Khan released the festival brochure.
Bachchan, who is referred to as the 'Jamai' (son-in-law) as he is married to Bengali actress Jaya Bachchan, began his speech saying, "Manoniyo Mukhyo Montri Mamata Di, Manche uposthit gurujon, saamne boshe apanara amar nijer jon Namashkar (Greetings to Honourable Chief Minister Mamata Di and other dignitaries present on the dais)".
"Abar ese gechi. Mukhyomantrike anaek bar boelchi amake dakbe na. Ar notun kichu bolbar baki nei. Kintu mukhyomantri kathai sonen na. Tai abar ese gechi (I have come again as she doesn't listen. I have requested her not call me as there is nothing left for me to talk about)," Bachchan said in jest.
Coming time and again to KIFF is a big responsibility. He said: "Acchha ei katha ta anek bar boelchi, kintu ingrijite. Ebar banglai bolchi. Mamata di, asha kori ei bar bujhben (I have told her in English all the while, now will ask her in Bengali)."
"Bujhben na? Ar parbo na. Rakkha korun. Aaamar sonar bangle, ami tomai bhalobasi. So cinema is very much apt to Bengal's cultural ethos (You won't understand? it is no more possible. Save me.)," he said.
However, Bachchan then mentioned Rabindranath Tagore's poem Amar Sonar Bangla, Ami tomai Bhalobasi, to reiterate his love for Bengal.