by "Mr. Reader"
Those of us who are in the age group 35-50 years would recall our younger days in India, when owners of tea stalls and small restaurants, pavement astrologers and barbershop owners, used to display framed photographs of themselves with famous politicians, matinee idols and cricketers. That was their ways of telling us that 'so-and-so' celebrity is their client and hence by engaging their services, we would also get to join the elite band. This was a trick that had early gains but even as early as 1970s, such ploys evoked only laughter and cynical remarks. B class and C class cities of India, however, still witness such a culture. (Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi and Chennai have now graduated to‘page 3 culture’, something equally funny and reprehensible).
Why are we talking about all this here? What is the context? The latest NEWSLETTER showing someone big and well known ‘inaugurating’ GIIS World, a magazine and the accompanying photographs (which explain quite a lot if you listen to body languages!) prompted me to deliberate a bit on what type of psychology operates in such situations.
“What is it, that prompts one to rush to places haunted by celebrities, wait for hours together with pen, brochures, cameras - still and movie, newly printed periodicals at hand, get them to say something, write something, agree to be something (the latest joke is that most celebrities are given a 7 x 7 matrix and they can tick any one of the 49 boxes to become an advisor, a mentor, a patron, a consultant etc.) and, time permitting, pose for a few photographs?” I asked a psychoanalyst and sought answers.
“... someone who has no belief in his/her own abilities, someone who feels that it is not his/her acts and beliefs but rather his/her association that matters more; some one with a very poor self esteem of self and team; or someone who is trying to sell a product or a service the quality of which he/she is very unsure of”, came the answer.
So, folks, 213 newsletters, two major fee hikes, 14 schools (that is what the TOI article of 14th April 08 claims) and 5 years later, you and I are left with a thick photo album of the glitterati, more specifically, Indian (or should we say Bollywood?) glitterati, a whole lot of poorly educated children, a poorer set of teachers and a wealthy patient for psychoanalysis!
….. and the show, nay, the touring Talkies goes on. Around the world. On show : a discarded and worn-out film of cameo roles and no substance.