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Fanfare at Filmfare

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We have never ever seen such state of intense excitement and happiness among city dwellers. Even the entire state was caught up in the euphoria of that moment.  The 65thAmazon Filmfareawardtook place in Guwahati recently. The award is for the excellence in cinematic achievements of Bollywood since first awarded in 1954 by the Times Group. India’s most prestigious film event is equivalent to the Academy Awards of Hollywood. It is a proud moment for Assam that for the first time in six decades, the Filmfare Award ceremony stepped out of Mumbai and people love them from the core of their hearts. With Assam best known for its hospitality, tradition and culture, Guwahati geared up for Filmfare.

Filmi fever had begun soon after online retailer released tickets for public and they were sold out quickly. Fans had no choice but to have a glance of their favourite stars at arrival. People by and large have the obsession with movie celebrities.Ever since Awesome Assam has got the opportunity to organise the colourful event, activities were noticed from Airport to hotel. Police and administration too rolled out red carpet for invitees. The electronic media further hit in every nook and corner 24X7 amid a storm of hype. We saw artists and technical assistants were welcomed by star hotels at their arrival on television screen. As stars flew into Guwahati a day before, fans came out in thousands to catch a glimpse of celebrities. So does my wife and her SSA friends decided to go for a frantic attempt. They were in rather a hurry after leaving school early and so excited that they couldn’t stop going around.

The Taj Vivanta is akin to a massive luxury palace for dignitaries thereby it was kept under the tight security net and no trespassers were allowed. A large number of people including media were waiting outside. They were not disheartened and somehow managed to go inside although they felt at a moment as something wasn’t right but they shrugged it off, dismissing all illogical coincidence. Their only intuition was to meet filmi stars anyhow. People copy adoration of movie stars walking the red carpet of what they’re wearing, who they are with, what they will say to the talent holding the microphone. Even the opinions of celebrities are picked up by the media for greater importance.

The hotel has a pleasant lounge. It looked magnificent in its grounds as spacious, warm and inviting. They found the lobby was packed for engaging services to their valued guests. Thus, they occupied a public space expecting lobby mangers to take care of them but the unoccupied time seemed longer. Busy is just part of the day for hotel managers and employees. They become impatient and hostile and were at a loss for what to do next in that situation but willing to be patient.  Luckily, teachers were identified by a front desk and it was 7th floor ofthe luxurious property where celebrities were staying in grand suite. The activities were very busy indeed and thereby other guests in waiting were not welcomed for that day. A luxury however, should make sure every waiting guest has a drink at the very least but there was no sign anywhere and so decided to go upstairs.

The luxury is in abundance with all the bells and whistles even inside the lift. Alas! The elevator gate did not go upward and instead needed magnetic sensors to permit visitors.They returned downstairs to their utter disappointment. Incidentally, a cloth rack trolley was being pushed by housekeeping staff over the spotless white marble. They guessed the dresses for those stars performing that night. Time was running out. The stars might be taking long time for heavy make-up. They were determined to do anything and even tried to book a room for a sudden meet at the corridor. They were hungry yet no opportunity available for a quick beverage for fear of missing stars. Also the dinner hall was pre-registered. With no hope, they were dispirited by the outcomes and finally returned home in low spirits but with lifelong memories of unique experience of being so close yet so far.

The live media coverage was not allowed on the show night where millions of viewers had to wait for the edit version of the show. Subsequently it was telecast on the very next day evening itself. The night lived performance was full of glamour, glitz and entertainment where talented groups performed the cultural heritage of Assam stupendously. The performers’ wowed audience on their dancing skill besides it had nominations, prediction, winners and finally red carpet fashion at the dais. The host appeared at the huge podium and it was the same red jacket identified that they saw the previous day at the lobby. They could not meet Madhuri, Ranveer, Kartik, Varun or Ayushman personally but at least they saw the suit boot for the host Karan and Vicky before the show.

People always love narrative stories of Mumbai film stars to hear and filmi enthusiasts for this write-up are no different either. The award ceremony continued to attract residents looking for news in their city. Fans can go to any extent like bunking classes or skipping lunch for a run. At the same time my city Guwahati was excited by the thought of being so close to Mumbai for a few days and lucky pass owners have rubbed shoulders with royalty all the show time that night while going to Filmfare Award.



Kamal Baruah

The writer is a Soldier, Banker and Columnist to North East Newspapers and Magazines

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