Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Shenanigans of Our Stars

Every time Kuch Kuch Hota Hai comes on television, I hang my head in despair and I lose complete control of the remote control to Neeti who gets all charged up and I get to hear her say "Ohhhh Shahrukh".
Travel & Living Channel has been showing a series for a while now - Living with a Superstar, on the King, King Khan, where he promises that you can live with him, eat with him and arghhhhh sleep with him? Living with a Superstar has given Neeti a good reason to watch Travel & Living and not cringe at the sight of Anthony Bourdain chewing the creepy crawlies.
She isn't alone in this fanatic fan following. Many of us are.
We spend a hell lot of time following the simian-like shenanigans of our stars, make them larger than life, demi-gods. They rake in the moolah, while we waste our time chasing them.
There are some stars who project themselves as the brainy kinds, take up any cause that comes their way. There is this one star. He supported the Narmada Bachao Andolan and Gujarat riot victims, projecting a socially conscious persona, when it suited the star in question. But he had no qualms in making a joke of a balatkar... Perhaps he should ask a rape-victim how crude the balatkar speech was.
3 Idiots was a different idea, an innovative money making story, good publicity, etc. etc. He surely would have said to himself, what the hell, forget the crudeness of the balatkar speech, let me make the money.
And we Indians, we were swooning over his versatility, comic timing and youthful looks. We watched the movie over and over again, making it the biggest grosser in Bollywood history.
We go crazy over the King Khan and Karan's melodramatic weepy stuff. But couldn't it be possible that all the controversy before the release of My Name is Khan was timed to create a curiosity factor that would pull us, movie-freaks, into cinemas? A friend said that she went to see My Name is Khan in a kind of protest against the political contoversey created. Well, but, she did contribute to what both King Khan and karan wanted.... pull people into multiplexes.
Did the King feel insecure after 3 Idiots broke all records? After all, the King and the lead in 3 Idiots shared an amazing rivalry - remember, the 3 Idiots star once had a pooch named "Shahrukh".
And the First Family always seems to enter into package deals all the time. When Dad signs up, it appears the producer gets the son "free" or vice versa. Many a times, I have scratched my head wondering whether the "free" actor really had a role? Think of what the Big B was doing in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. But I have to admit that the son has emerged with a least insecure persona in the industry. And that is undoubtedly apreciable.
And these guys are least sensitive to what the country and its people actually need. Karan now seems infatuated with the theme of 9-11. Reports have come in that both Kurbaan and My Name is Khan have been used by jehadi elements in the hinterland to "inspire" youth to come to their fold.
Bottomline - we are a crazy nation. We go ga-ga over all this crap going on, all the shenanigans of our stars and they laugh their way to the bank.
The same holds true for our cricketers. Remember, when you expect, hope and pray that Sachin would steer India to a grand victory, he would get out for a duck. And then instead of practicing these cricketers would be busy shooting for television commercials or chasing skirts. And we as a nation would waste valuable man hours in queues for match tickets, in front of the television or discussing match statistics in office.
Who laughs his way to the bank? The men in blue. Who gets fooled? Us, the country.
Wake up India! It's time we saw through the Shenanigans of our Stars.......
As for me, I am still to make sense out of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, an effort repeated every 2-3 weeks.....

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