11/10

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By This is the Age of Hype. We pay tribute to the 10 most over-the-top item news And one more. By Madhuparna Das
  • Published 30.06.06
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What comes to your mind first when we say number 10? Jersey? Well, okay, No. 10 jersey... after all, it’s football fever running high. The FIFA World Cup has everyone in its grip. The enigmatic No. 10 reminds us of those boys born with the golden boots ? Maradona, Pele, Zidane, Ronaldinho...But in Bollywood, No. 10, if we remember right, blared all over airspace quite recently, and was popularised by Abhishek (Bachchan) grooving to the Dus bahaane mixes. Well, he did take our dil with a Hey now, hey now, everybody put your hands up in the air now. Does sound like a football anthem, really! Though we can’t say Bollywood is really obsessed with the number like football, but apart from the recent film, Dus, there has been a film called Baap Numberi Beta Dus Numberi (1990) which got Kader Khan the Best Comedian award as well.

But enough of hyping up hype. The story is not about the significance of No. 10 in Bollywood, it’s actually about the 10 most hyped events of Bollywood witnessed till date. Ten events that not just took up huge space in print recently, and many more bytes on television, but shook the nation and emerged with a 10/10, or maybe 11/10, purely for being able to make the hype sound like it’s the next most important thing after World Cup football.

First

on our list is the recent horoscope haunt. Will Aishwarya now marry Abhishek? Nobody is still sure if that’ll ever happen. Starting with a story that Amitabh Bachchan’s estranged brother Ajitabha took Ash’s horoscope to a family pundit down South and their kundalis did not match. Then the stories about how they have already split, and then on how they are still together, all the while the media went on speculating and it came out bit by bit, byte by byte, in every newspaper and television channel. For their own sake, Ash-Abhishek should keep dribbling with the ‘I do’ statement as long as possible.

Second

is don Dawood Ibrahim’s daughter’s marriage to cricketer Javed Miandad’s son. It was the most publicised marriage till date. Dawood’s daughter Mahrukh’s married cricketer Miandad’s son Junaid last July. Yes, Dawood and Bollywood do go hand-in-hand. So many Bollywood heroes and heroines were helped, intimidated, threatened, sponsored by the Don. His status in Bollywood is much, much higher than the biggest baazigar of Bollywood. This Don’s celebration was closely followed by the Nation ? the venue, the guests, the food, the decor...with features that can match the World Cup preparation programmes that we saw recently.

Third

is the Abu Salem and Monica Bedi love story. Here’s a real-life story that could beat Bollywood hollow. Monica, a wannabe actress, and Abu Salem, the wannabe kingpin, met and fell in love. They left the country in disguise and fake passport when Salem became the most wanted person for the country. And when they were finally pinned down, the media sang unanimously ? Every move you make, every breath you take I’ll be watching you. And we did watch the story bit by bit, almost everyday. From a detailed story of Monica’s background, Monica’s parents, Salem’s wife Samira Jumani, all were brought under the limelight, for a story. The story was bigger than the biggest movie in Bollywood.

Fourth

is Salman Khan. The name is just enough. So let’s leave the dons and get back to the mainstream Bollywood brat who has always been the apple of the media’s eye. His so-called association with the dons had created much hype and hulchul in his career. He is news personified. Media hype at its best, you can say. Salman crushes a pedestrian, shoots a black buck, makes 41 phone calls, or smashes the glass table in anguish for his ladylove, is news, okay. The most recent and completely hyped news was the publishing of a transcript of Salman’s alleged conversation with Aishwarya on her mobile that supposedly the police had tapped. There, Salman not only bragged about his close association with the dons, but also admitted he knew about the Mumbai bomb blast from before, and what’s more, he also blurted out about sleeping with heroines like Preity Zinta. Recently Preity Zinta has sued a tabloid for publishing the transcript of that ‘conversation’ about her. How much truth there is to this news is not known but sheets of newsprint were used to print all kinds of transcripts from telephonic conversations allegedly by Salman.

Fifth

is the other Khan, not SRK, but Aamir. His moustache and long hair made more news than he made himself as an actor. He is known to be a meticulous actor, but to really live a Mangal Pandey life today must be something. Aamir, and his hair, was closely followed from then and when he did chop off his tresses it was made out to be an event of national mourning. Even Aamir gave quotes saying how sad he was to part with his locks. Then the camera followed him into his spiked look for his Rang De Basanti. Along with his hair his three consecutive films, including the recent Fanaa, have been the most hyped films in the industry so far. Doubt if Hrithik’s Krrish got that amount of publicity, though he’s also capable of drawing immense public attention by appearing after three long years.

