It was a big day for the industrial city of Ludhiana as actress Aishwarya Rai came to inaugurate the 52nd store of Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers.
As thousands of fans mobbed the actress, she was about to fall due to heavy rush. Angry, Aishwarya Rai cancelled her media briefing and left the store disappointed.
However, in a brief chat with Ludhiana Newsline, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan said: "This is my maiden visit to Ludhiana and I am overwhelmed seeing love of the people here."
Earlier, however, she was greeted by thousands of fans on the Rani Jhansi road, and she thanked all for their love and support to not only her but also to her husband Abhishek, father-in-law Amitabh and daughter Aaradhya.
I am deeply obliged to be here. I really thank people for their love and support, she said while addressing the fans outside the showroom.
Aishwarya landed at the Chandigarh Airport on Saturday night and then stayed at J W Mariott hotel. She caught a chartered flight to reach Ludhiana and landed at Sahnewal airport, around 20 km from Ludhiana. However, she preferred to leave her daughter Aaradhya back in the hotel room.
Along with Aishwarya Rai, the man of the moment was T S Kalyanaraman, owner of the Kalyan group, who along with his family flew from Kerala for the store inauguration.
This is the second store of Kalyan Jewellers in Punjab after Mohali which was inaugurated by cricketer Yuvraj Singh.
While Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria was seen bonding with Aishwarya Rai and was introduced to her by Kalyanaraman himself, it was the fan fever which was at the peak.
Ashok Kumar, a city-based artist presented Aishwarya Rai with a pencil sketch of her and Aaradhya.
"This has been made in three days and with the special pencils from Germany to give them a look of a real photograph," said Ashok who for the past 15 years has been making portraits of Amitabh Bachchan as a fan.