The cut throat world of Bollywood
Bollywood can be a cruel home. As a kid when we read about the loneliness and death of Parveen Babi - old and paranoid, isolated, as a Bollywood junkie realized that nothing in Bollywood is hunky-dory.
And in the last week there have been 2 events that have bothered me - Rajesh Khanna's death and Mehmood's death anniversary.
It is very different in the case of an actor who leaves the world in his peak, or prime. But an actor who was once a superstar, and then lived a lonely, life like how Rajesh Khanna said, "One day the flowers stopped coming", is a disturbing thought.
And I am not talking about actors who are 2 films old. These are actors who have spent over 25 years inside the industry, living breathing and breeding Bollywood. After 20 years of being a superstar, Mehmood died a nobody, alone and of abundant heart disorders. Parveen Babi is said to have eaten almost nothing and become so aloof, that nobody knew she was dead till over 2 days later. This is the same glamorous, mega star of Don who in her time was paired opposite all the Biggie stars of the industry. It is a fraternity that is reclusive, not understandable and a family that you have be born in or grown in to understand. Gone are the days of the classics and the superstars - but the cycle of their lives seems very prevalent, and with media and social media - the books are laid out on the table to haunt them every day!
The film industry has all the stardom, anybody can take. But this industry is also who Norma Desmond is in Sunset Boulevard, often out of work, broke, and at the mercy who are not.
The documentary, "7 islands and a godess" talks about the extremities of Mumbai as a city and Bollywood as a destination. In it they have shown how the lady who played the stunt double for Hema Malini in Sholay on the horse "dhanno" has absolutely no work. She is left to be a maid servant.
Right from the tea boys, clap boys to the legends, after hearing stories of the loneliness, we as Bollywood fans will never know what it feels like, but is it all really worth it? As outsiders, we may never realize.