Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bollywood Madness Part Deux

I just found this new clip, you heard it from the Doc Report first! Source:

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 accreditations 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.

Even if one Khan is missing, there are others to make up for it. The other big Khan, Salman, is a prominent face at this year’s IIFA and it seems when you are a Bollywood star in Colombo, you get treatment meant for heads of states and VIPs.

On our way to a village where Salman was to participate in an initiative for Habitat for Humanity, we spotted a huge motorcade, complete with gun-toting commandos, three black-tinted cars and several police jeeps speeding through the streets of Colombo.

Traffic police cleared the way for the motorcade asking other vehicles to stop. We assumed it was the President who was passing by, but turns out it was Salman Khan. Being a star does have some very good perks.

Colombo has become a virtual spotting ground for celebrities you hardly see in Mumbai. “3 Idiots” comedian Omi Vaidya (aka Chatur) was spotted ambling in the lobby, accompanied by his wife and manager. He is here to host the curtain raiser for the television event and talked to Reuters about his plans post “3 Idiots”. Watch a video of the interview.

Bollywood Madness

The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA, basically Bollywood's Academy Award ceremony)) has arrived in Colombo to much fan fare, literally.
When i walked to work this morning I saw a small crowd of people in front of our apartments. The fanciest hotel in Colombo is across the street and that is where many of the Indian film stars are staying so people were hoping to catch a glimpse of them.

This afternoon as I was walking home I saw that all of the traffic on one side of the road was stopped and then noticed there was no traffic on the other, which meant one thing. As if on queue I heard the horns and sirens and here comes the motorcycle police, which is unusual, followed by a stream of the hotel courtesy cars (Small Nissan or Toyota's, nothing fancy). The stars were going to the hotel. Then came a stream of the paramilitary soldiers riding tandem on dirt bikes with submachineguns at the ready followed by open top Range Rovers with more soldiers and several large black BMW's. Important Bollywood star or somebody from the Ministry or combination of the two I guess.

Now here is the funny thing. For the past several weeks there has been a frenzy of activity to spruce up the city. Roads have been repaved, potholes filled, trees planted, railings painted and on and on. Not like this could have been done any other time the city needed it. Now more than ever with so many people in very bad situations because of the flooding it saddens me that city is doing so little for them. I see in the paper all of these photo opp's with such and such company donating so many lunch packets (Rice and curry) to flood victims worth hardly anything, basically a meal per family for one day. But bring Bollywood stars to town and the money flows.

Some of the stars are boycotting the ceremony in protest of the war crimes, and I'm not even going there.