There are so many kinds of people you meet at a film press conference. Just so many weirdos.
They are varied as the number of insignificant films releasing in Bollywood each week (I don't know why I thought of this, just that I
am thinking only in filmi terms).
The electronic media. They are a leechy lot. They just refuse to budge. No, they want their bytes first and have to keep tagging on till eternity. (If any of you are reading this, you have to stomach the truth. And no, please don't beat me up) The best instance from this type is RL, a reporter with an English TV channel. You should see her metamorphosing into an amazon in the matter of a few minutes.
With the print media it's a gimme more... funda. There are those who might have to write just a snippet on the subject while you might be interviewing the same person for a cover story. But they frankly couldn't care less. Like today I had gone for an interview with Pakistani actress Meera, a lengthy profile. A particular print guy I noticed was everywhere. At the end, when I was gearing up for my exclusive, or so it was supposed to be, I asked him, "Are waiting for an interview with Meera?" He replied in what he thought was an ultra cool gesture, "Waiting is my work. Intezaar hi to mera kaam hai." Donkey, I thought.
So when I finally had my time with Meera, I was not alone.
Besides ardent admirers (translation: loosers) hanging around for a look of even somebody like Meera, there are the autograph seekers. A surd had to get umpteen photographs of Meera autographed in between the interview by the lady herself. I glared at him. He was a benevolent fellow though. All he did was smile back with a surprisingly angelic look on his face.
Don't forget the subjects - actors and actresses. They are amusing
studies in themselves. As I met each of these stars my thoughts ran
along these lines:
Kamaal Khan seemed to have turned overnight into a gigolo with carefully kajalled eyes, Arjun Rampal was a hoity toity fellow with more airs than suits his persona, Zayed Khan was a carefully charming stud, hip and happening, a cool cat, even flirtatious at times. I even witnessed Amisha Patel shake her fingers at a photographer and warn him in freezing tones, "Kheench ke do thappar lagaungi, samjhe?" (I will give you two tight slaps). I myself was frozen where I stood till sanity got the better of me and I ran far away from where she was. All the poor photographer had done to invite such a vitriolic tongue was to take a few shots of her.
But Meera by herself was undoubtedly quite an entertaining individual. Actually naive would be the word to describe her. She had none of the diplomatic nonsense of our Bollywood actresses. When asked about kissing and nudity, she caught hold of a girl's hand and kissed it saying, "Now is there anything wrong with doing that? Tell me what is wrong?"
I couldn't shake off the feeling that she must have felt awfully trussed up, something close to a fancifully decorated turkey. At the peak of a Delhi summer, she had the temerity to dress in a black gown with a plunging neckline and a black velvet cape with a fur trimming! Not to say the pains she took to pose for the shutterbugs plus changing locales for their benefit. To top it all, the photographers were at their lewd best. I heard one saying, "These photos are gonna adorn my bathroom wall."