The silver screen —what an alluring name for an equally alluring medium. A world with endless possibilities, where heroes and monsters dance and fight. Where we sneer at wrong and cheer for right. A world that amuses, amazes, thrills, brings tears to our eyes and tunes to our lips.
The silver screen is the ultimate guidebook for people who want to be like 'Bhai', dress like Deepika, smile like Madhuri and flirt like Ranbir. It's a Mecca for those who want to conquer the world just like the man who now lives in Mannat wanted to years ago. We can escape into that world for a few hundred bucks.
So it's little wonder that the people who make this alternate reality possible become revered beings. We stand outside their homes on Sundays to see them wave at us, we create stampedes at malls and cinema halls where they make appearances, we tattoo their names on our hips and hound them through social media.
We name our kids, cars and cats after them. We go cross-eyed with delight if we see them up close. We want their autographs and photos, we want them to hold our kids and speak on the phone to our grannies. These are the stars who light up the screen for three hours and whose lives, we are certain, are better than ours. How lucky for them and those around them! Right?
Now, being a morning RJ means that you interview many stars.
Depending on your rapport with these 'beings of light', who I shall henceforth refer to as filmstars, you get better interviews, you laugh a lot together, you crack jokes, sometimes on them, and they don't mind it!
Sometimes, they give it back to you. They match wits, there's verbal sparring which makes for interesting banter and brings a smile to the listener's face, which is the point of the whole exercise anyway. Then there are photographs shared on Facebook and Twitter. There's a fun one, in which one is carrying Ranbir, riding with John Abraham on his bike or pouting with PeeCee. What has begun to amaze me however is the number of people who tell me, "You're so lucky".
Now I would really think that were true if I had managed to win the lottery on a MHADA flat, or if that lovely last pair of Louboutins was on a 90 per cent sale and I was the only one they fit. That would be lucky! How am I lucky to have photographs with filmstars? They've never left me a pair of their Louboutins!
Their purpose is to promote their film and I and my kind help them do just that. Or is it a case of 'ghar ki murgi to me?' I ask myself.
Then it dawns upon me that I have worked long and hard to get here. It has not been all luck. I've paid my dues, earned a reputation. We share a mutual respect and a healthy view of who we serve. After eight years of being on the job, I have perhaps begun to view them more as my guests. Fabulous, talented, great-smelling guests who are here only to entertain my Swami, the Listener.
And that is where I believe the stars are the lucky ones! To be so loved by the ordinary yet amazing common man who seems to not know his power entirely! The power that can rock or shock the Box Office; the power that has reduced to ashes even the most brilliant of them or has sent the most ordinary star to the heavens.
Let me say this. I love my stars (even the pandit says my stars are fabulous so yes, I am lucky). The filmstars are great too. They are slightly wary, very lovely people. I enjoy chatting with them, watching them laugh and laughing with them. It is always lovely to see Mr. Bachchan throw back his head and roar at one of our antics, or Vidya Balan giggle like a school girl when the boys at the studio sing Ooh La La to welcome her.
It is equally wonderful to see Anil Kapoor break into a spontaneous jig when a row of 25 boys welcome him with a 'dhina dhin daa' or to watch SRK's amused face when we did a home-version of Don with a fake gun et al. So it is not like I'm saying they are not special. I'm saying that they are also very lucky. For without you and me in their vast universe, who, my dear would they twinkle on for?
Malishka is known to breathe out fire and fun on her radio show on 93.5 Red FM. Apart from that, she writes, travels and
does plenty of nautanki