Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Every year at IIFA, people crib about how badly organised the event is but somehow the glitz and glamour of the awards always makes you forget all these unpleasant issues.
Security arrangements at the venue were extremely tight and this led to more than one misunderstanding. Also, guests were left without food or water for the most part of the five-hour-long award show, which ended in the wee hours of the morning.
Believe me, if you have to listen to Shatrughan Sinha go on and on about the unity in the film industry, your patience will run out. And he wasn’t even there to receive an award, merely to give one.
When I left Mumbai for Colombo, I was going to cover a film awards function but two days into IIFA and I can hardly see any “film” in the event. Instead there is politics, business and even cricket, but films are missing from the scene entirely. Is that the way it is supposed to be?
Films were definitely not part of the agenda at the FICCI India Sri Lanka Business Forum on Friday morning, with the focus mainly on promoting bilateral business ties.
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.
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.
The 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 .