Sunday, October 30, 2011

Star Struck!


Today was unusual. 

We were shooting with a certain celebrity and were penalized with curtness, non-cooperation, non-punctuality and accused of being unprofessional and impolite when our only crime, I think was not being celebrities ourselves. Who would have thought that such a demure, dainty, pretty, child-like, innocent, pleasant, etc. etc. heroine, usually the lady in distress would in reality turn out to be more like the vamp who is desperate for the hero or envious of the heroine, (though these days the vamp is the sexy one) whose mind is actively plotting against the good in the world, who drinks, smokes etc. etc?

I have grown up loving, admiring and wanting to be like them. Thanks to my profession, I now see a celebrity as a mere mortal, in some cases, even a weaker person than I am. Being a journalist, I judge them differently than the regular audience. And since I see them and interact with them closely, I know the inside story more than the usual audience does. It is nothing I am proud of. It is only a reality broken open to me the first time I interviewed a celebrity. I no longer have the eye, heart, mind or whatever it takes, to blindly love a celebrity for their beauty, charm, stardom or whatever it is that we love them for.

Why are celebrities arrogant? By celebrity, I strictly am referring to movie stars only. They are rich, popular, pampered on the sets, in demand…ok, I get the reason why.  But we (media and audience) are the ones who make them that big. It is funny how they think (or don’t even think) it is ok to treat us like nobodies when they are solely dependent on us for being somebodies. Is it possible they behave so because they are insecure? I think it is. I think they are as insecure as rude and pricey they get.

Well, the question is—would I have been the same had I been as popular? Would I have been friendly and accommodative or arrogant, though the only thought that always passes my mind while conveniently judging them is ‘had I been in their position, I would have never done that. I would have been on time. If not, I would have informed. I would have treated everyone with respect’? But would I have? Is it not possible that I was too harsh and too quick on judging them? A good learnt lesson of mine is that you never really know what a person is going through. But is that always an excuse good enough to not treat others and their time and effort with respect?

As viewers, we waste no time in instantly believing a positive character portrayed to be the true nature of the actors. And as viewers, who spend hard-earned or hard-begged or easily borrowed money to watch a movie once, twice or even thrice if we like it, we also wait for the moment of truth—that they are HUMANS. We want to know how they screw up their love lives or how they get into extra-marital affairs or pre-marital pregnancies, or how they need drugs or even how they actually do have a digestive system and can eat and very well defecate too. As far as I know, no human is fully good or bad. We all have all the positive and negative qualities. Circumstantially, they come out in form of feelings without our help. It is our choice to transform these feelings into actions. Going by this philosophy, when a celebrity is not the little happy princess or the macho prince charming we took for granted they were, we take it as the ultimate truth about their nature. Instead of understanding, we declare our hatred towards them since they failed to meet our expectations. Why do we look up to pretty people as the be-it-all and the know-it-all?

I would like to take a moment and wonder “what if I had become a celebrity and behaved so? Why would I have behaved so?” Or “what was it something that we did as journalists that caused the celebrity to behave so?”

What is to be made out of this? Are we small-minded people with sky-high expectations? Either the celebrities know how to sell themselves, or their flawlessness in those high-resolution pictures in the perfect dresses on the perfect figures on glossy papers and big movie screens is such that we can’t get ourselves to expect anything less than that. Who is the cruel one here—the hungry-for-glamour audience or the hungry-for-fame celebrity? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crazy. work. month. phew!. at. sigh. !.


From not wanting a career and wanting to be a wanderer, I have come to want a career. I always wanted to be a writer, a journalist, but a young resident of a non- pragmatic world that I was, my chosen route was adventurous, yes, but unfruitful. This time I have chosen the conventional path and I approve of it.

More than a year after graduating, I finally have a job which I know I will hold for at least a year unless I get fired or a calamity occurs and I die.  After a year of jumping from one publication to another, a year of living on minimum bank balance, almost a year of leaning on dad for financial support, I now know when I will receive my next pay cheque.

I am not a freelance writer anymore. I am a feature writer in a very well-known magazine in Hyderabad, a magazine which in itself is a brand. I have many apprehensions and little confidence on my writing now, what with the many unasked for harsh criticisms drilled into me. I can’t help being an optimistic. I just cannot. Hence, I can’t help but refuse to give up on myself.

From the first month itself, I have been given responsibilities in this organization which go further than writing and the publishing of the magazine depends on these tasks. It has been a crazy month. Yes, that’s the word. Crazy.  Also, hectic. Stressful can fit in too. Also, excitement.  A strange kind of pleasure that comes while working under pressure. I have hardly had time to stand still and stare or to sit and let my ass grow fat. I have not eaten very well or on time. I have been woken up not very early in the mornings by my editor’s and colleague’s calls. I have worked hours after waking up without brushing my teeth or thinking of my breakfast, even. I have made mistakes. Silly mistakes and blunders. I have made efforts to do better. I have been yelled at. I have been and put others under pressure. I have cursed and probably been cursed too. I have been confused, and confused others and been asked “why are you so confused?” I have dreaded notifications of new mails in my inbox, which has been flooded with mails. Oh, it really is a famine in there!  I have been apologetic, and been mad at my friends for not letting me work, whereas they do nothing but loyally stand by me. I have complained and been complained about.  I have screamed at my boyfriend and been understood by him. I have been chased by time and been chasing time. Deadlines, sigh, these deadlines. Under all this chaos, I have worked and worked and worked.

I feel wholesome now that the crazy month is resting until tomorrow when it will commence its giant motor that runs on time management and probably my life and blood too. Amidst the pile of work, my not very little part of brain that is responsible for all my fantasies put me in the center of the movie in my head, as it reminded me that I was almost in a situation like Anne Hathway in Devil Wears Prada. May be it is because of this similarity that I think it would be cool to write about my experience. May be. The brain has so much going on. I can’t trace back the reason to every action of mine, not past midnight at least.

Every time I made a mistake, I feared I would be fired soon or I would be paid less than promised. In spite of this chaos, each night I have slept with the overflowing joy of dreaming. Each night, I have slept knowing tomorrow will be a better day, knowing I will work harder, work better, earn better. Each night I have slept dreaming that someday I will be what I want to be-a good writer, a good journalist.

Here I am, waiting for tomorrow, for I have learnt better.