By MARCELLUS BAPTISTA
The magic of the movies came alive at the Hollywood-themed evening presented by the US Consulate General Mumbai to celebrate the 239th anniversary of US Independence at Taj Lands End.
Guest of honour and iconic Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan and chief guest Sumit Mullick, Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary and Chief Protocol Officer, joined US Consul General in Mumbai Tom Vajda to mark this special occasion.
Consul General Vajda, reflecting upon the achievements of the US-India relationship during the past year, said, “The many high-level exchanges, including President Obama’s visit to India for the Republic Day celebrations, served to deepen the US-India partnership on a wide range of issues. I have seen some of the progress firsthand right here in western India – from American companies opening new factories to ‘Make in India’ to the United States serving as a partner country in Vibrant Gujarat for the first time, to a record surge in visa applications by Indians travelling to the United States. I am confident the US-India relationship will thrive based on our strong people-to-people ties and shared values.”
Amitabh Bachchan called the holiday an auspicious occasion and praised its Hollywood theme, saying, “Cinema to me has always been a great integrator of communities. The box office does not discriminate based on caste, creed, or colour.”
The ceremony featured a Colour Guard presentation by the US Marines in honour of Independence Day, followed by the Indian and US National Anthems.
In keeping with the Hollywood theme, guests were treated to a red carpet entrance to the venue and enjoyed décor of classic and current US movies. Pepping up the proceedings was music by the band Flypsyde with Schubert Vaz (keyboard and backing vocals), Gloria Menezes (lead vocals), Desmond Taylor (bass guitar and lead male vocals), Savio Braganza (lead guitar and lead vocals), Shyam Raaj (tenor saxophone and flute) and Ivon Cardozo (acoustic drums).
The cheer was on at the many bars with Gentlemen Jack from the Jack Daniel’s stable and Hollywood-inspired Skyy vodka cocktails. And to balance your diet there were food stations all around.
Yes, it was an affair to remember.