The dark side of success

Believe this. Success leads to arrogance. There’s an alarming switchover of personality, miscalculated inaccessibility, and the belief that the world revolves around his/her axis.

Now how do I prove this to you? Simply by citing the example of one pre-eminent superstar who was in the doghouse for nearly half a decade, but on returning to the centrefold, ensured that the invitation list to his parties only included those whose market equity matched his.
Those who had inadvertently toted up flops, crossed his path in any which way, or were still to make an impact, were just not welcome. John Abraham — not yet in the big league — was excluded, Preity Zinta who had hit a rough patch was ignored, and Rajkumar Santoshi who was floundering, was avoided like dental plaque.
Now this isn’t an isolated case for sure. Perhaps the only ones who’ve escaped this showbiz code are Chunky Pandey, Sanjay Kapoor and Neelam Kothari — who’re here, there and everywhere. Loyalties shift, too, but not always effectively. As soon as the strong buzz around Dabangg spread on the eve of its release, Salman Khan was startled that the buddies of his bete noir Shah Rukh Khan, had dropped in uninvited to a private screening — and praised him to the highest heavens. Didn’t cut ice. Salman could probably see through them, thanks to those Chulbul Pandey heart-shaped glasses.
Aditya Chopra made a beeline for Salman Khan to discuss a project, and succeeded. The Khan’s moody style of functioning during the shoot of Ek Tha Tiger was nerve wracking. But so what? Currently, every filmmaker swears that there’s no difference really between the super-A-list actors. All of them behave unilaterally, turn up late for shoots — at 4 pm for morning shifts — and leave if they’re seized by indolence, or have to shoot for an endorsement. In fact, it’s a wonder that the films are completed and released on deadline at all.
Yet when the big star makes big bucks for the producer, all trespasses are forgotten. So what if the star, as part producer, takes away the cream of the profits? Happens in Hollywood with Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Tom Cruise. Evidently, the credo is hum kisise kum nahin!
Ah but there’s an upside, too. Those who’ve seen the hard knocks — or their fathers’ careers hit turbulent weather — are more orderly, aware of the fact that time means production money. Moreover fame doesn’t last forever, does it?
Hrithik Roshan is one of those who’s clued in, after experiencing the bumps, during his apprenticeship as director with dad Rakesh Roshan. The man is punctual, all-there and may drive his director crazy with his in-puts, but you’ll never hear of Duggu throwing a shoot schedule awry. Touch balsa.
Just last week, Ranbir Kapoor with his parents Rishi and Neetu — a first! — completed a schedule for Abhinav Kashyap’s Besharam. At the location, the Kapoor family couldn’t be distracted. Those who wanted to see them, were given a window in the lunch-break, the appointments honoured to the precise minute.
That did set me thinking. Ranbir’s rapidly elbowing out the three Khans from the super-A slot. And for that, I’d give credit to the fact that he’s still grounded. Yeh Jawani Yeh Deewani reached that `100 crore mark so swiftly that it could have turned anyone’s head. It hasn’t.
Ummm, is that likely in the near future? To that, his response is, “How can you ask me that? The day I get a swollen head, I won’t be able to rest it on a pillow.”

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