Sunday, December 02, 2007

Our celebrity-obsessed media

Fireworks,the fanfare and the media fuss over Sanjay Dutt's homecoming from Yerwada were in keeping with our Bollywood fan-club culture. The Sanjay admirers who thronged his Pali Hill residence wouldn't have,probably,settled for anything less spectacular.For the celebrity-obsessed electronic media it was the big story of the day. Most channels led their lunchtime news bulletin with Sanjay's home-coming, while around the same time, in neighbouring Pakistan, Gen.Musharaff shed his uniform and took oath of office as his country's civilian president.
NDTV, arguably, one of our more respected elite news channels, went for live coverage,tracking Sanjay Dutt's travel home from the Pune jail to his Mumbai residence.The young and energetic TV reporter, positioning himself across the street from the block of flats where Sanjay lives, gave us details of the scene around him. A huge hoarding put up on a sidewalk read, 'Welcome Sanju Baba'.We heard the TV reporter tell us about how the cops on the scene, present in strength, formed a human-chain to stem the surge of fans onto the street that was cleared for Sanjay's arrival from the airport (he made the trip from Pune in a helicopter).
We learnt a convoy of five media cars followed the Bollywood actor on his drive home from Mumbai airport. As the car carrying him neared the closed gates of his residence hell broke loose and the assembled media'went berserk',as our TV reporter put it.
Wonder what Sanjay Dutt made of such fanfare. A sensitive mind would have felt awkward and acutely embarrased by it all. It wasn't as if he was coming home with an Oscar. Lesser mortals in his circumstances would have preferred to make a quiet entry and slip into their homes unnoticed, even by those in their neighbourhood.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

In Mumbai, the word for people without änything to do is "lukkha".

There are lukkhas numbering in the millions here. Let me give you an instance.

We have a few coconut palms in our yard. Every now and then, we hire some coconut pickers who climb the palms and pick the nuts. They work in teams of two - one guy to pick the nuts and one guy to collect them as they fall. This activity, which is has the crowd pulling charm of someone picking his nose, commands audiences in excess of 100. Swear!

While it would be rash to say that Sanjay Dutt possesses more acting ability than our coconut pickers, the large welcoming crowds are quite understandable. I'm sure a significant proportion of them wants to marry him.