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SRK, Madhuri wow crowds at hockey event launch

Superstar Shah Rukh praises Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and says he feels humbled

By Subhashish Mohanty in Bhubaneswar
  • Published 28.11.18, 12:18 AM
  • Updated 28.11.18, 12:18 AM
  • 2 mins read
Madhuri Dixit and various artistes perform at the inaugural ceremony of the 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

The atmosphere at the Kalinga Stadium was electrifying as the Badshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan made his entry into the arena dressed in a black coat and sitting on a chariot.

He entered the stadium cheered by the 15,000 strong crowd who had come to catch every moment of the inaugural ceremony of the 14th Men’s Hockey World Cup here on Tuesday.

Doing the talking, Khan was all praise for the state and its chief minister Naveen Patnaik for organising the world cup.

“I feel humbled and would like to thank all of you for having me here. Sports connects humanity and let us rejoice on this platform,” he said.

The other highlight of the opening ceremony was team captains being invited onto the stage by anchor Gaurav Kapoor.

Each captain was escorted by a tribal boy to the stage to show that hockey is deeply rooted in state’s tribal culture.

World’ top 16 hockey playing nations will fight with each other from Wednesday to lift the coveted cup.

The final match of the championship will be held on December 16.

After Naveen announced the show open, cultural programmes began to roll out to showcase the rich cultural heritage of India and Odisha.

The colourful venue with an attractive stage had musical maestro A.R. Rahman and Bollywood diva Madhuri Dixit performing and setting the stage on fire with their energy.

Sky lit up: Fireworks at the inaugural ceremony.
Sky lit up: Fireworks at the inaugural ceremony. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

The crowd frenzy was unbelievable when Oscar and Grammy award-winning music composer Rahman performed the “Dil se” song.

He also sang “Jai Hind, Jai India”, which has been specially written for the event by lyricist-poet Gulzar and set to tune by Rahman. Both Naveen and SRK, as well as the gathering, were left mesmerised by Rahman’s musical magic.

Rahman held the crowd in a musical daze for nearly 45 minutes. With a heady mix of music, visual arts, psychedelic lights and sounds, Rahman had his finger on audience’s pulse. The stage was set up with battery of laser lights that added energy to the live performance.

He had brought with him a supremely talented orchestra band.

Earlier, Madhuri performed the dance ballet titled “The Earth Song”, which spoke about the “Oneness of Humanity”.

With Shiamak Davar and Odissi exponent Aruna Mohanty choreographing, around 1,200 artistes wearing colourful dresses presented various dance forms including classical, jazz, ballet, Odissi, Mohiniyattam and Kathak. Odia stars Sabyasachi and Archita Sahu were also part of the performing team.

The ceremony came to an end with a spectacular firecracker show.