Getting regional can be fun. At the Cannes in May, it was about two gorgeous Mangalore-origin girls that drew accolades for India. Show-stealer Aishwarya Rai has been there, done that, many a time before. Show-stopper Deepika Padukone, though, was making her Cannes debut, and did she dazzle, or what?
Some say, the much younger Deepika may even have stolen the thunder from her far more illustrious colleague. And how!

Deepika did what Aishwarya should have done long before—she walked the red carpet in a resplendent saree designed by Delhi’s Rohit Bal. It drew immense applause from the cognoscenti, and instantly turned the heat on Aishwarya who had been shy of making appearances in the traditional Indian dress. After walking two days in stylish gowns that appeared not to go too well with her bouffant hairstyle, Aishwarya finally let the cloak of inhibition slip from her shoulders, and went for the saree. Immediately, she drew the world’s attention on herself, in a manner only she can. The accolades were back, but credit Deepika for having played a part.

While Deepika was born in Copenhagen, her family hails from Mangalore. Aishwarya, on the other hand, was born in this vibrant, coastal city. Now Mumbai is home for the two lovely ladies. Mangalore, take a bow.

June 2010

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