Mr. Rishi Kapoor, please calm down. So much arrogance is not justified!
So, we at the media fraternity now have a new name, thanks to Rishi Kapoor. He has just discovered that the reporters and photographers who were trying to capture and talk to them during the Ganpati visarjan from RK Studios were basically ‘small-time journalists’ who ‘poked the damn camera’ on their face. Hmm… deep, very deep!
Here’s what happened. Yesterday, when we were wrapping the day’s work, a video reaches us. Brothers Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor, angry and violent, are seen slapping and pushing journalists in the video. Reason being, they were asking for photographs and bytes.
As soon as the video surfaced, journalists across all the platforms started expressing their displeasure over the incident, questioning the Kapoors’ actions. In response, Rishi Kapoor issued a statement, which was a few notches higher in arrogance.
“I feel it is very unfair, what the news channels have shared everywhere. First of all we have no PR. We never invite anybody. You yourself come to my Ganpati. However, we give ample time to the press to do all what you have to do, in front of the Ganpati murthy. We do this Ganpati not for publicity but have been doing it for the past 64 years. My grandfather started this tradition. There have always been thousands and thousands of people coming to see this Ganpati of RK. They came to see Ganpati, not us. Over 64 years they have been coming to see the immersion. When the Ganpati leaves RK studio, everybody is excited,” the first part of his statement read.
An explanation could not get more lame. What exactly do you emphasise on, Mr. Kapoor? Yes we are aware that the Ganesh Chaturthi celebration is an age-old custom and we are respectful about it. If we are to consider ourselves uninvited, maybe you should put up a ‘PRESS NOT ALLOWED’ board from the next time? But please excuse us the embarrassment! We are not up for you screaming how you did not invite us but were kind enough to allow our presence! Moreover, we would like to humbly remind you that the procession was taking place on the Road, a public place. We did not gatecrash your house. Or, just turn us down politely. Yes, we are not as indecent as you think we are. We were there because we were doing our work. And yes, we were also there because we, the indecent creatures are the ones who would mediate between you and your fans, and show them the glorious Ganpati visarjan you were boasting about. Making sense, are we?
Here comes the next portion of Kapoor’s statement, and it is worse. “This evening there was heavy rainfall. There were so many people and so much media. We have not called them…. It is impossible when there is so much rain and public (to not lose your temper). When we are respecting God, these small time journalists poke the damn camera on your face. Because Ranbir was also there everybody got so excited. I don’t blame them, but they misbehaved with me. If I have indeed slapped them why don’t you show the clip of me slapping? I was behaving like the Mumbai police, trying to monitor the situation. They have misinterpreted it that I misbehaved with the media! You come because you know we are important and you are giving me bull** saying that I have hit you?”,he explodes.
Mr.Kapoor, you forgot that the ‘small-time’ journalists had been waiting all along amidst the ‘heavy rainfall and so many people’ as described by you, to capture your Ganpati visarjan. And you got the reason right. It is because you are important. But then, could we expect you to treat people with a bit more dignity? Would you please justify why would you ‘behave like Mumbai police’, when you are actually not? And because you demand a clip, we do have a clip which shows you indeed were not in your best mood. You say we misbehaved. Would you kindly show us the clip sir?
You know what’s worse, Mr. Kapoor? How you found us to be ‘small time’ journalists. For years and years, these small time journalists have been your way to the people. These small time journalists have made sure your work reached more and more people. These small time journalists have brought you publicity, popularity, limelight, fame. These small journalists, even today, remain your gateway to your fans and followers. Unlike you and people of your stature who enjoy stardom at its best, we don’t have the privilege to pick our dates of work, travel in luxurious vanity vans and make starry demands at work. Because, you are important. And so, we keep attending your functions even after you have made it a practice to slam the media. We keep throwing the spotlight on your dearest son even after he delivers back to back flops. Since it is time for another release; we’re quite sure he is going turn to these small time journalists with a smiling face. Kindly bother to recheck your terms before you randomly pick them and throw at people!
Politeness does not cost one. But at the same time, one does not learn to be polite as quick as one learns to enjoy importance.
Wrote too much, did I? Oops, a small time journalist apologises!
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.