Yash Raj celebrates 572 weeks of DDLJ

MUMBAI: Shah Rukh Khan – Kajol starrer Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which was released on 20 October, 1995, has run for a record 572 weeks. A formal dinner held in Mumbai on 3 October to celebrate the same, witnessed the wh’s who of Bollywood in full attendance.


The reception, graced by Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, as chief guest and Switzerland Tourism Board Member Marco Solari as guest of honour, was to felicitate Yash Chopra’s blockbuster DDLJ’s unit for the successful running of their film for 500+ weeks.


It was hosted by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Mumbai and Switzerland Tourism and saw mementos being presented by the two luminaries to the movie’s director and his executive producer wife, Yash and Pamela Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol and Lata Mangeshkar.


Mandira Bedi, Farida Jalal, Anupam Kher, Satish Shah, Parmeet Sethi and Achala Sachdev completed the awardees’ list. A moment of poignancy reigned when the awards for the late Anand Bakshi and late Amrish Puri were collected by their sons.


Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, among the numerous films to be shot in the scenic locales of Switzerland, was the first blockbuster Hindi film to feature non-resident Indians. The invitation for the evening – a letter from Raj to Simran – revolved around the story of the two teenagers falling in love with each other.


This National Award winning film, directed by Aditya Chopra, is to date certainly the biggest love story to be shot on foreign locales. The connection between the record of over non-stop 500 weeks from its release – incidentally, on the 25th anniversary of Yash Raj Films (October 1995) – and blissful Switzerland seemed romantically destined.


The guests were welcomed by the Ambassador of Switzerland in India, Dominique Dreyer and the Consul General in Mumbai, Josef W. Eisele. Delegates from Switzerland Tourism, Urs Eberhard, Executive VP, and Federico Sommaruga, Director-India were the other hosts.


Citing the example of Switzerland as the best place to fall in love, Solari said, “The film industry is the most important face of Swiss Tourism in India and we are pleased to be associated with Yash Chopra, who single-handedly brought Switzerland to Indian movie screens. No one has single-handedly done as much as him to showcase the natural beauty of Switzerland in this sub-continent.”


The Ambassador of Switzerland had an inter-cultural metaphor to add, “They say that in Hindi films, the violence takes place in India whereas the romance blossoms in Switzerland. To reverse this trend, this evening, Switzerland – the Dilwala, has come courting the Indian film fraternity, the Dulhaniya! The baraat of the important Swiss dignitaries present here today simply underlines the importance my Government accords to the Indian film industry.”


Yash Chopra’s Romance with Switzerland, a short film reminiscing the producer-director’s love affair with the scenic country set the tone of the evening followed by Shiamak Davar leading his troupe to set the stage on fire with a high energy interpretation of the musical hits of DDLJ.


Cyril Jost, from Film Location Switzerland, had flown in from Switzerland to announce the scouting trips for Indian producers on new shooting locations in SwitzerlandEberhard said, “We have an office here which can provide information on locations in destination Switzerland to any film maker from India.”


Besides the DDLJ awardees, other personalities spotted at this event included members of the film producer fraternity Mukesh Bhatt, Vashu Bhagnani, Boney Kapoor accompanied with his wife, Sridevi, Bipasha Basu, Nitin Mukesh, Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu and Mumtaz.


Mumbai’s business world was represented by Mahendra Sanghi, Simone Tata, Gautam Singhania, S. Ramadorai and Ashok Hinduja.