Mr Bharat’s ballistic. For the reader wondering what we are rabbiting on about, yesteryear star Manoj Kumar is up in flames over what he perceives is a mockery of his mannerisms in the Shah rukh Khan-starrer Om Shanti Om. Oh, before we forget, just about every star of yore worth his or her salt was set up in the film that by popular acclaim was thought to be in good humour. Now given that Kumar’s nothing more than a mumbling, shuffling presence at film awards these days, one would have thought he would have been glad to been imitated.
But no, an icon, his words not ours, should not be parodied, he ranted even as Khan and the film’s director apologised. But we are not surprised, one thing you can’t accuse Kumar is of having a sense of humour, at least in his screen portrayals. No, he would appear with plough in hand squinting at the unrelenting sun warbling patriotic songs. It was said of him that he shunned any screen contact of a romantic nature since a true patriot did not give in to baser instincts.
What was far more embarrassing was the actor appearing on TV gabbling about insults and injuries. We wonder whether Khan was taking a swipe when he spoke of the elderly getting rattled easily. Whatever the case, Mr Bharat must sit back enjoy his 15 seconds of fame that has come decades after he vanished from the screen. For the new generation, this is probably the first time they’re discovering that there once was a man who embodied mera Bharat mahaan. As for his tantrums, let’s take them with a pinch of salt, the salt of the earth, that is.