Cricket, Bollywood Made their Presence Felt in South Africa
The two greatest passion of the Indian people, cricket and Bollywood, were evident in South Africa as well in 2007. Buoyed by the surprise attendance of Shah Rukh Khan in the stands in support of the "Chak De India" banners in the crowd, India triumphed over arch-rivals Pakistan to become champions of the inaugural ICC Twenty20 tournament.
Clapping loudly from VIP suites, Shah Rukh blew kisses to the crowd when they cheered him as loudly as the teams as soon as he was shown on the huge screens.
Sporting a velvet shirt to promote his then still forthcoming movie "Om Shanti Om", which later became a huge hit here as well, Shah Rukh occasionally lifted his son Aryan (10) and was thoroughly enjoying the game.
Earlier, jubilant Indian fans at the Sahara Kingsmead Stadium in Durban began comforting despondent fans of hosts South Africa in the closing overs of the ICC Twenty20 World Championship game in which India not only trounced the hosts 153/5 to secure a place in the semi-final against Australia, but even bundled them out of the tournament by restricting their total to 116/9 to allow New Zealand a place in the semis.
In November, the BCCI announced that veteran South African cricketer Gary Kirsten would take over the reins after the Indian side was without a coach for the greater part of this year.
Kirsten said he wanted India to play as a team, not individuals. One of Kirsten's first tasks will be to help India outwit Graeme Smith's side when they tour India in March and April next year.
On the Bollywood front, actors Dino Morea and Meghna Naidu continued a tradition at the Rameshwar Mandir in Lenasia, south of here, when they helped nearly 10,000 people celebrate Diwali at an adjacent stadium.
Bollywood designer Vikram Phadnis opened his first store in South Africa after being lauded earlier for his work incorporating African beadwork, something he has since featured in his Bollywood designs as well.
Finally, in a first for Indo-South African cinema, ace South African comedian Leon Schuster decided to go to the Bollywood capital of Mumbai for the sequel to his hit film "Mr Bones".
Film producer Anant Singh announced that the sequel to "Mr Bones" would be partly shot on location in the Indian subcontinent as a co-production with an Indian production company. It would mark the first time that a South Africa/India co-production would be shot in both South Africa and India.
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