Filled with colours, fast action and acrobatics, IPL opening ceremony was thrown open by a happy looking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 6) opening ceremony started off with colourful strobe lights, performers wearing long flowing robes walking on stilts, a foreign acrobatics team performing miracle stunts and of course all of the action enveloped by the sound of what seemed like thousands of drums beating in unison.
Mamata hands the stage over to SRK who steps up to the podium and recites Rabindranath Tagore's unforgettable and immortal poem, 'Where the mind is without fear...'
As SRK's voice fades away, a floating lady enters the stadium carrying the gleaming golden IPL 6 cup. Hung by wires from balloons, the cup lady, dressed in a long flowing gorgeous white gown, does somersaults suspended in air and finally floats over the centre of the stage to hand over the trophy to KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, who then proceeds to place it on the dais.
The stadium erupts in spontaneous applause.
Former captain Ravi Shastri takes to the microphone and leads all the nine team captains through the MCC 'spirit of cricket pledge'.
As the performances begin, first on stage was the stunning Deepika Padukone, dressed in black tights and sheer off-shoulder top. She danced sensuously to the beat of Punjabi song 'Angrezi beat de' by Honey Singh. She followed that up with another bump-and-grind routine to the tune of 'Tum hi ho bandhu' from the film 'Cocktail'. She ended her performance in a shaking trance that was received by the public with a standing ovation.
As Deepika walked off to the sound of the deafening applause, Katrina Kaif enters the stadium on carriage drawn by the other performers. She alighted and walked serenely on to the stage. Dressed in a long golden robe she starts her dance routine to the beat of perennial favorite 'Sheila ki jawaani'. She was overdressed for the routine, of course. However, that did not last long as Kat shed her gown and emerged voluptuously dressed in red harem pants and a black and silver blouse. The performance was outstanding as evinced by the thrilled reaction of the audience and the gathered IPL players.
SRK comes on stage now to welcoming applause from the audience and proceeds to thank Mamata who made this night possible, BCCI's N Srinivasan, IPL chief Rajiv Shukla and says a big thank you to the 'City of Joy'.
The platitudes over, SRK, who is dressed in a black vest, leather trousers, matching jacket and sporting dark goggles, effortlessly starts his routine with the song 'Main hoon na'. SRK's wife Gauri and daughter are in audience and look thrilled to be there - Gauri looks gorgeous in an off-shoulder dress.
From one routine to the next, SRK takes the audience through his hit song 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai', dancing rhythmically and keeping pace to the tune.
He throws off his jacket at the end of the song and says 'It's not over. Picture abhi baaki hai'. He starts another performance, swinging to the popular song 'Chhamak Chhalo' from movie Ra.One.
After setting fire to the stadium with his superb performances SRK walks off and in come Usha Uthup and Bappi Lahiri singing 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna'.
As the dynamic duo walks off, in saunters Pitbull and immediately elicits wild reactions from the audience. Pitbull goes through five songs in his repertoire and thereby gets the maximum time on the stage. Pitbull also receives the maximum reactions from the young ones who started dancing spontaneously to the beat - the whole stadium was swinging.
As the music reaches a crescendo, Pitbull is joined by SRK, Katrina, Deepika and other performers leading up to the finale. The end of the performance leaves the IPL players, the gathered luminaries and the crowd in the stadium delirious and crying out for more.
The lights go off and the stage turns dark as performers leave for the last time with the sound of applause ringing in their ears.
Cricket starts tomorrow, but the stage today belongs entirely to Bollywood.