Fading Stars

Of heroes, hero worship and short public memory



Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Said the bard some 500 years ago, but tragedy is that even in this modern age many stars and celebrities fail to draw lessons from it. The only Superstar as Rajesh Khanna was, in Hindi Cinema for one after another blockbusters in early 70’s even in the fag end of his career could not swallow the bitter pill of being superseded by Amitabh. With the rise of Amitabh Bachan the only superstar of Bollywood faded. The same Amitabh had a string of flops and duds in 90s, in films like Laal Baadshah,Insaniyat,Mrityudata and Sooryavansham. Now the old star was playing the angry young man role but finding fewer viewers. To his credit, once Amitabh realized it, his second innings  as KBC(Kon Banega Crorepati)host created ripples and very soon the man who played angry young man for nearly two decades now created a new brand image for himself, as an elderly man with French beard engrossing a common man with his persona and in the process making him millionaire. Thereon whether it was a negative role in Mohabbatein or a teacher in Black, a separated father in Bhagban, Auro in Pa, suffering from Progeria, all won accolades. But when the same Amitabh played an old man in love with young Tabu in Cheeni Kum, the film proved really a cheeni kum for his fans. The same Amitabh of Deewar fame,when in Budha hoga tera baap, repeated those lines, “Hum jahan khade ho jate hain, wahi se line shuru hoti hain” was found to be a poor mimic of his unforgettable performances. People didn’t find a connect with the older version of angry young man. Dev Anand had Midas touch for films till he started mimicking the old Dev, thereafter nothing seemed to go green for once evergreen superstar. It looks pretty ugly when old stars run after  younger heroines, and as a viewer I  am left aghast to remark,“Gosh! what on earth could draw these gorgeous heroines towards these puckered bulks!
Shahrukh Khan changed the romantic jargon of Bollywood after DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge)but the same Shahrukh Khan in another flick made under the banner of Yashraj Films, after 17 years, in Jub Tak Hain Jan doesn’t look the same Raj who became heartthrob of millions in India and overseas. When age catches dimples do dimple more but the time’s heavy wrinkles leave scars on your image. There can neither be a star nor a man who can not die.
In a cricket crazy nation, cricketers are followed like  demigods. Saurav Ganguly, had a  fantastic record both as Indian captain and as one of the most elegant and prolific southpaws. One would have hoped his retirement coming with much fanfare, but that didn’t happen. Even in his IPL stint after his flip flops with the bat, the franchisee, Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t pick him for the last season. His stint with Pune Warriors was also heart breaking for his fans. But it took even a cricketer of his caliber some seasons of IPL to realize, Dadagiri on field was over. Rahul Dravid too retired, not before breaking the wall of respect that he had built over the years. And the very very special Laxman was given no special treatment when he had a poor run in England and Australia, so he too called it a day. Sachin Tendulkar is nothing short of a “Bhagwan” for people in India. With such following and at the same time, pressure of keeping with the same status, when he is catching 40’s, Sachin finds himself at a sticky wicket. Adulation can sometimes prove your agony for you want to be what the world wants you to be, even when your time is over. At this juncture Sachin finds himself in a dilemma-to be Sachin, the Master blaster or not to be. Could any star,rest on his laurels, and if he can,how long?Kirti Azad recently satirically remarked, “I can’t ask Bhagwan to retire”. Rightly said by a humorist, “When you climb the Mount Everest, there is nothing higher to be climbed”, but once you climb the Mount Everest the only thing you can do to yourself is to come down. Sachin broke many records, created his own and now the only thing that remains undone is to retire.
It is as true for all other stars, one day or the other they have to give way to someone else. Even a heavenly star turns a black hole someday, so how can his earthly counterpart escape? Nobody can hold the swift foot of time back.
(Feedback at altaftake1@gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 23 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 24 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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