It's the mother of all events and this year's IIFA at Macau, China, lived up to its reputation of being the best in the business.
Come to think of it, handling so many stars and celebrities (and their elephantine egos) is next to impossible. But I'd salute Andre Timmins, Sabbas Joseph and Viraf Sarkari along with the Wizcraft team for pulling off a spectacular event without a glitch.
Let me begin with what made IIFA Awards 2009 a success. The showcasing of three films (Jail, Do Knot Disturb and Short Kut) gave one ample opportunity to learn about these films. The star attendance was excellent, with the names associated with the movies being present on the dais for a tÊte-À-tÊte.
The fashion show was equally spectacular, but long drawn. The designers who stole the limelight were Manav Gangwani and Anamika Khanna, with their dazzling creations.
The ZAIA show was a visual treat. For a change, the Bollywood brigade didn't talk about themselves (most of them have this I-me-myself habit), but the aerial acrobats. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is sure to stay in your memory for a long, long time.
But the big night - the awards event - was truly the jewel in the crown. At first, the goings-in seemed predictable. But it gathered momentum gradually.
The antakshari by the stars was a brilliant idea. Shabana Azmi rendered 'Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan', Sonam sang 'Na Na Karte Pyaar Tumhi Se Kar Baithe', Hrithik Roshan crooned 'Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahan', Zayed Khan hummed the title track of Main Hoon Na, Bipasha Basu sang 'Thande Thande Paani Se Nahana Chahiye' and last but not the least, Big B rendered a line of 'Mere Paas Aao Mere Dosto Ek Kissa Suno' and also a couplet from Kabhi Kabhi. This antakshari deserved brownie points.
Among star acts, Aishwarya Bachchan's act was superb, but the one who stole the show was Abhishek Bachchan, who danced on a medley of hits. He danced like never before and had the crowd screaming for more. 10 on 10, Abhishek.
Boman's take off on Anil Kapoor and Boman and Ritesh's spoof on the Best Films of the Year brought the house down. It had everyone in splits.
As someone who has attended almost all IIFA events, I'd say that this year's event was amongst the best the decade has witnessed. In terms of hospitality, The Venetian was spectacular, while the arrangements and co-ordination were impeccable.