Saturday, February 27, 2010
Delhiites don't know how to deal with celebrities.
Actually all non-Mumbaikars don't know how to behave when there's a celebrity around, no matter how minor. Heaven help you if the said person is seriously famous. My heart goes out to you, buddy!
Now, I say this from recent experience. Last week, I was in Bombay and happened to find my way to a tattered couch at that hookah-coffee lounge called Mocha @ Oshiwara. Now here's a thought: Mumbaikars treat their celebrities like Mocha treats its upholstery, by simply not acknowledging its presence, taking the glitz and the rips in their stride.
Not poor ol' me. I was with some friends who, after introducing me to a minor celebrity (a childhood buddy, no less), promptly walked off to find a corner to smoke. All of them. Together. Now, I should perhaps be happy about the fact that they thought I could well hold my own when faced with a stranger (given my curse of the gab), but heck! I am a warm-blooded Dilliwala, and for us Bollywood sightings are few and far between, and are usually restricted to situations where we can get away with pretending to be more famous than the poor sucker, what with the delicately-perched Diors over our perfectly coiffed hair.
Not in Bombay. And definitely not on holiday from the primness of Delhi. There I was, in a pair of purple capris (hate that word -- calf-length casual pants?), with their limply hanging strings struggling to touch my black beachy flip-flops (i have been told I should drop the pretense and just call them chappals!) and a crumpled shirt that had seen a better morning. And there he was, in all his Woodland-shoes-white-shirt-blue jeans casualness. Now, with just one Bollywood hit to his name (that too of the "parallel movie" variety), I should have been able to deal with the celebrity vibes (poor soul, not that he was aware he was emitting any), but my made-in-Delhi celebritometer started spinning like crazy.
Do I ask "So, what do you do?" and kick him in the nuts with my total lack of recognition?
Or do I act cool and pretend I know who he is but am respecting his right to be at a coffee shop with an old buddy's star-stuck acquaintance without his celebrityhood being called to attention? Huh?
I took the bull by the thorns: "I really liked your work in****** It was a disturbing movie. I wonder why Bollywood can't stick to song and dance". There. Three sentiments for the shame of one.
He smiled ruefully and said: "It was close to reality and that's disturbing sometimes." Touche. Little did he know he was in very close proximity of yet another disturbing reality: well... me. But I soldiered on, trying to be so breezy as to border into the weightless inanity of the mundane, making my hard work painfully obvious to even the waiter who chose to ignore us altogether. Till my friends decided to give their lungs a well-deserved break and rescued me. So, we shook hands and I politely wished him all the best in his future endeavours. I could give "lame" a real run for its money. But then I am no Mumbaikar, am I?
Now it's a different matter that I saw Chetan Bhagat at a curb near a coffee shop somewhere near Andheri, and had this irrepressible urge to run him over...But then that doesn't count, does it?