STOP judging the misery of Bollywood stars. They’re as humane as we are
Imagine a situation when you wake up one fine morning, have your cuppa of coffee and then grab up a newspaper in your hand, only to see a BREAKING scandal on the first page which is all about YOU. What would be your reaction? You’ll be shocked and paranoid, right?
The same goes for our Bollywood celebrities too.
They are famous, and we think that they are over-privileged, and so, we rob them of all the humanity we pride ourselves upon. We forget that Bollywood celebrities might also get the same feeling of helplessness when they are pulled into a puddle without any reason; for those just for the sake news. The point we want to prove here is that, we literally rely on the lives of our Bollywood celebrities; what they eat? where are they vacationing/partying? she was so fake during that interview?, and we so love it.
But on a franker note, do we really know when to not cross the line? Let’s talk about a recent example, that of megastar Amitabh Bachchan. When many media houses reported (not us) that Senior Bachchan had been admitted to Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai; but the truth was something else. The star had actually visited the hospital for a routine check-up as he was complaining about a pain in his lumbar. Later, Big B penned down a poem in Hindi which explained that while he totally understands the photographers’ need for his pictures to continue their work and it is just part of their profession, those camera flashes may act hazardous at times, especially to the eyes, which is why he hid his face with a hat. PERIOD! Have a look at his heartfelt poem below:
That’s just one of the example, when a problem of a star was not at all sympathised, but was churned into a BREAKING news.
Even actress Preity Zinta recently became the catch for many media portals when the dimpled beauty was snapped exiting a hang-out spot in Mumbai wearing a ill-fitted dress. And then what, there were speculations that Is Preity Zinta pregnant and is that a Baby bump she is flashing? Like really peeps, now a actress can’t even wear a loose clothing piece, does everything needs to be oh-so gossip tuned?
When Deepika Padukone talked about her depression story, without a doubt there were fans who sympathised the lady. But over time, there were also many who pointed out the credibility of her confession. Questions were raised and statements were thrown at her which in a gist meant that being a lady who enjoyed so much fame and money, how could she claim of suffering from depression. Clearly, such people just proved their ignorance of the fact that Depression is not just a verb, but actually a mental illness which can claim anyone, irrespective of status, wealth, talent and beauty.
How fickle and heartless we are as audience. We claim to be head over heels in love with our stars and yet when it comes to such times and things, we leave no chance to take a jibe at them.
Few months back Aishwarya Rai Bachchan paid the price of being a celebrity, when paparazzi zoomed and clicked some tacky snaps of the star when she had visited Manish Malhotra‘s residence for dinner, along with her hubby. But instead of being supportive and taking Aish’s side, social media took pleasure out of those GROSS photos. We wouldn’t have reacted the same way if it would have happened with someone close to us, right?
Yesterday, a media portal bashed Sonakshi Sinha with her choice of ensembles which she wore during her film’s promotion. While we do get that everything cannot be sugar-coated, but we do need to be subtle in the way that even celebs as humans get what we are trying to say.
Forget sympathy, where is the empathy?
Are we affirming the fact that celebrities are rich and so their misery is not at all real? Why can’t we gulp the fact that the problems of our stars are also genuine? Their misery, no matter how public, are real, even in the cut-throat ugly world of glamour. Agreed that they are rich, move in their swanky cars and do what not; but at last they are HUMANS just like you and me.
Lastly, not all celebrities are publicity obsessed. And we should surely learn where to draw a line. TIME OUT!
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.