Madrid, June 27 (IANS) From Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone to Hrithik Roshan -- the IIFA 2016 gala, which concluded here on Sunday, seemed like a big budget multi-starrer Bollywood film, with the colours, magic and drama that the country's movie industry exudes.
The 17th edition of the big fat Bollywood affair, organised by the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), saw mesmerising performances by Hrithik, Priyanka, Deepika and Salman to business forums held to strengthen bonds between India and Spain -- which are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic ties.
The four-day gala, which started on June 23, saw the presence of several film celebrities and scores of their fans.
The opening day witnessed the official unveiling of "Mirzya", which marks the debut of Anil Kapoor's son Harshvardhan. Here, Shilpa Shetty took to the stage and gave Madrid a dekko at her famous 'thumkas'.
Joining them on stage were stars like Salman, Priyanka, Farhan Akhtar, Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha and Deepika who expressed their excitement at being in Madrid to celebrate the power of Bollywood.
Every year, IIFA organisers explore an international destination for the extravaganza with the aim of popularising the Hindi film industry, and other things Indian.
For instance, fitness freak Shilpa hosted a mass Yoga Masterclass, involving several people to know more about the ancient art form and its benefits.
The IIFA gala was timed right to integrate with the city's Mulafest -- a Movement of Urban Life and Arts event and exhibition -- which is Madrid's annual culture fest that brings together music, art and food all in one place.
Adding an Indian musical touch to the Mulafest were Raghu Dixit Project, Midival Pundits, Karsh Kale and Nucleya, who got the party grooving.
There was more music too -- the IIFA Rocks saw a melange of dancers and musicians from India, as well as from Spain. They gave the audience a 'desi' treat with the joy and high-on-energy flamenco.
The IIFA Rocks also saw the awards distribution in technical category, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali's historical love saga "Bajirao Mastani" kept its golden run going with maximum awards.
After the teasers, the main awards night was held on Sunday.
People not only gathered in huge numbers to see their favourite Bollywood stars, but some of them also chose to wear Indian outfits for the gala night.
The venue was jam-packed and the fact that people were hooting for the show to begin was a testimony to the excitement it generated. Of course, the show began Bollywood style -- two hours later than scheduled.
But for the fans, the final action was all worth it.
Priyanka, Tiger Shroff and Sonakshi Sinha were among the star performers who lit up the stage with their talent. Even Shahid and Farhan were at their wittiest when they made an entry on donkeys, and later poked fun at the censor board in India.
The big winners of the night were Bollywood's rumoured couple Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, who won the Best Actors for "Piku" and "Bajirao Mastani" respectively.
"Bajirao Mastani" turned out to be the big winner as it also won the Best Director trophy for Sanjay Leela Bhansali, and had bagged nine technical awards.
Beyond the awards ceremony, the IIFA Stomp, an electronic music fest, where popular disc jockeys present Bollywood music with electro twists, regaled the audience in Madrid.
And one hopes the Bollywood fever continues for sometime in Europe's football capital.
(The writer's trip was at the invitation of IIFA organisers. Nivedita can be contacted at email@example.com)