You are somebody famous na? I’ve seen your photo in the newspaper…’ Those were the words that changed my life. Of course, the aforementioned photo was of me with a bunch of friends getting drunker than a rehab failure fresh off the wagon at TGIF and the article read “Die Rich Brats! Die!”…or something like that. Not exactly stuff that would spring forth happy tears to my mother’s eyes or make my father’s chest puff up with paternal pride. But there it was, surprise squirting like an excited puppy on an unsuspecting passerby’s leg …fame."What is fame? The advantage of being known by people of whom you yourself know nothing, and for whom you care as little" said Lord Byron…er…famously. Some get famous the hard way. By writing books, making movies, training to be good at a sport and by other equally tiresome means. Others just have it fall into their laps like a lissome heroine (who neglected to hold the hand rail in a Metro despite repeated nasal announcements) … By having the DNA sequence that launches a thousand brands, by being born to famous people, by marrying them or by being murdered by them. But a vast majority gets famous only in their heads. Tu jaanta nahin main kaun hoon?...Roadies pe pre-quarter-finalist tha…
Look At Me, Me, Me!
It’s the need to be noticed, and hopefully remembered, which birthed the pox which inflicts modern television… Reality shows that refuse to exit gracefully, leaving air time for more meaningful or at least more entertaining programmes. Much like our netas in the parliament. Who’d rather be insulted by overbearing, pompous and downright mean people on TV than live a respectable life of anonymity.
I’m surprised there aren’t matrimonial ads out yet that read – ‘Kshatriya boy, 5 ft 8”, wheatish complexion, four-figure pocket money, has appeared on TV as studio audience for 2.03 seconds, seeks alliance with fair, homely, convent educated, modern girl with traditional values. Only girls who’ve appeared in any mass media need apply.’ At least so the wedding card could declare a “celebrity marriage”. After all, not everyone is blessed enough to have a celeb visit their wedding to “not promote” his/her upcoming show.
I’m A Celebrity And I Know It
Becoming a celeb today is more coveted than finding a cure for cancer or even Sachin’s next century. And the TRP-seeking, ultra-low standards of today’s media are a big boon for us really-really-wannabes. You just have to stand out amongst a population of 1.22 billion, somehow. Dress as Bappi Lahri’s twin to audition for a singing contest (singing skills optional), offer to marry every mother’s nightmare on air, swear on national television that you saw a flying cow, slap a politician, or let one sleep on your charpai (strictly platonic) or simply trample a fellow spectator at a cricket match to grab that 3 sec camera time while bowlers surreptitiously pick at the ball’s seam with their finger nails...allegedly.
Or you could just offer to shed your clothes for…um… national morale. Not that you have to follow through, just the offer itself is enough. (Turn to page 14 for elaborate tips on that!) And if all else fails you could always find a celebrity to have an “encounter” with. Bump into them, step aside for them, wave at them from behind a security cordon, wait outside their home for a darshan or even troll them on Twitter. That way all your conversations can start with “Ek bar na jab maine Shah Rukh ko…”
Epilogue: If anyone finds this article offensive, please create a controversy to make me a celebrity. Pretty please?
Neeti Palta is a Delhi girl, seeking attention from people with good lung power.
What do you think when you think ‘celebrity’: “Where? *looks around*”
What makes you ROFL? Humans.
Do you think you are a celebrity: “Nope. Because if I was you’d be writing my bio instead.”
From HT Brunch, May 20
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