Amid loud Punjabi drum beats, firecrackers going off and squeals of joy from the eager audience, Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone descended at a shopping mall here from a huge hot air balloon to promote their action-adventure film Chandni Chowk To China, releasing Friday.
Thousands of fans who had been waiting for hours to catch a glimpse of the two stars went ballistic when they arrived Thursday evening. Kids, teenagers, men and women ran forward to wave out to Deepika and Akshay, who reciprocated with equal enthusiasm.
"I came here sometime back too. At that time about 100-200 people came to see me. And today, I see almost 5,000 people here. I am so overwhelmed. I have no words to say or describe how good I feel," Akshay said at the event held at the Ambience Mall here.
On her experience of travelling in a hot air balloon, Deepika said: "Though it was nothing compared to the stunts we have done in the film, it was quite a distinct way of arriving for the film's promotion and it was fun."
Co-produced by Ramesh Sippy Entertainment, People Tree Films and Hollwyood-based studio Warner Bros, Chandni Chowk... is about an Indian cook, Sidhu, played by Akshay, who goes to China and is mistaken for a martial arts expert. Deepika plays Akshay's love interest.
The film has attracted attention for its daredevil action sequences that have been choreographed by international action director Dee Dee Ku.
It is being aggressively promoted across the world and after grand international premieres in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London, Bangkok, Dubai, the lead actors and director Nikhil Advani came here with this unique promotional gimmick of flying in a hot air balloon.
"The crowd here is phenomenal. It makes my heart beat faster and makes me realise that we have to live up to the expectations of these thousands of people who came here and lots of others too. We have a huge responsibility on our shoulders," Advani told reporters.