So let me just come to the point, dear reader — I have a problem with our Indian media journalists and scribes — my grouse is they just don’t cover Bollywood adequately… Shouldn’t there be much more media fanfare about our stars? Who wants to only see them in the movies? I want micro details about their lives — their idiosyncracies, food habits, holiday destinations, personal recipes for aloo paratha and Creme Brulee, and quotes from them about everything, should bombard our lives.
I mean let’s just take Sonam Kapoor’s Shaadi last week — here there’s this huge star getting married, and I’m ignorant about who she’s marrying, where the various wedding functions were held, who attended the ‘mehendi’, and stag party, who designed her 51 wedding outfits, what does she think of her hubby’s Instagram pictures, what he thinks of hers, what Karan Johar and cousin Arjun Kapoor wore… Why don’t I have all this vital information? Why didn’t the media fill the virtual world, our broadsheets and the air waves with all this absolutely important news? Really not fair to deprive us of all this! Why are they wasting time writing about stone pelting in Kashmir and elections in Karnataka? Surely this is not as important as that. Totally mistaken priorities, I feel.
And why don’t our media photographers shoot our Bollywood stars more in their private lives — why aren’t they ‘spotted’ coming out of movie houses, multiplexes, gymnasiums and airports? Why aren’t their tiny tots being ‘captured’ with their nannies, in parks, through the windows of their school buses, on their iPads. But, singly, my biggest problem is with our Indian advertisers and marketers. Guys come on, why aren’t our film icons endorsing brand after brand in your advertising campaigns?
Why aren’t copywriters in ad agencies saying to themselves, what is the one USP that my client’s water purifier has over the competition? Is it a better germ killer? No… It’s Hema Malini.
I mean, do you honestly feel that film stars should only act in movies, is that really enough? Like why can’t we see SRK asking us if we know what he smells like in deo ads?
I mean, the great Amitabh Bachchan, I really feel we don’t see him enough — are we satisfied merely watching him as a Gujarati in ‘102 not out’, speaking with the same Bengali accent he had in ‘Piku’?
Why doesn’t his baritone and charisma come out at us through our TV screens, billboards, newspaper supplements and magazines? Surely we want to also see him advertise Direct-To-Home cable facilities in a Bengali accent, tell us that we can control the temperature on our Air Con at home, from our mobile phones while sitting at the airport, and convince us to visit Gujarat. Is that so difficult?
To sum up, I want to be Bolly-wooed much more. Or I will just boycott all brands that don’t have a film star endorsing it. And stop buying newspapers that don’t have many more Bollywood pages. We just aren’t Bollywoodised enough as a country.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org