Home India News Once again, the Amitabh factor

Once again, the Amitabh factor

By Minu Jain, IANS,

Sharm-el-Sheikh : There is really no getting away from Bollywood, of course. Indians everywhere are identified with the heroes of the silver screen but Egyptians here are steadfastly loyal to only one man — Amitabh Bachchan — and insist that age is no factor.

Walk down the market, enter a bank or step into a shop. The first question is whether you are Indian and the next is a bland statement — simply Amitabh Bachchan. Mention Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan or whoever, and the response is a “who cares” shrug.

And they are up to date as well, with one curious customer at a bank in a hotel asking whether the aging star had recovered after his hospital stay.

He might be 60 plus, his angry young man days way behind him and doing grandfather roles. But Amitabh Bachchan rules. And how!


Resort town defined

If ever there was a resort town, this is it. To the casual visitor, just a series of resorts strung together by empty roads with the Red Sea gently lapping the coastline.

The Egyptian town on the tip of the Sinai peninsula is clearly the playground of the rich with humongous resorts tucked into the deep recesses of its bleak, desert landscape. An artificial construct instead of a city that has evolved over the decades.

Even the “old market” is a picturesque, pretty square with tiled streets, hookah bars and souvenir shops, all carefully designed to attract the tourist.

Where are the locals, many visitors to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit were heard asking.


Indefatigable PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s energy levels never fail to amaze. The peripatetic leader came back from the G8 summit in Italy early on a Saturday morning, was home for barely 48 hours before he took to the skies Monday afternoon to fly to Paris and then here for the NAM summit. And now, he has advanced his departure to reach Delhi by about 3 a.m., instead of at about 6 a.m.

All this to ensure a full working day on Friday, no doubt. Never a moment of rest for this prime minister.