Unlike Jiah Khan,many aspirants survived the odds in Bollywood with Plan B

For every story of despair in the big,bad world of films,there are those who survived it.

Written by Priyanka Sinha Jha | Mumbai | Published: June 14, 2013 11:45:18 am

There is certainly no denying that showbiz is not everyone’s cup of tea. But for every victim that falls by the wayside,there are several others — actors,technicians,musicians or directors who survive the odds

Much as one may try,it is difficult to not veer towards the topic of young actress Jiah rather Nafisa Khan’s tragic death. In the ensuing outcry over her heartbreak and despair,one of the interesting aspects that emerged was the description of the film industry itself. ‘Cruel,cold-blooded’ and ‘tough’ were among the commonly used adjectives employed by various commentators.

Interestingly such sentiments have been echoed each time a similar incident takes place,be it the death of a model,or the murder of a television company’s executive by an aspiring actress’s fiancee or any other. This oft-repeated litany about the film industry and its ways,compels one to ponder the question whether the industry is indeed the ‘big bad world’ that it is made out to be.

Maybe it is,and then again maybe not. After all,for every victim that falls by the wayside,there are several others — actors,technicians,musicians or directors who survive the odds. However,there is certainly no denying that showbiz is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires,among other things,talent or certain skills in whichever department you wish to sign up for,a degree of street smart,the ability to adapt (not compromise) and yes,oodles of good luck.

Unfortunately several aspirants (and I exclude Jiah since the reasons for her turmoil point more in the direction of a personal heartbreak) seduced by the dizzying fame that stardom promises,refuse to look at avenues beyond the arc-lights. Several youngsters who have seen a small measure of success or even the mere promise of it are willing to resort to drastic measures (casting couch etc) instead of getting their hands muddied with some serious work (read sharpening their skill sets) .

Fortunately there are a few exceptions too — youngsters with sensible heads on their well toned shoulders,who have cruised through the treacherous waters of fame rather well.

Among former models there is Sushma Reddy,who has happily turned producer,while Rachel Reuben dons the director’s hat. With actors the examples perhaps are fewer and far between but among them is south star Chandni alias Sharon Joseph .

Joseph who won the Miss Photogenic title in Miss India Worldwide competition held in New York was immediately snapped up by south biggie Upendra for his Kannada/Telugu film ‘A’,which went on to become a resounding success. Thomas,who was then studying marketing attained stardom overnight with a slew of movie offers to choose from,but with a gentle nudge from her parents,she continued with her education. She went on to complete a PhD in marketing while acting in regional language films like AK 47,Ganga Jaisan Mai Hamaar — a Bhojpuri films and so on. Presently the Programme Director of MBA Media and Entertainment Department at Whistling Woods,she juggles a film or two along with an academic career!

A quote I read summed it up rather succinctly. It went something like,“If plan A fails,remember there are 25 other alphabets to choose from.” Hopefully more youngsters trying their hand at a showbiz career will choose wisely if Plan A does not work out.

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