Experiencing the Indian Film Awards 2014 Part 1: Starry Attitudes
I was fortunate enough to be able to not only attend the IIFA Awards, otherwise known as the Indian Oscars, in Tampa this year but I was able to experience it very up close and personal. I stayed in a hotel where the “uppity” stars stayed, and somehow friended a lot of security officers who gave inside info, as well as having some info from a family member on the going ons of organizing this amazing event in Tampa.
The cream of the crop from Bollywood was flying into Tampa airport, where fans were lining up to meet their favorite stars. The biggest complaint was an expectation that Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, will be attending this event as he always does. SRK, as he is fondly known, had his own demands. 1 million US dollars, 3 bodyguards, 1 rolls Royce car with a chauffeur, a 2 bedroom suite accommodation, a first class ticket and all expenses paid..to only attend (Not perform or host). Looks like that was not possible since he did not show up. Sad, but business is business. Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan, the power couple, asked to be shifted from the Hilton where all the other stars were staying to the Marriott because they did not like the hotel.
Unfortunately, in general, most of the bigger stars, were least interested in interacting with their fans, in any way. While the ones staying at the Tampa Hilton made appearances now and then to a big crowd of onlookers waiting for them to go in and out of the hotel, some of them would just wave and continue onwards to their car or into the hotel. 3 film old Parineeti Chopra got out of her car to a mass amount of screaming fans yelling her name on either side of the hotel. She walked right past with a small wave disappointing many fans. Not that she had not interacted in the past, perhaps just tired of all the drama?
The worst and most unfriendly to the public and fans was the Kapoor family. All of them stayed at the Marriott Marina Bay and none of them were interested in interacting even once with any of the fans, who had, mind you, paid hundreds of dollars to come see them. Kareena Kapoor was spotted in the lobby several times, looked down and refused to even look at anyone other than the floor. When approached she flatly declined any photo opportunities or autographs. The security officials who were interacting with people in the lobby were curious asking why she was so rude to everyone. Apparently they had also been treated in a similar manner when trying to assist her through the lobby and the gym as security.
Her father Randhir Kapoor and husband Saif Ali Khan were a bit better as was her uncle Rajiv Kapoor. Rajiv Kapoor did say yes for a pic but when it took a second longer to get my camera ready he rudely and loudly said “I am in a hurry so if you can’t get it, i gotto go.” Not quite sure where a yesteryear has been actor was in such a hurry to go to in the middle of the day.
However that rude factor was very clear in the entire family. Most fans at that point wondered, “why come then? you should have stayed home” The rudeness factor and the effect it had on the fans was quite apparent when on Friday night, Kareena barely got any kind of applause and her performance was greeted as coldly by her fans as she was to them. Another cold Kapoor was Rishi Kapoor. In the lobby of the Marriott, a 15 yr old girl asked to click a pic with him and he rudely told her no and walked away.
Another shocking moment was when Shabana Azmi, who was promoting her charity work, was asked to come speak for the same charity at someone’s house. She told them she would, if they paid her $15,000. Anyone think that money was going to charity?
Upcoming stars such as Richa Chaddha from Ram Leela fame, Gauhaur Khan,Vaani Kapoor, Mika Singh or stars wanting to make a comeback such as Gulshan Grover and Govinda pleased their fans a lot more interacting with the fans, taking selfies and spending time with the crowds. The shy Farhan Akhtar tried his best to quickly take some pictures with his fans and gave them the attention they deserved. Famous director Mukesh Bhatt would spend all afternoon in the lobby of the Marriott hotel drinking Starbucks and gladly obliging for pics and convos with anyone who approached him. I had a nice conversation with him about movies, his most recent hit and his niece Alia Bhatt. He never made any one feel uncomfy or that he was a celeb. The next day he waved and said hi to me.
The A-listers who understood that people came to see them and it was their job to interact with fans were few and far between. Madhuri Dixit made several appearances and even started her performance in the Saturday awards show in the middle of the upper level where everyone was seated. Sure, she was mobbed by her fans and security even struggled to keep it under control. However, as cool as she is, she accepted her fans love for her and offered to take selfies with her fans during her performance. Anil Kapoor was friendly to mostly everyone as he was the ambassador of IIFA from Bollywood. Many had bumped into him at restaurants and he gladly obliged to speak to people. The person who was a fan favorite was Ranveer Singh. Crazy, energetic and full of love for his fans, he took down the barriers at the airport between him and his fans and went straight into the crowd, signed autographs, took pictures, took selfies with fans and was gladly accepting the mobbing by all women young and old. He again did the same thing during his performance and started his performance inside the crowd and allowed security to do their jobs while he interacted with hundreds of screaming girls who wanted to marry him and have him take off his shirt. Now I wouldn’t have minded seeing that! Shahid Kapoor also took some time and did his hosting of the awards ceremony sitting amongst the public for a few minutes pleasing many people who had bought tickets that were not in the field section.
All in All, Bollywood didn’t understand that they were being PAID to attend this weekend to interact with fans…most of whom had spent hundreds and even thousands of dollars just to get a few pics with their favorite celebs and see them in real life. Instead, most of them acted like they were doing charity work and a favor to the public. Careful celebs, everyone must remember the law: whatever goes up…must come down. And that is when they will need their fans the most.
What was your experience at IIFA 2014? Do you think the celebs could have been more courteous?
Posted on April 29, 2014, in General and tagged Bollywood awards, Bollywood brings glitz to tampa, IIFA, IIFA 2014, IIFAAwards, Indian Oscars, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Ranveer Singh, Tampa Bay Bollywood. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.