Jacqueline Fernandez Bags Best Debutante Award for Aladin

With the high- octane excitement of the IIFA Awards behind her, it was back to business for Jacqueline Fernandez, the former Miss Sri Lanka who’s now a much- photographed Bollywood starlet. On Thursday night, the actress offered muchneeded ‘ star’ relief at a lugubrious gathering of men in sharp suits promoting international business.

Amid all that talk of global diplomacy, industrial opportunities and investment destinations, Fernandez kept the media well- supplied with bytes. Fresh out of IIFA’s Sri Lankan odyssey, where she bagged the Best Debutante Award for Aladin , the 26- yearold Lankan beauty had a lot to say about the event.

“When they announced my name during the awards night, I was shocked,” she said.

“ But at the same time I felt very happy — it is great to receive an award in my country with my people cheering for me.” Apart from Aladin , Fernandez has also acted in the romantic comedy, Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai , co- starring Riteish Deshmukh and Ruslaan Mumtaz. She also had an item number in the Akshay Kumar- starrer, Housefull . “ I am brushing up my Hindi. I’m simply fascinated by it,” she said, adding the she would love to do more Bollywood films.

For Los Angeles- based filmmaker Krishna Shah, the co- anchor for the even- ing, it was no less than the Oscars. “ Every speaker will get only two minutes on the dais,” he said, drawing a comparison with the drill at the prestigious movie awards night in Hollywood.

The remark was apparently made when the token felicitation session stretched beyond the stipulated time. Thursday’s event also marked the announcement of the Third US Asia Expo to be hosted by the US Asia Business Forum ( USABF) in Los Angeles in September.

The guests of honour — Union ministers Subodh Kant Sahai and Farooq Abdullah — left early, but the representatives of the various participating countries didn’t seem to have noticed their absence, as they continued partying till late at night. To spice up the night, belly dancers did their number on the stage, even as the food and booze kept the guests in high spirits.

When we talk about business and diplomacy, it’s good to have a beauty in between. It reduces the burden of crushing boredom.


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