The idea of 200 women at a single venue to receive awards for their participation in the Lavasa Women’s Drive can sound overwhelming, but for most it was a lot of fun!
Spotted: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Arjan Bajwa, Jackky Bhagnani, Puja Gupta, Devieka Bhojwani, Shweta Pundit, Adnan Sami and Jackie Shroff
Arjan Bajwa kick-started the ceremony and very sweetly handed out certificates and awards to the winners. He was jovial on stage and kept cheering those who were making their way up!
Puja Gupta was mostly shy and handing the mic to Jackky Bhagnani who kept the audience entertained. When the time came to perform on a song from his upcoming film F.A.L.T.U. he was thrilled and stole the show with his ‘robot’ dance moves!
Stand-up comedian Bharati had everyone in splits with her jokes. Her prime target, men of course!
To honor and welcome Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Shweta Pandit performed two favourites. She first sang the melodious Tere Bina from Guru and then the recent Zor Ka Jhatka from Action Replayy. It was quite the rendition!
The crowd went wild when Devieka Bhojwani introduced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and invited her to the podium to address everyone. Aishwarya was as poised as ever and even recited a beautiful poem that celebrated woman’s strength.
Anisha Oberoi was the most attractive speaker of the night. A young girl who flew down from Delhi that very morning after completing her last round of radiation. While her first hint of cancer went undetected by doctors a self-examination and meeting with Deveika Bhojwani (chairperson at Tata Memorial Hospital) later revealed that she was at stage 2 of the disease. On the verge of a full scholarship to study in France she had to turn her life around. Taking it in her stride Anish didn’t let it deter her spirit. She said, ‘I celebrated my baldness. I went out and enjoyed myself!’
Adnan Sami came on and crooned. Needless to say, the girls went crazy (and how much weight has he lost btw?!)
In my opinion, the real show stealer was Jackie Shroff. He referred to all media personnel as ‘beedu’. He was gracious enough to pose for every picture and stop a zillion times for pictures and comments. Of course, his driver took a good 20 minutes to bring his car. In the meantime, he let the shutterbugs go nuts. He even flagged off cars (like they do at the races) filled with women leaving for home. He insisted he would check out MissMalini.com and spoke to me for 5 minutes before leaving. He was a real sport!
The most important lesson of the night: create awareness about cancer and the importance of self-examination and prevention before cure. The heart wrenching stories shared by many women will have hopefully impacted most of us.