Bandra Railway Station now has its own postal stamp in honor of completing 130 years, thus marking its heritage status. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan did the honours at a special function, largely attended by invitees and thousands of others there specifically to see King Khan.
The event took place last Friday afternoon and the police had a hard time managing the crowds, surely the largest for the release of a postage stamp anywhere in the world! Accompanied by Minister of School Education and Junior Collee Ashish Shelar, as well as the Chief Postmaster General of Maharashtra, H.C. Agrawal, Khan was taken ceremoniously into the station premises, as thousands of fans crowded the foot over bridge to catch a glimpse. Milling crowds also occupied the ground beneath the bridge, as five inspectors and 50 policemen struggled to keep the restive crowd in check.
Western railway chief spokesperson, Ravinder Bhakar, said the Bandra Railway station was “once considered the gateway to Bollywood” for the large number of film personalities living in this posh locality considered the queen of the suburbs. Shah Rukh Khan’s home Mannat, facing the Arabian Sea, near the Taj Lands End hotel, is a huge draw for tourists
Speaking on the occasion, the popular film star said, “I have romanced many girls on railway stations, but I have never been to this station, so I am very happy to be here. Now, that I have seen this station, I will come back”.
He also spoke of his passion for writing letters and how it has slowly faded away with the emergence of online texting and the internet. “There is a certain romance to the writing and receiving of letters, he added to applause.
The ceremony comprised the official unveiling of the stamp which shows the façade of the station against a sepia background. According to Wikipedia, “The charm of this station is in its station building and canopy. Sloping Mangalore tiled roofing, a spacious layout and its Grecian facade add to the beauty.” The station itself has been carefully and extensively restored over the years.
The 53-year-old actor proved both good-natured and generous with his time, greeting his fans with folded hands and chatting, before getting back into his car and driving away. Before he did, he encouraged others to use the postal stamps, thereby doing his bit for letter writing.
Written by Journalism students: Annet Anetraj, Samara Fernandes, Ananya Endow
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