I read the most upsetting news bit in a marquee of a famous news channel the other night. “Aishwarya Rai to receive Padma Shri along with others on 26th January”. I was ashamed of our country at that moment. Aishwarya Rai for art ? In which sense of the word ?!
Is the Padma Sri sold out like the millions of film awards? I guess so. Definitely, Jodhaa Akbar was one of the less deserving ones among those nominated for one of the many awards to follow. But all the awards were swept by them which seemed like a paid show. Art ? Does she know any ? Apart from perfect symmetrical features and God and genes given beauty, she remains plastic to anyone who cares about performances in movies. She does look good in outfits, but her awful performances in almost any movie just make those designer costumes also a waste. Jodhaa Akbar was hardly tolerable and her contribution to Hollywood remains absolute Zilch with a sneeky performance in Pink Panther 2. ( Dont tell me Mistress of Spices was worth a hollywood tag). What art are we talking about here? Oh well, consider the art of being in the limelight continuously with her new martial status and “Bachchan” tag. She makes it regularly to the list of “Most Desired Women” in some foreign magazine and makes it a point to be mentioned in the papers atleast once a while. (Does she pay journalists to take her interviews ever so often?).
This post may seem like a lot of Aishwarya bashing, but hell no! Its bashing the committee which chooses these awardees. Her name being included in the list just makes us wonder if these awards are indeed biased and sold out or atleast influenced. It hurts to take away the credit from the really deserving people out there who finally won the award. But her presence? For art ? Definitely no no. Beauty ? Perhaps yes.
Having said so much about the garbage prevalent in our bollywood, I cringe at the criticism melted out at the recent ‘SlumDog Millionaire‘. Amitabh Bachchan writes a personal opinion on his blog and lo and behold! the nation feels the same way. I choose to differ. The truth is shown in the movie. There is no mention of India being ONLY slums, but slums form an integral part of our landscape. Do you think the slums shown in the movie were sets ? No, absolutely real! Then they ask, what are we marketing to the west? Mumbai airport is surrounded by slums and street urchins beg at every traffic signal in Mumbai or Delhi. Dont the westerners encounter them? Dont they actually see that ? They are curious about the slum dwellers since they are something they havent seen before. Instead of taking steps to cut down the begging industry shown blatantly in the film or the fact that young girls are taken to brothels, we just create a hue and cry asking people not to watch the movie. India is shown as a poor country? Then make a good movie showing India in good light? Did our people expect Singh is King to win nominations for the Oscars? Or perhaps a copy of another english film “Memento” to make it there? Firstly, we copy everything from some Hollywood film, be it the latest Raaz( a heady mix of The Ring, Exorcist and Stigmata) or Gajini( Memento) or Yuvraaj (The Rainman) and then tell the west, look at the Indian film industry?
Agreed, the west aint all that clean also.They like to project certain stereotypical images of countries in Asia. Israel should make war movies, France should make arty movies etc etc. But hell, this movie deserves no complain. We must accept reality, choose to eradicate the shortcomings and be honoured that the most deserving musician who definitely is one of the best in the world has finally got what he deserves. A Golden Globe and some Oscar(s) definitely.