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Thursday, September 19, 2019



Town's warring hotties announce cease-fire! White flags declaring peace and patch-up flail the air ending several silly, messy and childish spats played out in public. Is it for real, or Oscar-winning performances for eye-ball grabbing and raising the ante for self-publicity?
MONOJIT LAHIRI | Issue Dated: September 29, 2013, New Delhi
Tags : SRK | Ranbir Kapoor | Jealous | Dharam and Rajesh | Dilip Kumar |

I  remember asking the great Dev Anand - at the height of Rajesh mania – his views on the newly anointed superstar. Dev Saab allowed himself a wry smile and then, nodding his head in trademark style, made an unforgettable comment. “Monojeeet, get back to me after ten years on this subject, phir baat karte hain!” What the evergreen hero suggested was that meteors come and go but legends endure forever. While there was not the slightest remorse or sarcasm in his voice, it was clear that the ageing star refused to be distracted by the tsunami that RK unleashed. Jealous? Envious? Who knows? In such a dangerously unpredictable terrain where each Friday coincides with the birth or death of a star, anything goes …

Friendship and bhaichara among stars were, are and will always remain rare in this space, one in which there are no permanent friends or enemies. In the seventies, superstars Dharam and Rajesh were not known to be the best of friends and close B-town watchers will recall the constant punga rising, red-hot villain Shotgun Sinha took with Kaka. Ditto with actresses who could be real catty and mean! As a leading star once confided to me “Friendship of the loving, caring and trusting kind, where one stands by his/her friend through thick and thin come what may, is almost a myth, impossible to find – a silly to expect. Why? Somewhere, sometime vested interest will creep in. Remember, this is not your everyday, daal-chawal, bus-train-auto duniya or workplace. This is a fiercely competitive glam biz, where stakes are deadly high, egos, gigantically inflated, chamchagiri and hypocrisy a constant, exaggeration and hype, a given, fear and insecurity a part of the DNA and betrayals, deceptions, lies come with the territory. All is fair in love n’ war and despite all the drama-ridden jhappi-baazi seen at parties, shows and functions – it’s a war with no quarter given or taken!”

The guy had a point. Coming to think of it the fabled trio that ruled the fifties and much of the sixties – Dilip, Raj and Dev – were not exactly known to be buddy-buddy. In fact rumour has it, after Nargis got into the RK camp, she was forbidden to act with Dilip Kumar, Kapoors arch rival! The ladies too – Madhubala, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Nutan - were hardly friends. Same went for the generation later, Asha, Saira, Sadhana, Sharmila, Mumtaz … were they bitchy and catty? You guess is as good as mine, friend!

Cut to the cut-throat new-gen [2013] blitzing the here n’ now. What’s their scene? Has the rivalry moved from real-to-real? Are fights, feuds and spats played out in the public domain, extensively covered in the media to a hungry, voyeuristic fan-base for real? You bet! Breaking News recently indicated that the five year old jhagda between SRK and Salman - that happened at Katrina’s birthday party in year 2008 – finally came to an end at a recent Iftar Party in Mumbai. TV channels and magazines went berserk with pictures showing the two hugging, prompting friends of both to heave a huge sigh of relief and hope that they can now move forward. The Olive Branch season seems to be in full bloom with others letting bygones be bygones too and patching up in style. The Bebo-Priyanka cold vibes was known to one and all. It is said to have started when Kareena [mischievously?] wondered where the Rae Bareilly girl got her phirang accent from? They seemed to have grown up since and recently when both were shooting in the same studio, PC met Bebo warmly and now all is well between the two. Ranbir Kapoor calling Sonam “Not Sexy” on a Chat show got the fashionista to return the comment, with force! Things got a lil more messy when Ranbir’s dad Rishi also came to the party and lashed out at Sonam for not knowing how to behave with people etc. However, at a recent do hosted by Sonam for cousin Arjun Kapoor, they dumped their differences and rocked the night away! Director Vishal Bharadwaj and actor Shahid Kapoor were also reportedly katti post Kaminey due to “creative differences”. Suddenly they’ve realised that it might be a good idea to act as grown-ups and now things are hunky dory with a likely project to roll very soon is on the cards. Deepika P and Anushka S too shared cold vides due to the ‘Ranveer’ factor. Whether Ricky Behl style, they had him sorted out or not is not known, but at SRK’s party in Macau, they blew away their differences and had a blast.

Bolly-watchers perceive these celebrity tiffs and don’t talk to me numbers with huge amusement and a solid source of entertainment. “Its usually a very silly incident that triggers it off and suddenly it takes on a life of its own! Media usually has a huge hand in most of these because they are always insinuating, suggesting and indicating stuff that didn’t quite spell that way. Besides, egos are fragile and to feel persecuted or threatened comes easy in this profession. Media insists however that while they maybe guilty of being naughty and provoking stars to say things they later regret, in most cases, there is no smoke without fire! The Dippy-Katrina war, Akshay-Shirish Kunder feud, Karan Johar-Ramu verbal volleys are public knowledge and examples of truth that is sexier than fiction! However, be that as it may, cooling off and making peace with the enemy is indeed a sign of maturity. Will the Karan-Arjun jodi actually cosy up like ol’ times and maybe do a film together to demonstrate peace, friendship and coming-of-age sensibilities? I can already see the mad glint in the eyes of most producers, directors, distributors and exhibitors! Dabangg Sallu and king of romance SRK in one frame … man, that’ll surely wake the dead, but wait – won’t the role-weightage and who ends up doing what in audience-friendly fashion be critical before they sign the dotted line? Even after they sign, won’t who makes the greater impression be a crucial part of the deal? Remember how Sunny was signed to play hero in Darr against Juhi Chawla and how SRK’s cataclysmic villain wiped him out leading Sunny to swear off the YRK camp forever and keep his distance from King Khan? Lets take one step at a time. 


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017