Almost Famous

15 minutes of fame. That is what reality shows all over the country are ready to give you in exchange for your emotions. Most of the youngsters would gladly jump at the opportunity given the long queues outside the audition venues of these reality shows, but the recent nervous breakdown of Shinjini (a reality dance show participant) has everyone questioning as to who the real culprit behind her condition is – judges, parents or poor Shinjini herself?

By now we all have understood that the fame these reality shows offer is really short lived and very few winners actually make it big. However, the desire to be seen on TV, to be recognized everywhere, to be a show stopper and to rule the hearts of millions runs strong in all these contestants who come with dreams in their eyes. However, sadly, they realize that the road to fame is like the road to heaven, rife with obstacles and tribulation.

Shinjini too entered the dance competition to exhibit her talent and secretly hoping to get her 15 minutes of fame. But those minutes ended very soon.

She went into depression and was almost paralyzed after reportedly receiving harsh comments from the judges on account of her poor performance. The media lost no time in blaming the judges for her condition but are they really to be blamed?

Of course the judges were harsh but isn’t it their job to be so? Didn’t Shinjini realize the demands and stress contestants face on shows? Wasn’t she prepared to handle the constant media pressure and the heaps of expectations?

People may argue that she is just a 16-year-old teen but after all, she was the one who wanted to be on the show – else she could have quit way back. No contestant is forced to continue the show if he or she is not in a position to do so.

Her parents could have also sensed her initial symptoms of depression but failed to acknowledge it earlier or ignored it believing it to be competition strain which could have prevented the situation from scaling so far. Alas, Shinjini just could not bear the anticipation of the audience and succumbed to her fate.

It seems no one person can be held responsible for what Shinjini is going through but this incident can surely serve as a jolt to all the youngsters who are ready to bare their entire soul in front of millions to be on TV. Even if people do compete in these shows, it is evident that their self esteem should be high and they should be prepared for the criticism which is a part and parcel of these shows. The judges will remain critical, the audience cynical, and the show a spectacle of drama and emotions. Hopefully, a lesson has been learnt from this incident.

As Shinjini battles to get back to her usual herself in NIMHANS, Bangalore, the country’s wishes are always with her – wishing her a speedy recovery.

In the end I would like to quote the words of Carlyle,

“Fame as we may understand is no sure test of merit, but only a probability of such; it is an accident, not a property of a man.”

Abhimanyu Singh

[Image Source:]