Music director Anu Malik is well-known for his awe-inspiring confidence, which often manifests in his ability to constantly refer to himself in the third person, and deny that he has occasionally copied tunes — even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
However, at the Big Star Entertainment Awards held in Mumbai on Sunday, the music director's famed confidence led to him committing an embarrassing faux pas. According to a report by Mid-Day, when asked to present the award for Most Entertaining Actress In A Comedy Role, the 55-year-old composer — who delivered a number of hit songs in the '90s in films such as Baazigar (1993) — announced, "And the award goes to... Nishant Bhandari."
A flummoxed silence greeted this proclamation, which is understandable since a) none of the nominees were named 'Nishant Bhandari' and b) it is highly unlikely that an actress would be named 'Nishant'.
No one applauded. Reportedly, Luv Ranjan, director of Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2 approached the stage and said that he was probably referring to Nushrat Bharucha, who acted in his film and was one of the nominees. His guess turned out to be right, and Bharucha — who is best known for acting in Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2010) and Pyaar Ka Punchnama (2011) and its sequel — won her first film award, beating out the likes of Kangana Ranaut, Bhumi Pednekar, and Lara Dutta.
Nushrat Bharucha at the Big Star Entertainment Awards 2015
While some surmised that the error was a result of Malik not wearing his reading glasses, the composer told Mid-Day that he hadn't been briefed properly. "They [the organisers] told me it [the award] was for the male category," he said. "On opening the envelope, I saw a name printed in a fancy font; it was difficult to make out what it said. It appeared like Nishant Bhandari, the name I called out, but the film's director and the others pointed out that it was Nushrat."
While Bharucha refused to comment on the issue, Malik brushed aside the goof-up, saying that he met the actress later backstage and she appeared to have no qualms. "I bagged an award too, so all's well that ends well," he said.
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