TO FOLLOW OR NOT TO FOLLOW

The other day I read an article on how Chetan Bhagat got trolled for pompously declaring he had 10 million followers on Twitter. That’s about the same as Farhan Akhtar and I must say his acting prowess and ‘muscles’ are *wink* more appealing that Chetan Bhagat’s writing skills.

Well okay, let’s be fair and bring writers into the arena. J.K. Rowling has 12 million something followers and I don’t think there is a comparison in the material written by the two.

I haven’t heard of anyone who likes his books, then do these 10M people exist? Unfortunately, this is not a figment of his very poor imagination.

Let’s face the facts; we liked his first book because it was, well, a common person’s shot at sharing their personal experience. Fresh perspective if you want to be kind. But now, ‘One Indian Girl’ later, he is still enjoying celebrity status. We might still get a movie on this obnoxious book in the next year! Horrors!

This made me think of the recent hogwash that has been dished out to us in the name of movies by people who have made some good movies in the past. From Shahrukh Khan to Salman Khan, all we have seen are mind-numbing love stories and Tollywood remakes. Yet, not a dip in public love and affection. People still flock to see them. Movies still cross the 100-crore mark! If art and cinema is the representation of the society we live in, our society is in limbo, never to attain enlightenment.

Even on TV, just because it is a Balaji Telefilms serial does not mean that you not only watch atrocities like an ichadhari naagin but also an ichadhari nevala and wait for it…an ichadhari morni. Oh and the next season of the serial was raking in viewers and high TRP numbers.

It has not always been like this, there were shows like Shriman-Shrimati, Tu Tu Main Main, Ramayan, Saans, Shanti, Star Bestsellers and even the first few seasons of Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. There were movies like Saajan, Dil Se, Chamatkar, Lagaan and Swades.

So, what has happened now? I have only seen buff, pretty looking actors with a total of 3 expressions in stories that would make writers like Satyajit Ray and R.K Narayan turn in their graves. I want to watch something on TV that does not make me cringe till my face hurts.

Writers today need to credit us with some intelligence. We must stop accepting this unimaginative and uninspired writing so that we push them to make better stuff or just push them out altogether. Make way for the new, the bold and the brave. We are capable of making, watching and reading good art but the supply will start with the demand.

I am encouraged with the scathing reviews I read on the baloney that’s dished out to us but we have a long way to go. At least, the only time we get to watch good stuff should not be restricted to Aamir Khan’s (Dhoom 3 excluded) next film or Dev-D & Queen like rarities.

David Bowie has said, “Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.” So, let’s unfollow our stars and they will learn to reinvent. Let’s boycott them so they rediscover themselves and give us movies, shows and books we will adore. Let’s listen to more people and their stories and ‘stars’ will get the much ‘deserved’ competition. So, the next time Chetan Bhagat says he has 10+ million followers we can be sure he deserves them.