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Home arrow Resources arrow Bollywood arrow HAIL IIFA!
HAIL IIFA! Print E-mail

June 10, 2008
by Joyeeta Dutta Ray


Jaya Bachchan Greets the GuestsJune 6th, 2008 will be marked on the calendars for several blessed Indians in Thailand. Bangkok bonded closer with Bollywood. Siam Paragon took on new meaning. Most importantly, the status quo of the Indian community was gloriously defined.

It was clear where you stood.  Either you were an insider, reigning amongst the ‘Cocktail Clan’, or you were an outsider, waiting amongst the ‘Wallet Watchers’, missing out on all the events!

Closer to the green carpet, three further sub divisions within the ‘Cocktail Clan’ was evident. On the periphery hovered the ‘Bollywood Crazy Bigwigs’ - those willing to shelve out the 300 USD per ticket. The second in reckoning were the ‘Movers and Shakers’, the sponsors and VIPs who held their head high with the film personas on the green carpet. Last but not the least was the lucky ‘Contest Winners’, knighted with ‘exclusive’ passes by virtue of their intellect.

Having purchased two tickets worth a fortune, we had qualified for the ‘Bollywood Crazy Bigwigs’. However, much to our delight, we found ourselves amongst the blessed winners as well. Below is a first-hand account of the shining moments bestowed upon us by the IIFA.


June 6th, Sarkar Raj premier

H.E Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat (Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports) and H.E Latha Reddy (Indian ambassador to Thailand)We jostled our way into the crowd at the Siam Paragon mall. For a few minutes we were lost. Was this a zoo or the elite venue of the celebrated movie premier?

Help arrived in the form of the famous film director David Dhawan and his infamous companion, singer Mika Singh, both of who attempted to wield their way into the elusive ‘Cocktail Area’. Presuming they knew where they were headed, we followed them to the barricade. Here, an attractive desi mem unceremoniously stopped us all. Failing to identify the ‘Director no 1’, she allowed us in and glared at the celebrities.

“Tickets please”, she drawled. Mika snarled back. ‘He is a movie director. Let him in’. The lady suspiciously relented.

The coveted place worthy of 300 US dollars for the best glimpse of the celebrities was obviously right outside the elevator. Soon enough the doors opened and out streamed a bevy of stars in succession. Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek, Amitabh Bachchan and Jayaji. Ram Gopal Verma led the way, kind of dwarfed amongst the looming others. Aftab grinned, Vivek Oberoi winked, Dia Mirza waved, Neil Mukesh appeared grateful to be recognized.

After much pushing and pulling, we found ourselves further subdivided outside the auditoriums. Red card-holders seemed the supremely privileged ones here, graced with the presence of the Bachchans for a full few minutes. The rest of us would enjoy the Bachchans’ company too …watching Sarkar Raj on screen!

June 7th, Fashion Extravaganza

The Crowd at Siam ParagonUp close on the green carpet we could identify the stars. A petite Kareena Kapoor glided by followed by Dino Morea sporting a wickedly attractive new look. Ayesha Thakia sparkled. The Bachchans made their grand entry to resounding squeals.

After an endless wait beyond the scheduled time, we found ourselves shoved into a huge hall. Large screens were strategically placed before us. Far ahead, we could see the ramp.

We could tell that show was hosted by Karan Johar. We were told so loud and clear. Those who carried binoculars could see them larger than life too. The rest could view them clearly on the screens before them.

Priyanka and Harman Baweja gazed at each other in designer labels. Shriya Saran made her debut. Ravishing Kareena, preened and pruned in stunning Manish Malhotra creations. Sabhyasachi shocked and Rohit Bal rocked showcasing a range of outfits we will never wear.

June 8th, The IIFA awards night

People waiting to enterThis evening took the cake. We were among the ‘exclusive’ Green Carpet and Videotheque winners. It was time to scream our love to the stars.
The staff instructed us to arrive by 2.30 pm to collect the passes. It was another thing altogether that the event was scheduled to start at 5pm. From 2.30pm to 5pm, we had a great time twiddling our fingers. At 5pm, we were whisked off to the green carpet area and locked up in an enclosure, relegated to ‘Cattle Clan’.

The area was open-air, hot and sultry. But how did it matter? We were the privileged few to be allowed the honour of screaming and squealing our lungs out!  For at least three hours since then we stood under the fading sun, cheering the stars even while our throats cracked up like the Thar dessert. At one point, the water fountain before us looked more fetching than the stars. A young lady collapsed out of dehydration. The authorities looked the other way. They were perhaps convinced she had fainted out of pure joy at the sight of Saif Khan.

After much afterthought, the gate was unlocked and bottles of water offered large heartedly. Wonder where those were hidden away for four hours?
Thereafter we were whisked off to the videotheque to watch the live screenings. After a decent dinner spread, we sat in air-conditioned comfort to finally enjoy the fantastic awards night. Just as we settled in, the sound went off without warning…again and again and again.

We watched Govinda dance to the sound of silence, Amitabh Bachchan speak about the role of the IIFA without words. Akshay Kumar proceeded to talk about global warming through 'mimicry' while Twinkle Khanna giggled silently. Please don't ask us who won. Most of us had left by then.

Hail IIFA! The award for the best show truly goes to you.

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