Aishwarya Rai Bachchan talks films, Cannes and more with Francois Hollande

Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is said to have had a “hospitable” experience when she met French President Francois Hollande at a special luncheon in New Delhi on Tuesday (January 26), looking radiant and ravishing in a red Banarasi sari.

Their conversation ranged from talking about movies to her experiences at Cannes, a guest at the lunch told IANS, adding that Hollande even made Aishwarya join him at his table.

“The French president was very warm,” the insider said.

Aishwarya, who has been in the midst of shooting her new film “Sarbjit”, took out time from her busy schedule to attend the lunch, which was hosted by French Ambassador Francois Richier.

The former beauty queen, a past recipient of the prestigious ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’, a civilian award by the French government, was the only Indian actor to be present.

Hollande attended the lunch following his appearance at the country’s colourful Republic Day parade on Rajpath as the chief guest.

Other guests at the lunch included designers Ritu Beri, who has earlier received the Chevalier Des Arts et Des Lettres award, one of the highest civilian awards by the French government, for her contribution to the enrichment of Indo-French cultural relations; and Manish Arora, who shares a deep connect with Paris, the source said.

There were other politicians and businessmen at the gala.

Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has chosen an elegant look in a red designer Banarasi silk sari to wear for a special lunch with French President Francois Hollande in Delhi on Tuesday (January 26).

Richier has invited the 42-year-old actress for the lunch, which Hollande will attend following his appearance at the country’s colourful Republic Day parade on Rajpath as the chief guest.

Aishwarya, all ready for the lunch, looks ravishing in red in an image shared by her publicist.

The sari that Aishwarya has worn is from designer duo Swati and Sunaina, and made in Banaras — age-old weavers from where are poised for a facelift courtesy Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Woven with fine mulberry silk and zari made from pure silver threads dipped in gold, the sari is called ‘mehraab’ after the shape of the ‘buta’ that is woven across the six-yard wonder. What’s special is that only natural fibres and eco-friendly dyeing has been used in the making of this sari, and it is woven using the ‘kadhuwa’ technique, a source close to the designers, told IANS. It’s only perfectly suited that Aishwarya chose a creation that’s deeply rooted in Indian technique and craft to meet the president of France, a country that she’s had a great connect with for long. Apart from being a regular at the Cannes International Film Festival, where the first look of “Jazbaa” — her comeback film post pregnancy — was launched last year, Aishwarya has been a recipient of the prestigious ‘Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters’, a civilian award by the French government. An actress who has featured in Bollywood films like “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”, “Dhoom 2”, “Guru” and “Devdas”, Aishwarya is also an ambassador of French cosmetics and beauty company L’Oral Paris, for which she recently starred in an ad with Eva Longoria. In fact, she even shot for her international film “Pink Panther 2” in Paris.