Who will be our “Viral Bhayani”?

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Today my morning started off with a good joke to tease my husband as he is an aquarium lover and is pretty serious about his collection of fancy fish. It occurred to me after reading a strange post on social media. It is about a TikToker woman in Indonesia as she fry her husband’s Arowana fish, which is quite expensive (only to punish him for not cleaning the aquarium), the video posted which became viral on social networks. It has crossed 7 million views. This is how we behave in insane ways to go viral and popular on social media. After drinking a few sips of my morning tea while scrolling through my mobile screen, I saw how media reporters chase Shah Rukh Khan and invaded the place as he reached Arthur Road Prison to meet his son Aryan. I was really shocked and disturbed for a few seconds seeing the way they behave with a man they crowned “Badshah of Bollywood” and who they also made a superstar. Now, forgetting all the good things, they don’t even hesitate to pull her legs back.

The point is that in no time at all they can turn a man from zero into a hero, and back into a hero from zero. Someone’s privacy should be respected and is this the way to humiliate someone who is already in big trouble. Obviously he will be going to meet his son and what is the reason for making a title. Here I am not supporting or defending Shah Rukh Khan. As a man, as a father, he goes. But, it’s pretty embarrassing to follow him everywhere with a camera and make the headlines that visited him in Mannat, when he spoke to Aryan’s lawyer, reached Arthur Road jail, or no sweets in Mannat until Aryan returns, and Gauri Khan has stopped the sweets, kept a mannat. They are also human beings like us and they too need space, privacy and why so much celebrity gossip.

All media, including electronic, print and social media, only pay attention to celebrities who are either famous actors, sportsmen, politicians, or big business people. Their children, spouse, siblings are all so featured and made famous in no time by our media just because they are sons, daughters of Khans, Kapoors. They are called “star kids” and chased by paparazzi wherever they go, whether it’s a restaurant, salon, gym, hospital, restroom, or prison. It’s only fitting that they are celebrities and have been entertaining, they represent India to the world. But, too much hero worship also has its effects and side effects. Overnight we make them heroes, superheroes and overnight we publicly troll them for all the bad things. After all, we watch their movies, their sports and make them heroes, superstars, billionaires and we blindly become their fans as if we found our real Shaktimans.

Now let’s come to the “Viral Bhayani” which doesn’t even let celebrity puppies pee peacefully and makes them so popular. But, think of us, the poor, the middle classes, the common people who don’t have a “Viral Bhayani” with us to make us heroes, superheroes. We fight day and night either by frying Arowana fish until doing all the weird things to go viral on Moj, Chingari and other social media platforms. There are also good comedians, painters, writers, dancers, social workers among us. There are a lot of talented people among us who have the ability to become good actors, singers, politicians, and writers. Since we are poor middle class people, no one is emphasizing how good a job we are. If a famous kid gives ten rupees to a beggar the next day it makes the headlines and a poor man who saves many lives by giving blood still cannot be a hero. It’s okay, we don’t know how to look stylish, speak with accents, how to sit and behave while giving media interviews, attending reality shows, and we don’t understand. no table etiquette, we don’t know how to speak and smile at public gatherings. Believe me if we are groomed and trained with all the facilities like the celebrities who have people with them to teach them everything, accents, table etiquette, maintenance techniques until you have to wear on which occasion, we will also look and look chic for sure. But, we’re not one of those lucky few that people will listen to our songs, read our articles, our stories. So we have to think outside the box like frying aquarium fish until we do all the fun and adventurous things to go viral with the hope that one day we will be popular too.

Literally, no one is there to support us and there is no more room for us to show our talents, to share our points of view, our opinions because everyone is busy with the celebrities. My neighbor’s daughter is a good ballet dancer, but how many people know her, my friend is a good cook but why not she is famous as a chef? I have written articles but how many people read me and know me, and why the print media houses cannot print it in the newspapers. So the answer is no one is there to make us heroes, superheroes and celebrities as we, with all the media agencies, the paparazzi, are all chasing the Bachhans, Khans and Kapoors. If that happens in the future, we won’t get bigger than TikTok stars Moj and Chingari.



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The opinions expressed above are those of the author.



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