It is that time of the year for our industry when practically every other day there is some award function to pamper our Bollywood stars for their previous year’s performance. Sadly the functions have ceased to have any novelty and the repetitious way they are conducted year after year is just unbelievable. Similar kind of jokes by the hosts and similar kind of dance acts and sometimes even the hosts are same for the different functions.
Fashion designers and stylists have a field day designing and selecting outfits for their favourite celebrity stars, who, on their part are more than willing to pose for the shutterbugs happily in a bid to outdo each other and score brownie points for their chic and glamour quotient. Rather than talk about their performances on-screen, the focus is more on the ‘style meter’ off-screen and who looked the ‘hottest’ or which designer’s outfit was the ‘sexiest’, et al.
Coming to the awards themselves, the number of categories is mind-boggling and most of the time whoever attends the event or hosts the event ends up taking home a trophy. A look at the list of recipients does raise questions about the benchmarks of selection. Take the case of the recently concluded ‘Stardust Awards 2016’
. The award for ‘Style Icon of the Year’ went to Parineeti Chopra, who has never been known for her dress-sense or style. Further, does such an award make sense in a ceremony supposed to honour artistes for their acting, music, direction, etc. Honestly! What will they think of next?
And what exactly has Parineeti done this year to get this title? She shed a few kilos and turned into a body-building mannequin and in the process she has not only ended up losing her innate sparkle and charm but also generally become unrecognizable. Not having had any release this year, she seems intent and content on flaunting her chiselled body but if she is not careful, she might end up following the footsteps of her predecessors Shilpa Shetty and Bipasha Basu who finally were relegated to releasing fitness videos in the absence of any film offers.
In the same function,-the ‘Best Debut Couple of The Year’ award went to ‘Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty’(!) for their debut disaster Hero. What could have been the criteria to select these two actors because Athiya’s expressionless face throughout the film clearly indicated that she had no clue as to what is ‘acting’ all about and she also looked older than Sooraj Pancholi.
Coming to the recently concluded ‘Star Screen Awards 2016’
, the award for ‘Best Actor (Male)’ in the Popular Category went to Shah Rukh Khan (Dilwale). The above award is indeed a little hard to digest considering the fact that Salman Khan garnered more appreciation for his act in Bajrangi Bhaijan which not only created box-office history but also sky-rocketed his popularity beyond imagination causing a phenomenal increase in his fan-base. He also managed to follow up this act with another resounding success- Prem Ratan Dhan Payo wherein he essays a double role and once again wins hearts with his endearing acts. The award does seem unfair especially since even the most die-hard SRK fans could not help being disappointed with Dilwale which clearly had nothing to boast about…
Coming to the ‘jodi’ category here, even though several interesting ‘jodis’ were appreciated this year for their on-screen chemistry- Deepika Padukone-Irrfan Khan (Piku), Ranveer Singh-Deepika Padukone (Bajirao Mastani), Irrfan Khan-Aishwarya Rai (Jazbaa), Alia Bhatt-Shahid Kapoor (Shaandar), Kangna Ranaut- Madhavan (Tanu Weds Manu Returns), Ranveer Singh-Priyanka Chopra (Bajirao Mastani), Shraddha Kapoor-Varun Dhawan (ABCD 2) and Deepika Padukone-Ranbir Kapoor (Tamaasha), the title of ‘best’ Jodi was handed to SRK-Kajol for their over-hyped, disappointing and jaded chemistry in Dilwale…
The ‘Renault Sony Guild Awards 2015’
held in December had an interesting feature- The hugely talented Nawazuddin Siddique ended up taking home both ‘The Best Actor in a Negative role’ for Badlapur and the ‘Best Supporting Actor’ award for Bajrangi Bhaijan. One can’t help wondering what if he had won the Best Actor Award also for ‘Manjhi-The Mountain Man’ … it would have been too good! A rank outsider, that too a farmer’s son, actually conquering Bollywood with his extraordinary talent… hope at some function he clinches all three trophies!
Let us reflect on the unpleasant news item which did the rounds last week. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari accused yesteryear actress Asha Parekh of indulging in lobbying to give her the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, which was vehemently denied by the actress. While the veracity of this accusation/denial cannot be proved, the unnecessary taint it has left in the readers’ minds is unquestionable. A mere glance at the awardees list is enough proof that things other than merit may be considered for selecting the people, at least in some cases.
Veteran Ashok Kumar who made his debut in 1936 was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1999, after more than six decades of his priceless contribution to the industry. The evergreen triumvirate of Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand and Raj Kapoor were directly awarded Padma Bhushan (they were not given Padma Shri) but for that also they had to wait for almost four decades to get their due. Superstar Rajesh Khanna was conferred Padma Bhushan in 2012, but only after he passed away.
On the other hand, Aamir Khan who made his debut in1988 was given Padma Shri in 2003 in less than two decades and surprisingly was even bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 2010- within seven years of the earlier award! Is he really that talented or is his contribution to Hindi Cinema greater than these stalwarts? Also if SRK, Aamir and Saif can get Padma Shri, why leave out Salman Khan?
While the choice of Madhuri Dixit, Saif Khan, Kajol, Tabu and Akshay Kumar for Padma Shri remains questionable, other far more deserving artistes who are no more- like lyricist Majrooh Sultanpuri who spent six decades writing lyrics or Bimal Roy the brilliant director of the fifties and sixties, music directors R D Burman, O P Nayyar, Madan Mohan, each of whom gave revolutionary music, singers Mukesh and Kishore Kumar or actor Shammi Kapoor are among the unfortunate few who were never considered for any of the Padma awards either when they were alive or posthumously…
The discrepancy and incongruity of the choice of recipients does make one wonder whether it is necessary to create all that hullaballoo over awards and award functions…