Dear Bollywood, Why Are You So Star-Struck?

Pop Culture

Dear Bollywood, Why Are You So Star-Struck?

Illustration: Palak Bansal

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ast week, before Ed Sheeran had the opportunity to enthrall the Mumbai audience with his chart-topping songs at his second concert in India, Bollywood director, choreographer, and reality show enthusiast, Farah Khan brought Indians face to face with a refreshingly new feeling: second-hand embarrassment.

Two days before the November 19 concert, Farah Khan threw a totally unnecessary but a rather lavish party in Lokhandwala, forcing Sheeran to mingle with the choicest B-listers Bollywood could afford. As is evident from the photos (that are still tumbling out of various Instagram accounts), the party was merely a cover-up for what was to be a giant clusterfuck of a photo-op. Poor Ed Sheeran must have had to smile more than newly-weds are mandated to on their receptions.

If the eclectic guest list (Pooja Hedge, Aftab Shivdasani, Maniesh Paul, Mouni Roy, Raveena Tandon’s husband, Neha Dhupia, and Malaika Arora Khan) was any indication, then it’s clear that the whole purpose of this party was to remind us about the existence of all the forgotten has-been actors, and then guarantee them their next Instagram upload featuring a far more successful pop star. Heck, Ed Sheeran even posed for a picture with Farah Khan’s three kids! (Everyone’s conveniently forgotten Shirish Kunder as usual, but that’s a story for another day.) Also did anyone not think of inviting even one musician to the party?

Like a Twitter user pointed out, Sheeran looked like he was a hostage forced to smile in all of the pictures. His awkwardness at having to pose with people he had never met before was doubled by the fact that Farah Khan just refused to leave his side. And, not in a good way. In fact, Farah’s insistence on being as close as possible to Sheeran was even more cringy than the time Ranbir Kapoor acted like a total stalker and put his head on Robert De Niro’s leg and kissed it without any warning. And, we thought Bollywood couldn’t seem more desperate than that?

What is it with our Bollywood celebrities suddenly metamorphosing into selfie-crazed, clingy AF paparazzi versions of themselves whenever a Hollywood celebrity is in the country?

What is it with our Bollywood celebrities, ones who’re usually the ambassadors of everything cool and casual, suddenly metamorphosing into selfie-crazed, clingy AF paparazzi versions of themselves whenever a Hollywood celebrity is in the country? Ed Sheeran wasn’t the first celebrity to suffer because of Bollywood’s uncontrollable star-struck behaviour. In the past, we thought it was incredibly cool to make Kevin Spacey wear a veshti and sway to “Lungi Dance” at the totally irrelevant IIFA Awards. We didn’t spare Robert de Niro from a forced photo-op with a motley of Bollywood names where Anil Kapoor was pushing people to get a picture with the director, and we got Chris Martin to pose with Vishal Dadlani. The biggest star of Bollywood even convinced Akon to sing a song for his film at a party thrown by him. Whatever happened to “Atithi Devo Bhava?”

It’s as if the national hobby of Bollywood is throwing parties the moment a Hollywood celebrity (even one as unheard of as supermodel Natalia Vodinova) sets foot on Indian soil, and then proceeding to harass the said person for umpteen selfies.

Ed Sheeran

It’s as if the national hobby of Bollywood is throwing parties the moment a Hollywood celebrity sets foot on Indian soil.

Image credit: Instagram

It’s time our B-town celebrities are given a wake-up call, and taught a long overdue lesson on how to respect a person’s space, even if they’re self-proclaimed fans. After all, isn’t it ironic that these stars end up embarrassing themselves in front of their idols in the same way their fans do? The last thing we want is these celebrities returning home with the mindset that all that India has to offer are numerous selfie angles.

Ed Sheeran may probably never come back to India, but can we please behave ourselves the next time a Hollywood celebrity comes calling?

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