Monday, October 5, 2009

An encounter with a celebrity

I have always liked her. The actor Lillete Dubey I mean. She has done spunky roles and her voice is enticing. Her love for theatre and the manner in which she has juggled a successful career and home is an inspiration. And she is gorgeous despite her age and has an awesome figure too.

But what I experienced last morning has me disillusioned.

I was flying back from Ahmedabad and as we sat awaiting departure call, the scheduled departure time whizzed by. Many passengers accosted the flight attendant (including me) and were told that there was a technical snag due to which we would be delayed by one hour.

Amongst the passengers was Lillette Dubey who I had previously seen lounging in the security
area. At that point, I'd
wanted to go up to her and tell her that she must bring her plays to Pune and I would help her get the necessary media exposure. But she seemed really engrossed in her handphone and I didn't have the heart to interrupt. It may have seemed an intrusion. I let her be. So did almost all other passengers in the lounge.

Anyway, she was amongst the passengers who were visibly upset that they were being delayed. Many of them had connecting flights to other cities. She wanted to get out of the security area and made the attendant chaperone her to the exit. Obviously, considering her 'celebrity' status, she was whisked away to a private lounge or office, and till we boarded the flight an hour later, she was not amongst us.

As I sat on the airplane having asked for a window seat, I watched the last of the passengers board the aircraft. For some reason, the door was not being closed and I watched the time tick by. Fearful that the technical snag had re-appeared and we would be asked to deplane, I watched as the attendants seemed to be waiting for someone or something.

After 20 minutes, the transport arrived at the foot of the aircraft and an attendant went in to get the passenger out. Dubey got off, folding a newspaper and got into the airplane after which the Captain gave instructions to 'Close and arm all doors please...'

Upon landing in Mumbai, she was the first to deplane although she did deign to travel on the same bus to the Arrival lounge.

What is it about the Bollywood fraternity that makes them think they are Lord Almighty?

Or is it us?

Do we tend to create stars out of mere mortals and place them on a pedestal?

She could have waited patiently like the rest of us. That would have made me respect her more. But she used her 'star power' or celebrity status to get a preferential treatment over all the rest of us who were flying with her (on a low cost Airline I might add).

If she had used her status to get all her co-passengers preferential treatment too, I would have been bowled over.

I don't have an issue over a 'celebrity' status. They work hard, they are in the limelight and they deserve it.

It is the 'selfishness' of this status that I resent.

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