DUBAI: The Masala! Awards held at the Bollywood Parks in Dubai, UAE, were a star studded glam-filled event. Presented by the eloquent Boman Irani, the awards showcased performances by Anita Lokhande and superstar Govinda who enthralled the audiences with their mesmerising dance moves.
The red carpet was attended by Sri Devi, Boney Kapoor, Celina Jaitley and Lulia Vantur while fashion designer Manish Malhotra was amongst the jury. Other jury members included Yogesh Mehta, Sima Ved and Rizwan Sajan. The awards were presented by esteemed guests such as Pakistani fashion designer Faraz Manan, film actor Meera and Raza Beig.
The Express Tribune (ET) caught up with many of these stars on the red carpet and witnessed the presence of both, Indian and Pakistani celebrities on one platform.
Boman Irani spoke to ET a few moments before the event and we asked him how he was feeling going up on stage and if nerves still play a part in the game for veteran performers. “It’s good to have a little nervous energy. If you don’t have it, you’re not soaking the atmosphere,” he said. On the other hand, superstar Govinda who was performing at the awards revealed, “I don’t claim to be nervous or not nervous; I don’t like making claims – I keep praying all goes well.”
Rock On!! actor Arjun Rampal spoke about attending the award show as well and stated how it was nice to mix and mingle with artists belonging to different parts of the world, in UAE. “It’s the second time that I’ve come to the Masala! Awards and it’s great to see how much they’ve grown over ten years; they’ve done really well. For me, what’s really interesting is that you get to come here and interact with artists from all over the world – from Pakistan as well as India. It’s unfortunate what’s happening between the countries but it’s good that we get to communicate here.”
The Asian community in the UAE is strong, vibrant and capable. There are few ventures in which Pakistani and Indian artists come together to perform and interact with each other. Masala! Awards hosts these celebrities every year to bring together the best of the Asian community and help Pakistani and Indian celebrities to get together – something which cannot happen regularly due to the tense circumstances between the two states. Mahira Khan said about the experience of attending Masala! Awards, “The team at Masala has always been very kind. Above and beyond the awards, the way we are looked after is why we return!”
Winners of the awards were chosen through an online voting system where they could pick their favourites from given categories. Shehzeen Rehman won the best blogger award for her blog The Desi Wonder Woman. Déjà vu was awarded the best club night award while Malavika Varadan was awarded for being the best RJ. The best DJ award was bagged by DJ Karan Bhatia and Sunil Grover’s Comedy Clinic won the award for best entertainment show.
The Asian Music Sensation Award went to Bilal Saeed and Mawra Hocane won for the best Social Media Sensation. Saba Qamar was awarded for Breakthrough Performance of the Year in Hindi Medium and Baaghi, whereas Mahira Khan was awarded as the Woman of Substance. Sri Devi also bagged an award for her performance in Mom while Govinda won the award for Dancing Legend of Bollywood.
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