India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

IIFA Diary: Notes from Colombo on Day 1


SRILANKA/The first day of the 11th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend has been as chaotic as it has been revealing. From early morning chaos over accreditation and access to venues, by evening it had turned into excitement as the stars starting pouring in for the three-day event.

The centre of the chaos — the Cinnamon Grand hotel has become the ideal ringside location if you want to catch a glimpse of your favourite star and Bollywood crazy Sri Lankans weren’t letting go of any chance. By afternoon, the sprawling lobby of the five-star hotel was packed with eager fans, cameras ready to click and craning their necks to see if any star had arrived yet.

Even the slightest of familiar faces got a cheer from the crowd. However, the most popular star, at least according to an impromptu poll, is Shah Rukh Khan, who will not be making it to the event.

“He is so good-looking,” gushed a volunteer to me. “I wish he would have come.” The Bachchans seem to have been forgotten.