Thursday, March 08, 2007

Another Fairy Tale Wedding?

The couple has had a fairy tale church wedding. There is Bollywood style dancing, there is Elton John singing "Your Song." "It's a little bit funny, this feeling inside," goes the lyrics of an all too familiar song, my favorite. Yes, love is a bit funny feeling. He is married and divorced and so is she. The Bollywood dancing, which means hip thrusting and hip wiggling, has been perfected over days of practice and it seems they carried it off. A two million pound wedding is in the grind. Hope over experience, did you say?

The couple and their hundred cohorts arrive in India and are picked up by the general manager of number one hotel chain in India at the airport. They go to the hotel, which will also cater to the party thrown by a socialite. It is a question of prestige, you see.

An industrial big wig throws a party on his yacht, and the gitterati attend. The chatterati chatters. The papers, the channels are full of it. She is in a mini showing a lot of leg, he is the, as always, the flamboyant playboy.

They are wined and dined by industrialists, liquor tycoons, and movie moghuls. Socialites with nothing much to do over the weekend, considering all other events pale in insignificance compared to this one, hanker to be invited. They want to be seen, photographed, need to get their mugs on page three of every newspapers. They aren't anybody in high society otherwise.

Some guy named Arun Nayar is marrying a lass named Liz Hurley. He owns a software company and she models for Estee Lauder, owns a clothing line and is an actress. They say it is a two million pound wedding, around 17 crores (which is roughly the amount spent on women's health in India). The coverage of the wedding was contracted to Hello Magazine for a reported pound two to five million. Hello?

Traffic is stopped at a socialite and her industrialist husband's bungalow on the beachfront where they are arranging a party for the couple who have taken the vows to look after each other till death do them part. Oh, really? People arrive in hordes to gawp at the tamasha. They are people like you and me. Neighbors, again people like you and me, complain. An illegal encroachment is made into the beach, and there are exhortations to get them demolished. The municipality is no respecter of socialites and they demolish the structure.

Then there is the party of parties in a palace, attended by the country's top elite, the real movers and shakes, even politicians. Wine will flow, dances will be danced, hips will gyrate to "hips don't lie," and Elton John (Ah, my favorite singer, do you have to be a part of this jamboree, this orgy?) will sing, "Crocodile Rock," may be, or, will it be, "Rocket Man." That song seems apt.

Do people make that kind of profits on their wedding? What if Liz re-marries? Does she get to make that kind of money once again? Dour thoughts, eh?

Come to think of it how can the media sink so low? A magazine sponsors the wedding cost for the chance to cover it? Where are all those hyped ideals of responsible journalism, if what you are doing is journalism at all?

Hundreds of journalists and photographers, staff members of publications (paid from subscribers' money), are at this very minute wasting their time at the gates of these celebrities while they should be reporting on famines, global warming and farmers killing themselves in India. What a waste this is Meester Arun Nayar? Instead why didn't you persuade your glamorous wife Meez Hurley soon to be Missus Nayar to spend that pound two million to give electricity to an Indian village, or, give the poor peasants displaced by the huge dams on the Narmada river a decent livelihood?

Instead you wasted it all on the already famous because you wanted the media to be full of your romantic relationship? How cruel, how confused can you be? Why didn't you persuade the champagne set in Bombay and Jodhpur to give you their ill-gotten wealth and spend it on the poor in the slums you passed on your way to the airport. Ah, well, you won't believe this: they don't even have a place to shit every morning.

And did you realize where these celebrity weddings are going? What about Britney and her husband? What about Imran and Jemima who are your friends? Will it last? I give you one year to prove it does. After all the subscribers of Hello magazine have paid for it. Hello? Are you listening?

And for all those die hard critics of mine who like to thumb their nose at my blogposts, I am raving because I don't have a mustard seed of a chance to be invited to the wedding, and it left me dizzy, something like the kick one gets after too much champagne. It goes to the brain so smoothly that one doesn't realize one is drunk. Then I muse about the extent to which this country has been invaded by this empty celebrity culture: reality shows, Miss this and that, celebrity endorsements, a purposeless media over-hyping everything celebrities do, and the hungry media actually paying to cover an event (while some media do it the other way over here), as if they have been bankrut of ideas.

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