Shahrukh Khan takes over as the host of Big Boss in the next session from Salman Khan, scream headlines in news papers and magazines!
And gossiping about the infamous rivalry between the two Khans, full with the sequence of their earlier spats and show downs fills up pages of tabloids and film journals.
But is this even news, much less unexpected? After grabbing headlines and attention in the first para or two lower down the same story tells us that Salman had hinted after the last session of the popular reality show he had been hosting that this was his last innings.
So, where’s the rivalry and bad blood which the public wants to see so desperately? Many readers like me must be feeling cheated by the misleading headlines. Being led up the garden path for nothing at all- no fire works, no fistic cuffs no show- down. Just a formal announcement that one star takes over after another had called it a day.
This is the latest example of film magazines trying to extract the last ounce of our pent up emotions to sell their magazine, not the first and certainly not the last.
There are endless examples of such’ fixed’ matches that leave the people disgusted. The bigger the stars the better.
Not very long ago many of us were convinced that the Badshah (Shahrukh Khan) did not pull along with the ‘Shahenshah’ (Amitabh Bachchan). What added spice to this gossip was the alleged insult of the Great Bachchan by an Upstart and snobbish Shahrukh.
Luckily both were too mature to let these rumours affect their relationship. They behaved absolutely normally as if they did not read newspapers or watch TV. In fact Shahrukh is a hot favourite of the Bachchan family including Jaya and Abhishek Bachchan. Their mutual admiration in public is too real to be clogged down by rumours.
More than men people want to enjoy the bitching of the glamorous divas of Bollywood. And the camera of the channels desperately try to analyse each word, every glance of theirs to tell people “We told you so didn’t we.” Sometimes they manage to create a fire where was none.
But the newer generation especially that coming into its own with a filmi background is wiser.
Gossip magazines were in for a shock that Alia Bhatt from the Bhatt clan congratulated Shraddha Kapoor, Shakti Kapoor’s daughter for the success of ‘Ek Villian’. How can two contemporary stars wish each other well , they wondered. This had to be fake.
But this is not the first example of behaviour that journalists bred in old school of journalism will not be able to digest.
When Alia’s films ‘Highway’ and ‘2 States’ were released, film personalities of the caliber of Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar were openly admiring the arrival of a new star on the horizon. They went on to say that her portrayal reminded them of the classic ‘Arth’ produced by Mahesh Bhatt.
Remember, Shabana herself had played the lead in that film along with Smita Patil.
And the admirers of Alia included Parineeti Chopra, yet another contemporary actor who was fulsome with her praise of the new arrival. Times are changing and film journalism has to take note of this unless it wants readers to use their paper for some other purpose than reading!
By: Amitabh Srivastava
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