Skip to main content

Decoding Cat-fights!


‘The Colours of Passion’ (Amazon link: https://goo.gl/cnY38Zputs the spotlight on two leading ladies of Tollywood, their careers presently at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Hiya Sen lost her parents in a train accident when she was seven and was brought up by an uncle who worked in the local post office in a small town in Burdwan. When she was in the third year of her Arts course in college, she filled out the application form for a beauty pageant in Kolkata, much against the wishes of her uncle. She gave up her studies and headed for Kolkata. She won the crown. Modelling assignments, photoshoots for popular magazines, roles in television serials and then movies—everything happened in quick succession and Hiya never looked back. Opportunities kept knocking on her door, and her talent propelled her to dizzying heights of fame in an incredibly short time. She went on to marry Manav Chauhan, the scion of the Chauhan family, who carved out a distinct identity for himself as one of the key architects of the new face of Kolkata, building one plush mall and residential complex after another. His marriage with the Tollywood heart-throb Hiya Sen made headlines for days.

On the other hand, we meet Rituja Bose. Rituja ruled the Tollywood silver screen for close to two decades and made as many headlines for her box office successes as for her scandalous escapades. Over the years, she transformed herself from the doe-eyed fresh-faced girl-next-door who became the city’s sweetheart overnight, to a voluptuous sex symbol, inhibitions in front of the camera steadily slipping with every passing year. In her interviews, she attributes that transformation to ‘demands of roles’ and ‘changing tastes of the audience exposed to global cinema’. In reality, she has been struggling for a few years now to ward off competition from younger girls and much to the dismay of her fans, has resorted to not-so-aesthetic exhibitionism to pull in the crowds. Her film with National Award winning director Aniruddha Goswami where she shares screen space with Hiya Sen is being considered her best, and possibly her last option to rise from the ashes and make a comeback after a string of flops.

I am sure these characters look familiar.

I have been a celebrity-watcher for several years now. I love following the journeys of celebrities often from humble beginnings, often from nondescript backgrounds, to heights of fame, and observing how those journeys change them. Not only in the way they look and carry themselves, but also in their outlook, their opinions, their consciousness of social responsibilities and in few cases, their arrogance and insecurities and what those insecurities often lead them to.

And having been in the corporate world for several years, I have realized that these traits are not characteristic of only the glamour industry. The same power games, the same insecurities, the same treachery and the hypocrisy exist everywhere. And at the same time, there are rays of hope to be discovered everywhere.

Because, at the end of the day, it is the complex, unpredictable human psyche at the core of all stories.

So, while readers – including seasoned celebrity journalists – and reviewers are surprised at how, being a complete ‘outsider’, I could so meticulously build the characters and create the settings in a novel based on the battles for supremacy in the glamour industry, I personally could relate to everything that goes on in the story.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How far down the abyss will you go?

Author Sabarna Roy's Abyss is a quick read in the format of a short 2-act play that manages to leave a lasting impact.

In the garb of a murder mystery, Abyss raises pertinent questions around the burning issue of land procurement for the purpose of industrialization. It takes a realistic look at the plight and the resulting compromises of authors in the modern ecosystem, where the quality of one's work is not enough to catapult one to heights of success and popularity. Most importantly, Abyss impressed me with its intriguing and realistic character sketches.

It leaves the reader with questions - how do we deal with indelible scars from the past? What prices do we pay for our ascent and how hard can we fall? How far down the abyss do our lust and our craving for power drive us?  When do relationships that we treasured till the other day, don't matter any more?

Kudos to the author Sabarna Roy! I look forward to reading his other books.

Book Review - Poems by Subhadip Mukherjee

Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Reading the poetry of Subhadip Mukherjee in his book ‘ছেঁড়াচিন্তারScribbles’ (Offtrack Publishers, co-authored by Dr. Kausik Ghosh), I am convinced that he is bleeding. And that’s good news.
Subhadip is a nagorik kobiyal. His poems hold mirror to the stifling urban life with its rat race, with its mindless pursuit of  materialistic ambitions, and with its consumerism.
নাগরিকব্যস্ততানানাজটিলতা... দাশুবারবারকিস্তিমাত
He mocks the same judgemental urban society right in his introduction when he says:
যদিতাকেচিনেথাকো যদিতাকেজেনেথাকো Boss, বেশী .মিশোনাতারসাথে সামান্যনেশাহবে... তুমিও "খারাপ" হবে দেরিহবেরোজরাত্তিরে
Subhadip’s poems paint love in its myriad hues – from extreme euphoria to brooding despondency. Subhadip depicts the unadulterated purity of love when he says:
তুইক্লাসনাইনৈরখাতারপাতায়বুকবুক

Mind or Matter: What's your favourite thriller like?

Firstly, huge thanks are in order for the steadily mounting readership of this blog. I am loving the wonderful comments and feedback from readers, especially from my friends on my LinkedIn author page.
I just finished reading Keigo Higashino's Malice. And I am still in awe. And the book is also the inspiration behind my blog this week.
The book is about an author Hidaka who gets killed in his study in Japan a couple of days before he is ready to migrate to Canada with his second wife Rie, the first having died some years back in a car accident. Shortly before his death that evening, the author was visited by his friend from middle school, Nonoguchi, who happens to be an author of children's fiction, and the sister of another friend of theirs, Masaya, from the same school on whose not-so-glorious life Hidaka's last book was based. The sister has been demanding an apology and a complete re-write of the book, removing all references to the family. The detective Kaga soon discov…