The multitude that gathered at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium last night was left absolutely delighted by the many stars from Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam cinema that attended the Asiavision Movie Awards. Deepika Padukone, the Bollywood superstar was received with great enthusiasm by the crowd, despite her late entrance to the show. The actress was honored as the Global Icon of the Year award shortly afterward. Asiavison Movie Awards is the biggest of its kind hosted outside India.
During her acceptance speech, Deepika said “Thank you for this award. I feel especially warm because this is one of the awards that honor South Indian talents. I can proudly say that I am a South Indian from Mangalore who studied in Bangalore [Bengaluru]. I feel especially good because there are so many good films that release in South film industry. I get to learn a lot from them.”
Padukone, who plays the role of a controversial medieval Rajput queen in the Sanjay Leela Bhansali epic, studiously avoided speaking about her new film.
Writer M.T Vasudevan Nair, inarguably one of the greatest Indian writers of the time was paid tribute in a heartwarming fashion at the event. ‘Guruvandanam’, which means ‘a salute to the teacher’ filled the hearts of the tens of thousands who grew up enticed reading the works of the legendary writer.
The star-studded lineup of actors at the show included big names like Sanjay Dutt, Dulquer Salmaan, Aditi Rao Hydari, Kunal Kapoor, Manju Warrior, Tovino Thomas, Vijay Sethupathi, Mamta Mohandas, Vineeth Sreenivasan and Suraj Venjarammoodu.
While Padukone cut a statuesque figure, it was Malayalam heartthrob Dulquer Salmaan who turned on the charm for the crowd of more than 30,000. From singing his hit song Chundari Penne from his blockbuster Charlie on stage to responding to recent questions about whether he will join his father in the sequel of the latter’s past superhit Big B, Dulquer proved that he’s one of the finest in working a crowd.
Upon winning the Best Actor this year, he said: “My career choices have been different and unconventional, perhaps that’s the reason why I am standing here. You are the ones who encourage me to be here. [It is] your every selfie, text message and that clap [that] encourages me to work harder.
I have been in the industry for six years and I want to stay here for long.”
The Best Actress award went to the hugely popular actress Manju Warrior for her role in Udaharanam Sujatha and Saira Banu, who dedicated her award to all those who worked on her films.
“It’s newcomers who led these two projects and my win is symbolic of the collective hope we have for the Malayalam film industry. It’s my third time winning the Asiavision Movie Award and this is an incredible honor.” Manju added.
Actresses Mamta Mohandas and Aditi Hydari used the platform to make known their admiration for Padukone. While Mohandas regaled the crowd with nostalgic tales about Padukone being her junior from her college in Bengaluru, Hydari expressed how she always looks up to Padukone.
Another Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt, who was accompanied by his wife, Maanyata, took it upon himself to give ‘Jaadu ki jhappi’ (giant hugs that were made popular in his feel-good hit, Munnabhai series) “It’s great to be here. I am a huge fan of Mammootty sir, Kamal Haasan sir, Rajinikanth sir who is the [most] humble person [I have] ever met. We need to learn to cultivate that kind of humility,” said Dutt.
Celebrities like Vineeth Sreenivasan, Suraj Venjarammoodu, Tovino Thomas, Dharmajan, Vijay Sethupathi, Shanthi Krishna, Gop Sundar, Shaan Rahman, Sana Moydheen, Karthik, Mahesh Narayan, Anu Sithara, Hari Narayan also won accolades.
Ranjini Haridas and Mithun Ramesh were the anchors for the event.
At the end of the night, the crowd went home delighted after their few hours of star-spotting, looking forward to next year’s edition of the show.
Image courtesy: Gulf News