Stars on the web
Suddenly, Bollywood actors seem to have found a wonderful way to shed their starry airs and connect with their fans
Blog busters Aamir Khan (left), is painfully honest while Shekhar Kapur (seen with his daughter) uses the blog as platform to share thoughts and ideas
“Living a bachelor’s existence in London. And to this spoilt Indian male, the base problem seems to be food. Any quick, healthy, tasty ideas on offer here? Especially dal. Can’t live without it. Is there a way to cook dal without a pressure cooker in 30 minutes?” — March 01, 2006.
Now, that’s not your average blogger seeking advice. That’s actor-director Shekhar Kapur’s post on intentblog.com, and it immediately endeared him to a whole bunch of people. And, they rallied around to help him out like a friend.Now, he continues to keep the interaction going on www.shekharkapur.com
Actor-director Aamir Khan talks about everyday things such as having lunch at child star Darsheel Safary’s place the feeling after cutting his hair for “Ghajini” (My ears REALLY stick out though. Big Ears, that is what I was called as a kid), and the thrill watching a cricket match sitting next to Sachin Tendulkar.
Amitabh Bachchan recently started blogging, and has been at it with the discipline he is renowned for.
And, he seems to be loving it too. “Until the blog for the day is put down and done with, until the task of running through the comments…, I remain preoccupied,” says an entry.
The latest to join the bandwagon is Salman Khan. He restricts his blogging to his show, “Dus Ka Dum”, but throws in little nuggets. “Babu (Siddhartha Basu, the show’s producer) is a perfectionist. How do I convince him that my charm lies in being imperfect?”
Communication between the stars and the junta was never this easy. Or, honest. Shekhar Kapur started blogging to create a body of thoughts and views on life for his daughter. “But I found people started to respond in a very intelligent and constructive way,” he says.
That is something actor Nandita Das agrees with. Nandita used to write on intentblog, and she says: “There are very few public spaces to speak out or exchange ideas.” However, mudslinging of any sort upsets Shekhar. “Personal controversy of the kind I am reading about is not the fundamental nature or future of blogging. To me, it is a much more serious tool of change, of discussion and sharing.”
However, it definitely is an addiction. “The excitement…of being able to put my thoughts down in a form that will be held in cyberspace forever drives me,”says Shekhar.
Nandita had a different experience, that prompted her to stop blogging. “It was getting addictive and some were using their anonymity to become vindictive. So, engaging in it any further didn’t seem meaningful,” she states.
But, what will keep the traffic going, says the director of “Elizabeth”, is building a strong community. “I do not believe that taking potshots at each other will sustain any blog, though, it may, in the short term, drive ‘sensationalist’ traffic towards it.”
But, despite controversies, star power will ensure that these blogs survive.
Salman Khan http://duskadum.blogspot.com Lots about the show, a little about himself. And, some nostalgia thrown in
Aamir Khan http://aamirkhan.com/blog.htm The joys and pressures of everyday life. No starry airs here
Shekhar Kapur http:/ www.shekharkapur.com/blog/ Letters to his daughter, philosophy, poetry, and questions on life
Amitabh Bachchan http://blogs.bigadda.com/ab/ Amazing prose and alive with content.
SUBHA J. RAO
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