The wedding of the century has come and gone. And standing out like a gangrenous (I’m afraid sore just doesn’t cut it here!) thumb from the myriad magical moments of this coupling is the madness of the far from good, ole media.
Let me begin by confessing. I am a celeb junkie. So don’t expect me to pooh pooh the intrinsic worth of covering the event. The marital merger of two of India’s foremost icons doesn’t merely warrant media interest; it deserves a blitz of WW II proportions. And so like most Indians, I too sat primed and popcorned in front of the idiot box, awaiting every juicy nugget of news. What I got instead was five days of gruel.
When the press realised they weren’t getting a dekko at what the families had always warned us was going to be a private occasion, they began baying for blood. Accusations flew faster than the pallus in a Yash Chopra flick. A talk show had a posse of petulant journos complaining about the lack of photo ops. The argument was that the Bachchans used the press for professional reasons and so, owed it to the media to allow them into the mandap. Well, here’s a reality check. The Bachchans and Rai sell papers and raise TRPs. That’s why you cover their every move. You ain’t doing them any favours. Sure, we’d love to feed our gossip-loving souls on the most minor details, from who made it to the guest list, to what they were kitted out in and how much moolah was spent on the entire shindig. But is it our ‘right’ to know? Absolutely not!
Mainstream media channels chose to dedicate hours of airtime to a clearly deranged woman, who proceeded to fill the airwaves with a clearly cooked-up story about her romance with the groom. On the day of the wedding, photos of the bride with a former boyfriend appeared like the ghost of Christmas past. It’s the hideous hypocrisy of it all that really gets my goat. I don’t know a single person, myself included, in their 30s without a history. To rake it all up on the girl’s wedding day was unforgivably crass.
The biggest revelation was an unintended one. Entertainment journalism doesn’t exist here. We just aren’t up to the job, folks. The wedding of the century will be remembered for many reasons. Right up there on the list for me was the intimacy of the occasion. Keeping it private when the entire nation became a gatecrasher was nothing short of a miracle. Little wonder then that while those at the wedding feasted on shaadi ke laddoo, our media had to sate themselves with the sourest of grapes.