Forget the behind-the-scenes drama, the Zee Cine Awards in Dubai last weekend truly rocked. More than anything else, it made a genuine effort to cement the Indo-Pak relations further, which have been on an upswing in the recent times. Simply put, Bollywood and Lollywood were akin to the ambassadors of peace that night.
Hosting a majestic show not in India, not in Pakistan, but in a third country (Dubai, U.A.E.) and assembling the biggies of Bollywood (Big B, Dharmendra, SRK, the Roshans, Preity Zinta, Urmila, Sushmita Sen, Saif Ali Khan, Randhir and Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi) and Lollywood (Reema, Resham, Jawed Sheikh, Umar Sharif) was an effort in the right direction and the management of Zee deserves bouquets for it.
The behind-the-scene camaraderie between Indian and Pakistani stars was to be seen to be believed. The stars from the two nations interacted as if two long-lost brothers had met after being separated in childhood. “I sincerely wish we could make movies together,” Jawed Sheikh, who directed the biggest hit of Pakistani cinema a year ago (YEH DIL AAPKA HUWA), told this writer at the after-the-show party at the Hyatt.
That’s not all! The Pakistani crowd in the audience cheered every time the camera focussed on the Big B or SRK or Hrithik Roshan, while the Indians went into raptures not over Shekhar Suman or Javed Jaffrey’s on-stage frolics, but on stand-up comedian Umar Sharif’s witticisms.
And guess who enjoyed Sharif’s epigrams the most? None other than the Big B, who seemed to have a rollicking time every time the humorist cracked a joke with a straight face. Umar Sharif was undoubtedly the star of the evening.