Imagine SRK, Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Akshay Kumar, Juhi Chawla, John Abraham, Zayed Khan and Lara Dutta on one stage.
Also, the stand-up comedians from two neighbouring countries - Sajid Khan [India] and Omar Sharif [Pakistan].
Furthermore, the guests from Pakistan - Jawed Sheikh, Reema Khan and Humayun Saeed.
Now imagine the audience: Yash Chopra, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Feroz Khan, Shatrughan Sinha, Vinod Khanna, Asha Bhosle, Rekha, Javed Akhtar, Subhash Ghai, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rajeev Kapoor, Boney Kapoor, Sridevi, Smita Thackeray, Rani Mukerji, Bipasha Basu, Arjun Rampal, Suresh and Vivek Oberoi, Fardeen Khan, Mahima Chaudhary, Ashutosh Gowariker, Ravi Chopra, Ramesh Sippy, David Dhawan, Farhan Akhtar, Sajid Nadiadwala, Farah Khan, Satish Kaushik, Kunal Kohli, Sanjay Gadhvi, Mukesh Bhatt, Zeenat Aman, Ram Mirchandani and Aditya Shastri [UTV], Ratan and Ganesh Jain [Venus], Vashu Bhagnani, Bablu Pachisia, Raj and Nadira Babbar, Mallika Sherawat, Gayatri Joshi, Dia Mirza, Neha Dhupia, Amrita Arora, Ritesh Deshmukh, Tusshar, Manish Malhotra, Aftab Shivdasani, Divya Dutta, Rahul Dev, Salim-Sulaiman, Kunal Ganjawala… The list is endless!
It can't get bigger than that!
The Sunfeast Zee Cine Awards 2005, held at the Excel Arena in London, was truly a memorable affair. Assembling the crÃšme de la crÃšme of the industry is of course a Herculean task, but pulling off the mammoth event with clockwork precision is a far bigger achievement. It's akin to climbing the Everest. The two 'pillars' behind this mega event - Yogesh Radhakrishnan and Pradeep Guha - ensured that the Indian diaspora, besides the Asian community in U.K., deserved and got the best!
While the names of the winners didn't come as a surprise [this writer was the first to predict the winners, way back on January 1 this year] - SRK [best actor: VEER-ZAARA], Rani Mukerji [best actress: HUM TUM], Yash Chopra [best director: VEER-ZAARA], Yashraj Films [best producer: HUM TUM, DHOOM, VEER-ZAARA] - what not many noticed was the behind-the-stage camaraderie the fraternity shared.
Under normal circumstances, it's difficult handling stars/celebrities, plus the egos and tantrums that come as baggage. But none threw a fit/tantrum at the Sunfeast Zee Cine Awards 2005. There were no glitches, no hiccups, no goof-ups and no controversies [thankfully!] this time around. This awards ceremony will be remembered for those scintillating five hours of entertainment and the bonhomie that was evident right through the event.
Let's take a quick look at what stood out at the end of the day -
- The Shah Rukh-Preity act, before the main awards were announced, was the best part of the evening. Joining them on the dais were Pakistani actors Reema Khan and Humayun Saeed. The Indo-Pak relations - the theme of the act - are sure to get cemented with this particular performance.
- The emotional moment, when Yash Chopra got the 'Yash Johar-Zee Producer Of The Year Award' cannot be explained in mere words. The veteran called Karan Johar [he was hosting the show!], hugged him, took his trophy and left the stage misty-eyed.
- Sajid Khan's take on 'sting operations' and announcing the best supporting actor and actress was genuinely hatke. It was amusing to see the nominees first making politically correct statements about the fellow nominees on camera and then nit-picking about the same people when they thought the camera had been switched off. Indeed, a novel way of announcing the nominations and presenting the awards.
- Dharmendra's speech, when he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, was straight from the heart and drew loud cheers. And so was Subhash Ghai's oration in praise of Yash Johar.
- Karan Johar and Juhi Chawla lent voices to clips during the best actor and best actress nominations - now that was truly hilarious. Also, the way the two hosts conducted the show was worth noting. The wit and humour was unforgettable.
- Karan's comment on billionaire Laxmi Mittal - that every father today wants to name his son Laxmi - made the down-to-earth entrepreneur flash a modest smile [yes, the billionaire and his family were a part of the elite guest-list].
- Omar Sharif's jokes brought the house down. Especially the ones on custom officials and dogs at the immigrations.
- Akshay Kumar's performance caught people unaware when he rose from the audience and went on stage.