Celeb bashing: A new trend that is catching up
There is something common between celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Soha Ali Khan, something which has been prodding at the back of our minds for quite some time now. Something, which we think it’s high time should be told from a perspective.
Well, if you have been following the news, you might have seen the beautiful letter that Amitabh Bachchan penned for his granddaughters. You might also have seen pictures of Soha’s visit to the Golden Temple, and Ganpati pandals. And, you must also have noticed flak that the two received for their respective actions. While people bashed Amitabh Bachchan’s letter for being a publicity stunt for his upcoming movie ‘PINK’, Soha was subjected to trolls for being a ‘Muslim’ and worshipping an idol.
Such was the intensity of hateful responses, that both Big B and Soha had to come out and justify their moves. That is what got us thinking. Has celeb bashing become the new trend?
Kareena Kapoor Khan, who is pregnant with her first child, is bombarded, time and again, with questions related to her first child. On one such occasion, on being asked if she wants a girl or a boy (which was a wrong question in the first place), the actress subtly answered that she would prefer a Baby girl over a baby boy. Uproar and furore on social media was what followed, just because she spoke her mind. No one thought that since she was brought up in a family of two sisters, bringing up a girl was the only thing she knew and desired, and that certainly does not mean that she would discard a baby boy.
Criticising celebs and bashing them for everything that they say has become the new way of coming into the limelight. After all, it’s easy to blow things out of proportion, and many at a times it is us media who light up the flame which becomes into a full-fledged fire.
If we remember correctly, Soha was targeted once more, when she commented on the economic figures and status of the country. Such was the height of being mean that twitteratis shamed her by saying that she was just a Bollywood bimbo who was crying for attention and had no knowledge. Soha, being a royal that she is, ignored them, but calmly replied with her degree from London School of Economics.
Aamir Khan’s comment on how in recent times his wife feels insecure had so many bashing him on social media and asking him to go to Pakistan, just because of his religion. Forget Aamir, even Shah Rukh Khan, with all his popularity and the love that his fans have for him, was on the receiving end of abuses for just being honest and stating a fact. By doing such things, people did nothing but prove the stars’ point.
It certainly makes us introspect. Is it media’s fault for sensationalising everything and blowing it out of proportion, or is it a fact that people are using social media way too much, to the extent of jumping at the first chance that they get to shame a celebrity? Or is it really a publicity stunt on the part of the celebrities, to come back in limelight once out of news for long?
We may never know and we can only speculate. But one thing’s for sure, bashing a celeb for having an opinion has certainly become a trend now, and people are getting offended for no reason at all. Intolerance is creeping up fast.
Kapoor & Sons: Caught the plight of homosexuals tenderly and yet made 'coming out' look doable
Kapoor & Sons – Since 1921. The house proudly flaunted that to the world, nestled in the greens of Coonoor. No one knew the darkness that was inside, the demons that were individually dealt with. But then, isn’t every family like that?
Two years have passed by since this Shakun Batra-directorial, story of a dysfunctional family had come to our lives. However, amongst the various themes that tore apart the family and eventually brought it together, one that truly had the power to transform, was that of homosexuality.
Not many know, that the role played by Fawad Khan, that of family’s elder son, a successful author, was actually offered to many A-listers, who turned it down, eventually leading him to step into the shoes of Rahul. And it was, indeed, a very big step on his part. He was venturing out of his territory, a man who has such a huge female-fan following, and comes from a country with religion as its main running philosophy. He did the role and brought such conviction to it that we were forced to stand up and applaud, his courage, and the beauty with which his character was carved.
Since times immemorial, all our memories of gay characters on screen have been that of carelessly effeminate and unimportant roles, which are just there to add a comic element. The stereotype has been high to an extent that often the champions of the same channelise it and promote it, for it is wrapped in the shiny paper of presentation. The biggest example of this was ‘Dostana’, which was an amazing story of friendship, still used homosexuality as humour, as its backdrop. Ironically, it came from the same production house, though nearly eight years before that.
But ‘Kapoor & Sons’ begged to differ here. The character here was real, someone who was hiding himself, for the society, his family. There was surreality to the theme of homosexuality here, which had the power to jar us inside out; and that, it did.
