By Subhash K. Jha
Rishi Kapoor and his son Ranbir don't see eye to eye on any issue. Both father and son have told me that the relationship is, at best, troubled and unfulfilled, and that father and son communicate through Neetu Kapoor.
While they agree to disagree on most issues, there is one thing that Rishi and Ranbir agree on. It is their aversion to the press. While Ranbir discreetly chooses to stay away from the paparazzi and secretly holds them responsible for his relationship problems (how? Don't ask). Rishi openly and contemptuously lashes out at the media at every given opportunity. This seems a little silly considering how much he likes to talk.
Rishi, of course, conveniently retracts when the situation gets sticky for him. Repeatedly, he puts his foot in his mouth and then blames the media for it.
In his latest outburst against the media, Rishi was joined by his elder brother Randhir, who complained that his grandson Taimur Ali Khan (daughter Karee's son) was not getting a normal upbringing because of the intrusive paparazzi.
But, isn't the exposure of the child to the media the parents' choice? If Taimur and the earlier star-kid favourite AbRam are getting more attention than Aamir Khan's little son Azaad, does it mean Saif Ali Khan and Shah Rukh Khan are bigger stars than Aamir? Or that Taimur and AbRam are more popular children in the media than Azaad or Aaradhya?
No. Aamir has chosen to keep his son away from the limelight. And the Bachchans too have decided they will limit Aaradhya's public appearance.
"Normal" is a state of mind which most celebrities are progressively isolated from. Before seeking normality, Taimur's family needs to define it and decide what is normal for them. Being in the limelight is not normal for children from working-class homes. Being celebrity parents if you have a problem with your child getting undue public exposure, then the choice is yours.
Just say no. Unfortutely, it is not a "no" that Bollywood's biggest want. They want yes-men masquerading as mediapersons to write exactly what they want. Sadly, in the hunger for news, the entertainment media is swallowing every bone in the mistaken hope of finding some meat. This week there were two absurd reports which no one swallowed. One suggested that Shah Rukh Khan had turned down two roles offered by Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
First, our actors should know it is extremely bad manners to talk about turning down roles. Nowhere else in the world do actors and their overzealous PR machinery speak on roles that are turned down. Secondly, which are these two films that Bhansali is making to offer them to Mr Khan? He hasn't even begun planning his next. Thirdly, at this juncture in his career, when the projects that he's choosing are letting him down, why would Mr Khan turn down Bhansali?
Even more ludicrous are reports that Priyanka Chopra is likely to do a sequel to "Aetraaz". So says producer Subhash Ghai. Is Priyanka Chopra mad to return to the role of a female predator who crawls and slobbers all over her employee Akshay Kumar. In this era of Harvey Weinstein, the last role Priyanka Chopra would play is that of a sexual predator.
Stars want to be politically correct in their postures both off and on screen. But for that to happen, they first need to look at their own lives and rectify the anomalies and contradictions. So please don't give interviews after downing a few pegs in the evening and then deny your quotes when you see them staring at you the next morning.
(Subhash K Jha can be contacted at email@example.com)