India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Just let the Bollywood stars be — some IIFA memories


Gauri Khan looks askance at me. She is dressed in white and clutches a shopping bag in either hand. As I move towards her on a street in Amsterdam, she takes a step back and frowns. I don’t take the hint. As I start to mumble something, the wife of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan hurries past me and disappears into an alley.

No, I wasn’t trying to assault her.

AmsterdamThe 2005 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards were being held in Amsterdam and I was a cub reporter let loose in the city of canals .

Celebrities from the Indian film industry had been spotted in the Netherlands and I had been pacing the sunny sidewalks hoping to catch a glimpse.

I have better luck a few minutes later. Chunky Pandey is rummaging through a stack of colourful T-shirts at a shop around the corner. We exchange pleasantries but I don’t harass him further, sensing he wants to be left alone.