The two main functions of any self-respecting Bollywood hero,who has drunk his maa ka doodh,are to romance his heroine and to beat up the villain. Hindi cinema is a treasure trove of love stories where boy meets girl,loses girl and finally re-unites with her to walk off into a golden sunset. The same theme has been regurgitated endlessly across decades and we,as a film-obsessed nation,never seem to tire of seeing true love conquer all on-screen. We have also been weaned on masala potboilers where the hero bashes up the baddie even as the Dolby soundtrack blares Dhishoom,Dhishoom at full volume.We have whistled,applauded and cheered lustily as Gabbar,Dr. Dang,Kancha Cheena,Lion,Mogambo and other assorted on-screen bad men got their come-uppance at the hands,and occasionally feet,of our filmi icons.
But several Hindi film actors have unfortunately allowed the boundaries between the proverbial reel and real to blur. There has been a long and glorious tradition of heroes romancing their heroines off-screen. Legendary love affairs scuh as Dilip Kumar and Madhubala,Raj Kapoor and Nargis,Amitabh and Rekha,Dharmendra and Hema Malini,Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh,and now Saif and Kareena,have captured both our hearts and our collective imagination.
What is,however,a new and disturbing trend is the propensity of our Hindi film heroes to bash up people in public. Egotistical actors,who are used to being surrounded by sycophants,often find it difficult to distinguish between their on- and off-screen personas. There is a swagger and bluster in their demeanour that the frontbenchers all love and want to emulate. And,often that very on-screen bravado carries into their daily lives.
There are many perks that come with being a screen idol but the flip side of fame is the constant media scrutiny that these actors are subjected to. It is undeniably tough to always behave impeccably and display grace under pressure when you are constantly in the spotlight. But as another superhero came to realise,with great power comes great responsibility.
The urge to bash up anyone who irks or provokes us is a human instinct that is often kept in check by the ego. But an overdeveloped id often results in physical violence as we have increasingly noticed.
A few years ago,an actor I know got into an argument with a motorist who grazed his car whilst driving. After a heated exchange,the two came to blows and the actor,despite being a tough guy,suffered a broken nose because his adversary turned out to be a karate instructor.
The actor has since thought twice about getting into a brawl with anyone. A broken nose and worse,a battered ego is perhaps the best deterrent,guaranteed to keep our raging bulls in check. firstname.lastname@example.org