Two scenes from the movie specifically hit me. First one is when Sunita (Ratna Patak Shah) finds out that her ideal elder son, whom she adores and is proud of, is not straight. The aftereffects of the same jolt you, because the reaction is just what an Indian mother gives, in any situation that is beyond her control; uncontrollable anger at the offspring, and then uncontrollable guilt, of blaming herself and her upbringing. The scene is filmed so beautifully, that your eyes sting. The way Fawad’s facade falls and his fear is marked across his face, which is then replaced by the anger of hiding himself for all those years, and mother’s dilemma and hurt, it all comes out in a naked and real manner.
Another sequence is when Rahul (Fawad Khan) comes back home after the showdown with his mother and the death of his father totally uproots whatever sanity his family possessed. He sits with his mother, with whom his last encounter was one of his coming out, and she asks, hesitatingly, about his partner. A subtle way of expressing acceptance, the way they hold hands, without saying anything, it stays with you.
It may not be one masterpiece, but ‘Kapoor & Sons’ will forever remain a favourite for finally breaking the mainstream stereotype of a gay man, in Bollywood. And for that, no matter how many bans, I will forever be waiting for Fawad Khan to come back, and give us more performances; with dare and conviction.
An ode to Sridevi, the queen who inspired the queers long before it became mainstream
“I am a kid from the 90s but still can’t forget those days when, me-myself was not out and proud about my preferences. And inside my own sweet world would dance in front of the mirror on many songs, but majorly on ‘Hawa Hawai’ and ‘Main Teri Dushman, Dushman Tu Mera’. These songs were just not tunes for me, it made me feel exactly what I was; a QUEERby birth”.
The news of the legendary diva Sridevi being no more with us is still hard to believe, as she was part of my and every queer’s childhood memories. While in the late 90s my bunch of friends would idolise a star from the West as their gay icon, me being a full-fledged Bollywood fanatic was in love with Sridevi and she was a diva I used to worship (and will forever). Her golden costume and perfectly done makeup in ‘Hawa Hawai’ made me feel, “Yes! There is someone like me out there who loves bling and all things loud.” Her feather headgear in one of the songs from ‘Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja’, touched my drag Queen‘s soul. One of the lines from her song ‘Hawa Hawai’ which is ‘Soorat Hi Maine Aisi Paayi’ transported me into a world where I thought that there is someone narcissist just like me. Sridevi’s charm was on my mind and the feminine side in me just wanted to be a replica of her.
The gone actress has not only given a lot to the Indian cinema, but her sass and talent of naturally moulding herself into any character gave her an upper hand in whatever she used to do. When many gay men were struggling and were confused about their sexual orientation they found a connection to their on-going pain in Sridevi’s roles. Whether it was Sridevi as a meek Anju and ferocious Manju fighting for everything wrong in ‘ChaalBaaz’ (1989), Pooja’s mutiny against the everlasting societal conditions in ‘Lamhe’ (1991), Seema’s confidence-filled and fearless dance in the ‘Mr. India’ (1987) song ‘Hawa Hawaai’ or her role of a naagin (snake) coming out to the world about her dual identity in ‘Nagina’ (1986), Sri’s roles had a deep connection and were etched in every GAY man’s mind.
And how can one miss ‘Kate Nahin Kat Te’ song of Sridevi from ‘Mr. India’, where she owned the song and made every gay guy’s dream to dance on it once with his man. This particular song was wild, seductive and equal parts bold. Sridevi draped in a sky-blue coloured saree with a matching bindi and of course adding fuel to the fire was her dancing moves. Even at the end of the song, a fully wet in rainwater, Sridevi stretching herself on a pile of hay – ‘Tumne jo li angdayi hai’ – where the diva nibbles on straws with a drenched fire in her eyes, leaving Mr. Kapoor to chivalrously lie on a distant haystack.
While mostly when the film fraternity was in a zone where feminine men were used as a tool to add fun elements on the silver screen, Sridevi was a ray of hope for the LGBTQ community. She was like a powerful symbol for the QUEERS. Her role resonated each and every gays struggle, and also echoed their dysphoria into her characters. And with her, all the queer children surpassed the narrow-minded stereotypes which they were labelled with. Lastly, she might be gone, but the colourful rainbow universe she opened for all the fellow LGBTQ people remains there intact..
Hail the QUEEN! RIP Sridevi.