This happened a year ago. It was morning. I was walking from one office to another and had to cross the Hurkisondas Hospital junction. The signal was green for cars. I waited. Soon, the signal turned red and the traffic stopped. I started to cross. Just then, a motorbike came up from the side towards me. I stopped, assuming that he would as well. He came up to my feet and continued to rev his bike with the assumption that I would step back and let him go ahead. I stood my ground and raised my hand asking him to halt. He continued to inch that little bit ahead, wanting me to give way.
I lost it. I put my hand on the bike as if to stop it, turned ninety degrees, caught the rider by his neck and pushed him. He in turn caught my shirt. I hit him. He fell back, but managed to balance himself. I walked away. He yelled after me. I was shaking, angry and wanted to go back and hit him some more, but managed to keep some control and kept walking.
Now imagine if I was a celebrity!
Within no time, it would have become a circus. The rider would have recognized me and would have gone to the police. Someone would have probably taken a video and uploaded it to YouTube. Another person would have tweeted some crap. In a few hours, it would have been all over the news channels. And the next day would have seen headlines of how I had bashed up someone without any provocation, with all kinds of people adding their rubbish two bits.
Celebrities are soft targets.
I am not defending Mr. Saif Ali Khan. Maybe he was provoked, maybe be wasn’t. But it is all too easy for the opposite party to play “victim”, especially when the celebrity is assumed by one and all to be guilty until proven innocent. You can’t clap with one hand!
You could be having a quiet dinner with family. A persistent, irritating fan could go on troubling you. You could lose it. And…it’s still your fault and not that of the person who was irritating you.
It is a no-win situation. People say that the loss of privacy is the price one pays for being famous. Which honestly is just so much rubbish. Any human being, famous or not, has the right to be left alone if he/she desires so.
Unfortunately, it is never that simple. Over the last few years, we have all turned voyeurs, savoring and devouring the smallest little celebrity detail that the media dishes out, the celebrities too falling over themselves to provide fodder. So, if Ms. Bipasha Basu loves to eat one rosogolla a day with Natural coconut ice-cream, or if Ms. Katrina Kaif uses orange colored nail polish every Tuesday evening or if Mr. Sanjay Dutt has a bath only after 9 every other Friday night, it makes news. Ms. Karishma Kapoor’s wedding was the biggest front-page news item the day she got married and any event, important or not, related to the Bachchan family makes it diligently to the top of the news feeds, as did the episode at Wasabi earlier this week.
We blame the media for blowing up the irrelevant. But it will obviously highlight what sells and clearly there is a huge audience out there lapping up news about celebrity weddings, births, deaths, split-ups and of course bashings.
Honestly, I wonder if it’s worth being a non-politician celebrity any more. You lose too much for too little gain!