Gay themes in Bollywood are well out of the closet, if the many comic acts and sexual innuendos at the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) here Saturday night were anything to go by.
With a number of quips about gay relationships by hosts Boman Irani and Ritesh Deshmukh the order of the day, Abhishek Bachchan topped it off with his remarks as he won the Best Comic Role award for the film Dostana about him and John Abraham pretending to be a gay couple to secure accommodation from Priyanka Chopra's character in the film.
As he called his director onto the stage, Bachchan said: "You're the man!", quickly adding "No, not THAT man!
"And John (who was not at the Awards), I miss him, I was watching Bipasha and she was going like: 'He's mine!'
Addressing his wife Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in the front row, Abhishek said: "Baby, you're the best! This is proof that I'm a heterosexual, but tonight I'm feeling very gay (happy)."
Later in the show, Irani and Deshmukh, playing a gay couple getting married, were shown on screen in a spoof, The item ended with the double entendre comment :" Dost -aana - loved by all MAN-kind" (sic).
Deshmukh also made several "gay" advances towards some of the actors getting onto stage at items.
As for the film Jodhaa Akbar, which was named best film and also won Ashutosh Gowariker the best director award, Irani remarked that Deshmukh would have made a good Jodhaa, the character played by Aishwarya Rai in the film.
The 15,000-strong audience at the Chinese resort here lapped it all up with huge applause.