Ok, so you know how I'm crazy about Bollywood? Well this was the ultimate Bollywood night. I got tickets for my mother and I to go and see SLAM!: The Tour at the IZOD Center in New Jersey. The headlining performer was Shahrukh Khan (aka the biggest movie star in the world aka the most amazing Bollywood star of all time aka the love of my life) and along with him was Deepika Padukone (who is the most beautiful woman in the world), Abhishek Bachchan, Farah Khan, Malaika Arora Khan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, Vivaan Shah and singers Kanika Kapoor and Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Seeing as the concert was 20 minutes away from my house I made my mother leave 2 hours in advance (because you never know with the traffic, right...?). When we arrived there was already quite the crowd. All of the patrons were Indian, or Afghani, or Pakistani, or Bengali which meant that my mother and I were basically the only people of European descent there, and my mother was the only blond. Most people were really dressed up; a lot of the women were wearing beautiful saris and salwar kameezes.
We got in the queue of people who were all very, very crowded together. At the front there was a man filming for an Indian television station. Some people pushed past us to try and get on the camera, but then wouldn't you know it the man who was filming came over to me! I was interviewed for a good five minutes. I talked about how excited I was to see Shahrukh Khan and how I love everything about him. The interviewer asked if I could dance so I did and then he asked if I could do the lungi dance (which you can watch below) so of course I started to do it and then got the crowd to do it with me! It was like I was living a real Bollywood movie, complete with synchronized dancing.
After that my mother took a picture of me with the IZOD center in the background so I could tweet it at Shahrukh Khan to let him know how excited I was (he can't really respond to his fans often because so many people tweet at him. I was just hoping that he might glance at it).
Once we got inside of the center I became best friends with the people sitting on either side of us. They seemed quite fascinated that my mother and I were there since we were in the vast, vast minority. They were really very lovely and one woman invited us to her diwali party!
The concert began over an hour and a half late so my mother and I were quite taken aback but apparently that is not uncommon for Indian events (or so we were told).
While we were waiting I glanced down at my phone and what should I see but A TWEET FROM SHAHRUKH KAHN TO ME!!!!!!!!!!
I cannot over emphasize how excited I was/am and what a huge deal this is. The biggest movie star in the world chose to talk to little old me. The tweets we exchanged ended up getting hundreds of favorites and retweets and I got so many new followers just because of that interaction. The funniest thing was that people started tweeting about where they were in relation to me. I've never had such an experience before.
When the concert finally began I was in heaven. The music was great, the stars gave a phenomenal performance and seeing them in the flesh was surreal. We had good seats but I brought binoculars so that I could see every little detail.
My favorite part was when Shahrukh came out of the audience for his grand entrance. He was lifted above us and then flown onto the stage in true over-the-top Bollywood style. My heart melted seeing him.
I was slightly disappointed with the level of the dancing performance by the backup performers since I have seen some fabulous live Bollywood dance shows, but the stars exceeded expectations. It was a dream come true sort of night. The ending song was India Waale, but they changed it to New Jersey Waale which was so fun!
As we were leaving a guy came running up to me and said, "Oh my god, you're the girl from Twitter aren't you?" Between what happened on Twitter and my interview I'm convinced that I am now famous in India = my life is complete.
-Alyssa J Freitas