When a man like Amitabh Bachchan takes time out of his busy schedule and travels all the way to the iconic Jehangir Art Gallery in Colaba, you know that the show will be one worthy of applause. Such was the case on a balmy Tuesday evening, when the elegance personified couple, Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan graced the occasion that marked Dilip de’s debut as an artist at the preview of his show, “Celebration of Love” An Exhibition of Digital Art .
Looking resplendent in a white kurta, Amitabh radiated warmth while Jaya added to his charm in an orange ensemble with a smile that lit up her eyes when she met with Dilip and Shobhaa De. The camaraderie between the De’s and the Bachchan’s was evident when Amitabh made a heart warming speech.
Bachchan stated that, “Mr De and I go way back 50 years in Kolkata when I met a calm, sweet man working at Mckinsey and to this day, his demeanor remains just the same. Then I when I came into the film industry after many years, on an occasion that I was being trashed by his wife on the print media, I decided to meet with her and perhaps ask for forgiveness for whatever I had done, she very kindly gave an invitation to their beautiful home and that is the time I noticed a lot of art in their house. I asked Shobha is she had been collecting all these works and she said no, its all Dilip’s vision and its entirely his doing. What amazes me at this exhibition today is that all these works are done on a mobile phone and that is amazing. I have suddenly developed a lot of respect for my Samsung! I must now go and check if I can create all these works on my phone as well. Anyways, Dilip this is truly inspiring for people, to know that now one can create art on a mobile phone, people keep taking photographs on their phones but I have never seen this before and many congratulations to you and may you have more success with this lovely show.”
Shobha de’s daughters, Avantika Kilachand, Arundhati De, Anandita Dethen presented Mr and Mrs Bachchan with gorgeous white flowers following which Shobhaa gave a short speech. “I am so glad that Mr. and Mrs Bachchan consented to be with us for this special occasion. This is a very special show by a very special man and we are so blessed to have them as friends and to have them here with us. We now tease my husband given his discovery as an artist, none of us refer to him as Dad anymore, we call him The Artist. This is something exceptional that has happened in his life and this is an amazing self-discovery for Dilip. This does not happen by fluke, this is not naive art, this comes from within and it’s amazing to see it all come alive. In the family, we would always get pictures on our mobile phones but since this has happened, we get paintings from Dilip! This is truly a special moment for all of us.”
The man of the hour, artist Dilip De added that, “I feel like my wife has said it all for me! But I would like to add that this show is because I want all to know that Art is omnipresent. Art is everywhere, in the flower market, in a train station, on a busy street, its available to the common man, we just need the vision to see it and capture it. My aim with this show is to make art affordable, to everyone, art should be within reach and should be acquired by all and not viewed as a luxury for the elite. Affordable art is what Celebration of Love is all about and I am honoured to have Mr. and Mrs Bachchan here with this to spread word about the initiative. I would like to thank Samsung, the Cancer Patients Aid Association, my beautiful wife and family for supporting me at every stage through this new journey.”
All proceeds of this exhibition will benefit the Cancer Patients Aid Association helmed by Mr and Mrs Sapru who were also present at the event.
Further, the who’s who of Mumbai was seen at this momentous show like Indu and Ranjit Sahani, Ishita and Raj Salgaonkar, Queenie Singh, Rouble Nagi, Rashmi Uday Singh, Pheroza Godrej, Yash Birla, Bhavna Somaiya, Komal and Rajiv Vazir, Krsna Mehta, Bindu Kapoor with her daughter Radha, Alex Kuruvilla, Anil Dharker, Devita Sarat, Ayaz Memon, Bachi Karkaria, and many more.