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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

bollywood tabloids continued (just thought i'd expand on one of the previous posts a bit)

in an earlier post i proposed that a recently publicised argument between between Sharukh Khan and Salman Khan was some sort of new phenomenon.. as if the worst things about Hollywood had somehow rubbed off on them...

but after looking through some old magazine covers from India-- Stardust, Filmfare, Super, etc- from the 60's and 70's, it seems that these tabloids have been feeding the rumours, accusations, and alleged scandals for years... see the pictures below- they are proof that the media fed voraciously on any bit of personal info they could find about Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bhaduri (now Bachchan), Vinod Mehra, Zeenat Aman, Shabana Azmi, Smita Patil, Hema Malini, basically, everyone's life was open game for reporters whose livelihoods depended on keeping the rumors alive... so it's nothing new...

the argument between Sharukh and Salman might be a prime example of pettiness among these younger actors, but it's usually amplified and distorted by the media, as they are so good at doing-(see the classic feud between Zeenat and Shabana that sold so many papers back in the day?)- i guess it's always been this way. Without a doubt, the media must have fed off of the troubled life of the legendary Meena Kumari- possibly the media even assisted her tragic downward spiral. Some stars get very harsh criticism when their human side starts to show. Maybe Hollywood and Bollywood were never really that different in terms of the drama behind the dramas.

From Super Magazine -1970s -"Everyone's talking about it.. Some journalists justify it, you dear reader love every minute of it, Gossip, Scandal, the stuff that sells magazines, makes the sordid glamorous, the innocent sordid, and makes unknown people stars overnight or stars into ciphers with the stroke of a pen. But what is gossip? Where is it spawned and how does it spread? Is it good, bad, or is it like the truth above [labeling]?? and what does a gossip writer feel like?"
alas, tabloid scandals are just one more of those things we share universally, all around the world- these dramas are catharsis for millions of people worldwide whose imaginations get wrapped up in wild fantasies of the turbulent lives of their movie star idols.. no matter how totally fabricated or blown out of proportion. In fact, for the press.. the more outrageous or shameful, the better.. it should also be noted that the stars themselves often feed the gossip for publicity ; )

so how have these older bollywood stars kept it together for all these years and still remain so dignified? the younger artists should learn from these great legends- Amitabh , Hema Malini, etc.. who didnt burn out early on and are still acting even today.. surviving this kind of scrutiny, you must really have some hidden reserve of strength, humility, and patience -- many of these actors have survived some real tragedies (Zeenat Aman went through some very troubled times, as many of these actors have..) and for the most part they've kept their dignity intact despite the shameless scrutiny of the press.. it's a testament to the true character of the older generation..


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