By Subhash K Jha
Feb 3, 2010 (Sampurn Wire): On Tuesday Katrina Kaif won herself more fans. The minute she stepped on to the stage with Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar at Patna’s Shri Krishna Memorial Auditorium the crowds roared.
And with reason. Katrina spoke in the local dialect Bhojpuri to the audience and the media gathered for the inauguration of her director Prakash Jha’s news channel. From the time she landed in Patna Katrina rehearsed her Bhojpuri lines for the evening.
That masterstroke did it. Says a source at the venue, “The minute Katrina stepped on the stage Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar could be seen feeling uncomfortable. Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari who was also on stage went pale when Katrina broke into Bhojpuri.”
The Chief Minister in fact mumbled on stage that his presence was not required with Katrina around.
Prakash Jha admits it wasn’t easy coaching Katrina to speak a few line in Bhojpuri. “But it worked, and how. Katrina had the whole of Bihar eating out of her hands. It was so unexpected from someone who has the reputation of barely managing her Hindi,” chuckles Jha.
On Tuesday afternoon Katrina along with her ‘Rajneeti’ co-stars Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai flew into Patna in a private jet hired by Prakash Jha. They headed straight from the airport to Jha’s residence in the suburbs. As soon as news spread that Katrina was visiting Jha’s residence hundreds of fans from Patna and the outskirts gathered around the house.
Says Prakash, “Katrina had no idea of her popularity in Bihar. She has a very deep connect with audiences. She has the kind of image that Hema Malini has. Not one cheap remark, no jostling crowds, no. They now call her Bihar Ki Beti.”
Katrina, Arjun and Manoj flew back to Mumbai late Tuesday night. Prakash Jha intends to hold the premiere of ‘Rajneeti’ in Patna instead of Mumbai. He’ll fly the who’s who of Mumbai to Patna for the occasion.