Let me begin by stating that I am a big admirer of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan for a number of reasons, not the least being that he is so good at what he does .
He is, by far, the biggest superstar the Hindi cinema has had. Not only did he deliver a long string of timeless hits in his heyday about three decades back, he is actually still giving the present crop of actors a run for their money. His perfectionism and passion for his work are the stuff of legends.
I admire the way he conveys much more by a mere raising of an eyebrow than what a lesser actor might by delivering a heavy-duty monologue.
He is reasonably well-educated– a rarity in a showbiz populated mostly with people who never finished college.
He speaks beautiful flawless Hindi, which is an even bigger rarity. And I just love his booming baritone (who doesn’t!!)
So how will I react if I, by some fortuitous coincidence, find myself facing the superstar at a public place? Provided he is not being mobbed at that moment– in which case I would run away as fast as I can owing to my fear of crowds– I would probably run up to him and say hello, and how glad I am to see him in person.I would tell him how I have loved so many of his movies. I would also try to get myself photographed with him (and would later upload the pic on Facebook, and conclude that anyone not ‘liking’ it is just plain jealous!! 😉 ). I would then thank him and get out of his way. That is about all. And I am sure most people I know would react along similar lines.
If I were to meet Mr. Bachchan on a show which I know will be on television, my reaction on meeting him would be, if anything, a lot more subdued.
Which is why the conduct of the contestants on KBC leaves me befuddled. What possesses these people to make such spectacles of themselves on national television? Sir, you are great. Sir, please pinch me so I’ll know I am not dreaming. Sir, please look into the camera and say hi to my friend xyz –he is crazy about you. Sir I never watched this show when SRK was hosting it.(Yes, I’ve actually heard a contestant say this.)
AB sports his signature part indulgent, part amused and part embarassed look through all of this.
There’s more. A woman said she’d like to change the colour of her eyes to blue, just like Aishwarya Rai’s. She’d always loved Aishwarya Rai’s eyes, you see, and she just had to tell AB about this. And one contestant wanted to speak to Aishwarya Rai–AB, of course, had to oblige–how can he not oblige people who are diehard fans not just of him but his whole family!
And then you have contestants falling– literally falling, as in prostrating before a deity–at the superstar’s feet. Some contestants unabashedly tell him,”Aapko maine Bhagwan ki tarah pooja hai”.
I realize that I am only just an admirer, and that is a whole lot different from being a fan. What I find bewildering is, how come EVERY contestant turns out to be a diehard fan, one crazier than the other? Is the whole thing scripted? Are the contestants required by the show-producers to act like bumbling, star-struck idiots–maybe as part of the producers’ ‘scaling down’ strategy–or is it just the contestants trying to outdo each other on their own?
A friend I was talking to said that it might not be scripted, because AB looks genuinely embarassed all the time he is being fawned upon. Well, he is sure to be embarassed by all that fawning, whether or not it is scripted, so his embarassment can only be genuine. Or wait, for all we know, maybe even that is scripted? It must be easy peasy for an actor of AB’s calibre to make it look genuine, no? Okay, that was a bit too cynical 😉
Guess we’ll never know for sure unless somebody known to us gets to be on the show. If you’ve known anyone who has been on the show, pray do enlighten me on this issue!