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Lip Service

If you are a star, you don't need to know what you are promoting, write Bhawna Gera and Shrraddha Shaw.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 16:37 IST

It is raining stars in the city these days. There is a slew of film celebs in town coming to launch books, jewellery lines and some causes too. But do these personalities really connect with what they promote? Or are they just lending their names and faces in return for some more publicity for themselves?

Unopened book: Ajay Jadeja and, not too long ago, Akshay Kumar, had launched books in the city. Jadeja, who released Beyond Code by entrepreneur Rajesh Shetty, had confessed, “Books and me? It has been two years since I read any.” He added that he had come because Piyush Chawla of Vikas Publishing, “Is a very good friend and he probably thought that I would be a good example of leadership quality. So I did not turn him down.”

Action hero Akshay Kumar had launched fashion designer Ritu Beri’s autobiography, Firefly: A Fairytale, some moons ago and had admitted at the do that he had never read a book and had come only to support his friend.

Recently, Hrishita Bhatt and Neetu Chandra (of Garam Masala fame) lent the glam angle to an initiative on female infanticide and the education of the girl child.

When Hrishitta was asked how she related to the cause, she said, “Why are you asking me this question?”

Doesn’t an unconnected celebrity make his/her very presence sardonic? Says Piyush who had invited Jadeja: “The person has to believe in the cause. An ignorant person would look funny but such situations don’t arise often.” Adds Manoj Rastogi, who had hosted Hrishita and Neetu, “Inviting celebs doesn’t always serve the purpose. There has to be some connect. And we have to keep the work of the personality in mind before inviting him.”

Mutual support: Such events offer the organisers and the celebs a golden opportunity for self-promotion. Says Manoj, “The media needs good pictures and we can’t ignore that.”

He plans to rope in Aamir Khan and Suniel Shetty for his next initiative on earthquake-resistant structures and sums it up: “This way, more than 200 mediapersons will come and we will get a good coverage. Otherwise, the news will get buried.”

Little wonder that even art exhibitions have cracked the celeb code — Kajol, Urmila Matondkar, Hema Malini and Manisha Koirala have all been to town to cut ribbon for some or the other canvas show. As for their interest in art, well…