One of the lessons I’d imbibed early in life was the transcience of all things materialistic. Included in that categorisation was, believe-it-or-not, fame,’fickle fame on a shifty plate’ It frightened, unnerved, rattled me. Something within, made me cringe at every opportunity that remotely led toward the direction of an in-the-face existence. That it would always be accompanied with ‘baggage’ of the undesirable, had made a dent deep enough in my psyche. ‘Peace of mind’ I had convinced myself, was an antonym to ‘popularity’..oxymorons.I chose the former with complete conviction.
Considered fodder for gossip and meat for shutterbug happy scribes, was not an idea that went down well with the romanticised imagery of life as envisaged.
Two decades later, I react in much the same way. Given a choice between a life in the hills, in the bosom of natural suroundings, tending to a personal garden, leading a quiet secluded, obscure life, over one which spelt a fast paced, glitzy, flashy one, I’d most definitely opt for the quieter, all over again. Mumbai does this to you. If you are a keen learner, sharp observer, then much can be achieved in a short span of time..sometimes even maturity.
It has often been sagely averred that personal and professional life of stars are at loggerheads for most part of their journey. Successfully attaining both is tightrope walking, with no guarantee of a positive outcome. For those to who reaching a nadir professionally is the priority and raison d’etre of their being, this post will hold no interest..not even cursory. However, some subscribe to the rationale of personal happiness taking unflinching precedence over worldly acclaim..especially if the price includes a total and complete surrender of privacy into the hands of a sensation-at-any-cost-crazy media catering to an eager-to- swallow-celeb-hype-public.
Recently, Aishwarya Rai was in the news for two reasons, One, the much awaited ‘Umrao Jaan’ pre-release publicty was at its peak. Second , not so comforting was the reported ‘telling off’ she received by Jaya Bachchan, her supposedly soon to be mother in law, on arriving late at a sit in dinner at their home . My first reaction was amamzement at the news leak. One cannot imagine media presence in the private precincts of the Bachchan residence, where it was alleged to have occurred. Second reaction was disgust, frankly. Exactly, where do these guys who report draw the line on ethical and responsible news making.
Considering the privacy of the moment, not only is the credibility of the news at stake, but the fan fare following the incident, if indeed it had taken place, an incident hardly deserving of raking up such a fuss. Are we as a nation so sunken as to enjoy a rebuke by a senior to a junior on punctuality..or is it the innate love of gossip that excites the darker side, savouring the fact that the great Ms. Rai, was not so great for the B family and most of all revelling in the disclosure that a saas bahu saga was about to emerge from this tip of the iceberg.
Eitherway, it was annoying. For a relationship as delicate as a fiancee and the soon to be in-laws, this rather embarassing scandal can create ripples. Its mischievous to the core. Lack of strength, and steely nerve required to tolerate this infringement on a persons private life, has led to many a marriage falling apart, relationships crumbling under the constant, relentless glare of media attention, and life taking on precarious curves, at the slightest provocation.
“Public Property’ is the reason ascribed boldly,brazenly, blithely to this shameful intrusion. If the media transports you to dizzying heights of unadulterated adulaton, then it has accorded itself the privilege of simultaneously ripping your privacy, critically monitoring every move and gate crashing into your emotional cloud, as and when it suits them…
A celebrity may live in an insulated bubble, but they hold the pins.
If you have opted to be an actor, then the tacit surrender of your private life is a given..sad. I suspect that the performing community would have witnessed a qualitative upward graph, had the media and its scandalous attributes not been a hardened reality, indigestible to those to who the love for acting was a passion, but a decent, respectable, peaceful way of life an uncompromisingly obsessive need.
You win some, you lose some..whoever said life is a bed of roses..even if you are the most beautiful woman in the world or the Queen of England..The media can be a great equalizer..Diana or Aishwarya..who cares? Sharks with teeth sharpened for a ‘byte’ need their prey.