The 57th National Awards: Behind the scenesPatcy N in Mumbai
Everything was so much in order. There was neither chaos nor noise, as the disciplined crowd stood in line to enter Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, for the 57th National Film Awards. You can feel you are in the corridors of India's power centre in these lanes where all the government offices are. It is as if even the crows behave themselves when the President comes.
After a thorough body check, you enter minus cameras, mobile phones and handbags as it means that much risk to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
The whole hall is divided alphabetically, the first many rows are for the award winners and other dignitaries, followed by the camera crew and reporters and the many government officials and their relatives.
Amitabh Bachchan entered the hall and suddenly the audience clapped. People started calling out his name, as he entered with his family in tow -- wife Jaya, son Abhishek, daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai, daughter Shweta Nanda and son-in-law Nikhil.
Amitabh sat in the first row. This is the fourth time he is getting a National Award. The first was a best debutant award for Saat Hindustani, the second and third was best actor for Agneepath and Black and now for Paa, which won the Best Film award too.
It was a first award for Abhishek, who is Paa's producer. He sat with directors R Balki and Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, while Jaya, Ash, Shweta and Nikhil sat together among other celebrity guests.
After a while, hosts Divya Dutta and Jaaved Jaffery entered the stage. Divya looked really beautiful and Jaaved was at his witty self, but since there was not much time, and he could not go on and on with his one liners. The event started at 5:05 with a short film on the awards and past winners.
After the movie, everyone was asked to take their seats, as the President was arriving. As she entered, the national anthem played. Apart from the cameras' flashes, everything was still.
Image: National Awards distribution
The 57th National Awards: Behind the scenes
After the national anthem, Amibika Soni addressed the people and Samik Bandyopadhya, chairperson of the jury, spoke on the best writing on cinema. Soon, the awards presentation started in the non-feature film category. Everyone who received the awards had rehearsed how much time they will be on stage, how they will get down, and how they will go back to their place. Thus everything seemed monotonous.
Ramesh Sippy who is the chairman of the jury, feature films, spoke on how difficult it was to choose the winners as there was a lot of talent in the country. Soon after his speech, there was a live performance by Shaan and Shantanu Moitra who sang Behti Hawa, from 3 Idiots.
It was then time for the feature films awards. Twenty films were awarded in this category: Malayalam Film Kutty Srank, directed by Shaji N Karun, won five awards, Bengali film Abhoman by Rituparno Ghosh, Paa by R Balki and T Hariharan's Kerela Verma Pazhassi Raja got four awards each.
The Bollywood films that were awarded were Delhi 6, which won the Nargis Dutt award for Best Film on National Integration, Amit Trivedi for Dev D's music, Subhash Sahoo won the Best Audiographer for Kaminey, Sreekar Prasad got the Special Jury Award for editing for three films: Kaminey, Kutty Srank and Kerela Verma Pazhassi Raja. Farooque Shaikh got the best supporting actor award for Lahore.
At 68, Amitabh is still the craze among people. Whenever a Paa clip was played, the crowd screamed the loudest. In the meanwhile, Nilanjana Sarkar sung a sensual song from the Bengali film Houseful.
The Dadasaheb Phalke award went to Sri D Ramanaidu, about whom a short film was aired.
The event ended with the national anthem. As soon as the President left the hall, the crowd went berserk, all the silence was broken as people started running towards the stars, especially Amitabh Bachchan. The other half of the crowd rushed to the tea and snacks counters.
The next thing the crowd went after was for the flowers arranged on the stage. The place soon looked like a fish market. All the stars were gone and so was the glamour of the event.
Image: D Ramanaidu recieves Dadasaheb Phalke Award