Sixth

is Aishwarya Rai. How can we forget her little toe getting hurt? Ash hurt her toe on the sets of Rajkumar Santoshi’s Khakee at Pahina village in Trimbakeshwar near Nashik and the media went into a tizzy showing where and how and how far the damage was done. Ash’s little toe got all the footage while so many more accidents on the sets go unnoticed. From removing Ash from the sets to the hospital and then the visitors coming in to see her, including Vivek Oberoi, everything was captured by the media most lovingly. Her little toe got equal coverage as did Amitabh Bachchan recently when he was suddenly taken seriously ill.

Seventh

on the list is the sting operation that caught Shakti Kapoor off-guard completely. Admittedly this was a hype conceived and created by the media itself. The sting was conducted by producer Suhaib Ilyasi for his India’s Most Wanted programme that has now shifted to the India TV channel. The channel aired the 40-minute clip on a Sunday. Shakti Kapoor was filmed making verbal and physical advances at a young woman (their own journalist in disguise) who aspired to be a filmstar. Not just that Kapoor went on to cast aspersions on several film personalities as well. When he realised he was being filmed he shouted the choicest abuses in his book. This sting operation later caught TV personality Aman Varma at his worst. But for a few weeks the channel bounced to the top recording a very high TRP with all eyes glued to the screen to watch the footage over and over again.

Eighth

in the list is Kareena and Shahid’s liplocking while somebody recorded the pictures step by step on his mobile and circulated them. It gave rise to a wave of opinion as to how far it’s right to show affection in public, and also questioned the breach of privacy in times of mobile phones. The graphic pictures embarrassed Bebo no end, so first they denied it was them, then they went silent. But the media went on and on and on about the the PDA syndrome (Public Display of Affection) and the moral police began a parade as to what these teenage stars were teaching the youngsters. There were debates as how much tongue, how much saliva, how much lips were used that made the kiss. A natural show of affection was hyped beyond imagination.

Ninth

is the MMS of Riya Sen and Ashmit Patel. They were lovers at that point of time and to everyone’s utter disgust a video of their most intimate moments was circulated. Both the actors are failures at the BO so far, but the MMS undoubtedly brought them into the limelight. The couple had broken up and Riya accused Ashmit of maligning her in public as part of revenge. Initially the hype clinged to the speculation as to whether it was really Riya and Ashmit. Then the mud-slinging began and that gave them more footage than they ever deserved. Then it was said, it was morphed, and it wasn’t Riya at least. Sometime later there was another MMS, though that couldn’t touch the hype the first one received in spite of the fact that it was on someone like Mallika Sherawat. She was seen in an MMS with a firang and in the act. Since there was no proof whether it was she, or morphed again, the whole thing didn’t catch as much fire.

Tenth

are the two most-hyped stars in Bollywood. One has his lips to smack and the other displays her twin assets with aplomb. Both are very good at throwing quotes at the media and the media loves to hold them up. Mallika who thinks no end of her blasting figure was quoted as saying quite early in her career, “Tell Aishwarya Rai to cover her face and then I will cover my body.” And Emraan Hashmi simply kissed his way to stardom and even earned himself the title of the Serial Kisser and the Kissing King. He’s gearing up, or so he says, to kiss every actress in Bollywood. He also wants to kiss his next costar hanging from a hot-air balloon since he’s already kissed on a busy street, beside the sea, and even underwater, that’s the only place left for him to try his skill. Mallika made sure that she’s always at the right place at the right time, so much so that she was even compared to Aishwarya, right from getting an international project, The Myth, with Jackie Chan to being present at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, she surely gave Ash competition.

...And here goes the extra ?

Eleventh

Bollywood’s item girl Rakhi Sawant accused Mika, brother of pop singer Daler Mehndi, of molesting her at Mika’s birthday party. The incident, as most of us know by now, happened around 2 am at a restaurant in Mumbai called ‘Someplace Else’. Rakhi has been quoted as saying, “He bit my lips twice and in the process my earring broke.... I am an Indian woman. I will not allow a liplock ? a peck on the cheek is okay.” Rakhi was seen dancing and enjoying the groove, until her Indian soul awakened with the ‘bite’ from Mika whom she had kissed a ‘Happy Birthday’ earlier that evening. Then there was a brawl and the next thing you see is Rakhi all over the media. Huge hue and cry as to why, oh, why did Mika kiss her? Mika was even arrested, and Rakhi went to the press promptly wailing about her plight. This also reminds us of a more serious allegation some time back when Priti Jain cried rape and pointed at Madhur Bhandarkar. That had been a huge story then. The Rakhi-Mika saga is still on and the media is still writing about it...