How would the media report the end of the world?
Times Of India – AAP wins the 2020 Lok Sabha Polls
Hindustan Times – BJP tapping citizens to win election
Times NOW – Arnab Goswami India’s new PM
Bollywood Website – Aishwarya Rai & Salman Khan are back together!!
I fortunately (I think so), fall under the last category. We don’t bother with political affiliations, nor do we care if we aren’t trying to make enough fuss about being a ‘nationalist’. But it will drive the living out of us, if the above mentioned news piece ever becomes true (fingers crossed it never comes to that).
But being an Entertainment journalist isn’t all easy pickings. Yes there is glamour, but it comes at a price. You see, when a picture of a journalist with a celebrity is seen, there are a couple of things the picture doesn’t tell you. One – the picture comes after a day long worth of wait for the Interview to happen because well um, celebrities work on a different clock, so naturally the time goes from ‘if-I-have-time-o-clock’ to ‘when-I-have-time-o-clock’ and so on and so forth. Two- the actor is brain-dead because of the amount of interviews he has already given during the day.
The interview itself isn’t an easy task either. The entire process can be summed up into a few movie titles. First – ‘Friends With Benefits’. This is where you are trying to get the PR to give you an interview slot. You get a good slot if you have a good relation with them. Classic case of you scratch my back and I scratch yours. Unfortunately, PRs have a perpetual itch! Then comes ‘The Eternal Wait for the Spotless Mind’, where you wait for the celebs to turn up. On the rare occasion that one does turn up one time, at the back of your filmy head, a short scene from “Main Hoon Na’ plays where Zayed Khan enters the library for the first time and the ghanti goes off! Next up is ‘Fightclub’, when the celeb turns up and everybody rushes in to get a good picture and what-not even though you are all scheduled for one-on-one interviews! And when you finally do sit down for the interview, you feel like you are talking to a military spokesperson, because all the answers you get are scripted (and the entire battalion consisting of PR, manager, hair-makeup, stylist etc. stands right in front of you). PRs also make it tough by giving you a list of questions that you ‘may’ and ‘may not’ ask. So the freedom of Journalism is honored right there! Critical questions on the movie not allowed (we mostly don’t venture that side ever) and it all boils down to some ‘masala’ timepass questions (well who doesn’t love it)! Journalism is an organized gossip!
Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. It gives me the license to stalk professionally. And I get paid for it too! Being part of the industry also means watching anything and everything that releases which is not too good, because there are more than enough releases every year that are a pure assault on your senses. But you get immune to it after a while and that is where the danger lies. You soon get a reality check when you take (drag) your boyfriend for ‘Sarkar 3’ and sheer experience is so horrendous that he takes away your ‘movie suggesting’ privileges for the next decade!
But the blow gets softened when it comes to my folks (not with Sarkar 3 though). I have a perfectly filmy Mom who wouldn’t have let me do this as a profession probably a decade back. But she too have adapted with the changing times. But the occasional drop of swear words still invite catastrophic responses from her. She is a pure Punjabi ‘Sanskari’ and would give Pahlaj Nihlani a run for his money.
So that’s Entertainment Journalism for you (which I have come to terms with and a part of me loves it). Good journalism is controversial most of the time. Unfortunately, we now live in times where only controversy is considered and hence the run to make it as spicy as possible!
Warren Ellis once said – “If you are miserable, edgy and tired, you are in the perfect mood for journalism.” Hear hear! Welcome to my world.