The Limelight Can Get Acidic


There’s nobody in this world who dislikes gaining name and fame.

The whole country knows you. You are talked about in every house. You have to face the paparazzi.

It all feels good but there is another side to the story as well.

Fame comes with a tax of being under the scanner.  You have to choose your words and works with caution. It’s like think twice and thrice even if you have to stay unwise!

From being on the top charts in the Forbes magazine to Wankhede stadium where he became notorious due to his foul mouth during IPL matches, to the US airport where he is always questioned, Shahrukh Khan always grabs a large amount of space on the headlines of a newspaper.

He does not always rule in a royal way but whatever way it is, people love discussing him, raising him to the throne or pushing him in to the river to drown. A few months back, during the IPL season when SRK showed his angst and mouthed a few objectionable words in Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium, Sanchari Bhattacharya wrote an article on titled “Why we love to hate SRK”. It is an interesting read, but the author of course sounds like a true SRK fan. Others definitely would love to talk against the article and do their bit at mudslinging.

The article has a link to that night’s recording too, where we hear that even SRK had to face the constable’s angst and verbal abuse, but all we are interested in is what SRK said that night because  “SRK and sex sell in India,” as told by Neha Dhupia.


After watching his long reply to Rehman Malik, the Pakistani minister, I understood how tough it is to be a celebrity and speak your mind out. Check the link below for the detailed reply and video.

Like he said, celebrities have always been soft targets. They have to give long explanations and justifications after their write ups, speeches and movies .They actually have to explain why they did what they did after doing anything and everything. We are a celebrity-struck nation.  We are obsessed with them and our love or hatred towards them is strong and it multiplies every year!

Our favorite star buys a new car. We follow that news more than the falling share value of the company we work for. The matchless celebrity beauty gained weight after delivery. The fans were again bothered by it or might have got happy thinking everyone has the same fate and stars are no different.  The number of times Aishwarya’s obese pictures was circulated on Facebook and the prolonged discussions that followed made me dizzy.  Being a celebrity is not all about lime light; most of the time, it’s about avoiding the same.  Someone rightly said that “A celebrity is one who craves to enter from the front door till he becomes famous and escapes from the back door after becoming famous!”

Celebrities have the power to escape the imprisonment and get away with their crimes but they are always under a magnifying lens.  We may not get united and react to that road accident or violation of some other law because of our love towards them but we vehemently raise our voice against their opinions or movies or articles. We are offended and take it personally if he/she does something against our will.

Kamal Hassan’s Vishwaroopam is another example of this. The movie has been getting space on the front page ever since its release. Kamal Hassan said in the latest news that he has to leave India and search for a secular country! He said if Hussain had to do it, Hassan also will do it.


A rapist may escape punishment under the garb of being a juvenile, another Kasab’s death sentence will be delayed on humanitarian grounds, soldiers will be beheaded at the borders, hate speeches will keep flowing from one region to another, politicians will continue giving their never-ending baseless opinions and ideas to prevent rape, of which “avoiding chowmein” and going home straight from school or college will top the charts! They will be blatantly asked questions by Arnab Goswami after that. Getting “Arnabized” is the term that has been coined for that lately!  Burkha Dutt will argue on everything on television seeking everyone’s opinion!

In the midst of all this, Kamal Hassan will release his movie and Shahrukh Khan will write something about “Being a Khan” in the Outlook magazine, and it will grab eyeballs all over India!

If it was not a celebrity, nobody would have reacted so violently. If I wrote the same, it would have been liked or read or ignored, but this is Shahrukh Khan that we are talking about. He will continue living lavishly; anchoring a few more award shows and buying more players for his team and acting in more movies. Fools are the people who pick up a few words here and there and create a different meaning altogether out of them, making it an “objectionable” article.  Maybe that’s the reason Shahrukh requested the media to release the video of his response “as it is” all over the news, so that people actually see and understand in what tone he is talking, and interpret it in the way it should be!

Hussain, Hassan, Khan, Rushdie; irrespective of who you may be, it’s proven yet again that pen is not mightier than sword. The pen itself can be the sword which will cause you to fight for yourself.  During this hullabaloo, the rape rates continue zooming, social atrocities keep growing, corruption rates will keep increasing and the number of people below the poverty line will keep rising.

It’s not that we are not bothered about the crime and injustice. We fight against them too, but we have our best interests in the celebrities’ life and their works. We fight until our last breath to ban the movies and books we don’t like and to call an actor an outsider, but meanwhile all the actual crimes which happen will keep happening.

Yes, we are Indians. We love to track our “stars” and know our future, but we are more obsessed with the “stars” and love deciding their future!

Afshan Shaikh

Image Courtesy [Afshan Shaikh]