The Mumbai serial blasts took place just about an hour before the Bachchan family was to attend the felicitation ceremony of the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters (French Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) at the Taj Palace on Wednesday. Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan, who was to be conferred with the title, refused the honour. This is the second time Rai-Bachchan has refused the award — the first was in 2008 due to her father’s illness.
Flanked by husband Abhishek Bachchan, Farooq Abdullah, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, and French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont, Rai Bachchan — her baby bump hidden behind her sari — requested the French Ambassador to postpone the event. “We’re obviously very shocked and saddened by the blasts in Mumbai. This isn’t the moment of celebration and honour and, thus, my family and I thought it would be correct to request the French Ambassador to postpone this event. We would not be going a long with the celebration as originally planned,” said Rai-Bachchan.