iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Saeed Khan , Hindustan Times
Indore, October 12, 2012
Will the country's most famous baritone boom out at the historic Rajwada on Republic Day? The suspense surrounding the issue is worthy of a Bollywood potboiler.

Nearly a month ago, officials announced that legendary superstar Amitabh Bachchan would anchor a son et lumiere (sound and light) programme on Malwa history at Rajwada, slated to begin from January 26, 2013.

Now, however, it turns out that the announcement was made unilaterally and AB, who turned 70 on Tuesday, is reportedly yet to give his assent for lending his voice for the show.

"The contract for the show has been awarded to a Delhi-based firm. We have told them that we wish to have Amitabh's voice, said an MP State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) official based in Indore. The official's iffy tone is in stark contrast to the definitive declaration made by authorities earlier.

An official communiqué issued after a high-level meet chaired by divisional commissioner Prabhat Parashar on September 19 clearly stated that Big B would anchor the sound and light show. It didn't just stop there. The statement added that attempts would be made to rope in melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, arguably Indore's most famous daughter, to sing the title song.

Indore Development Authority, of which Parashar is the chairman, had sanctioned Rs. 2 crore for the show which would be staged at Rajwada-the erstwhile ruling family's residential palace-the release added.

Mayor KM Moghe, MPSTDC managing director Raghvendra Singh, district collector Akash Tripathi and IDA chief executive officer Dipak Singh were among those present at the meet.