The current flavor of the season is AIB Roast and we see everyone angry at Amir Khan for being a regressive prick. Well, if he is being so called due to his remarks about the offensiveness of AIB, I will join his side with pleasure.
I got to know about the AIB Roast a few weeks back. Everyone else was talking about it, tweeting about it and sharing the video. What the f***? I wondered. When I finally watched the show, I was disgusted beyond words at the brazen audacity of a bunch of so-called stalwarts of the entertainment industry. If this is entertainment, I’d like to refrain from it.
The problem is – the thin line between ‘being really funny’ and ‘being vulgar to make people laugh’ is fast blurring. We should mainly thank Karan Johar for coming to the reality show arena and anchoring with the tag of celebrity director. It’s a known fact that his films are an assault on all your senses and intelligence, but no one has the right to complain, as people throng to cinemas to cheer on his heroes. After all, they are decently made tear-jerkers. But one cannot say the same about the man.
‘Coffee with Karan’ was the quintessential parody of Oprah or any other western counterpart, where Karan brought in most of the happening celebrities thanks to his connections in the industry.
But at its best, the show was just Karan and his friends spouting mindlessly about their holidays, sex lives, relationships and stupidity. No one benefitted from watching those shows except the sponsors, and of course Karan himself. One of his recurring questions to his guests was ‘What you would do if you had a gay encounter at gunpoint?’ Yes, truly stimulating and profound!
Remember the episode where Karan asked Ranbeer Kapoor if he had a crush on a male actor? When Ranbeer coolly asked Karan the same question, it took all the host’s effort to try to conceal his uneasiness. But hey, it wasn’t lost on us!
Nowadays, we see Karan on TV more and more. Slowly, the restraints are getting looser and the jokes are becoming more adult and crass. We all laugh at his comments, his sideways glances like old Hindi film heroines, and the way he dances on the shows, only because he is Karan and successful and he must be right. But resorting to cheap jokes in front of a family TV audience for the sake of fitting in and being cool is a sin. What are you afraid of, anyway, Karan? What were you trying to prove? Your sexuality is not the current preoccupation or debate of the nation!
Karan knows how to talk or, more correctly, how to make others shut up and listen to him and eventually make them accept his norms and agree with him. There was a time when anchoring in award shows was a decent affair. The only issue here was the MC shouting at the top of his voice and annoying the crap out of us. With time, people relaxed and anchoring became more fun and the anchors began to play the fool on the stage, and poke fun at each other. Shahrukh Khan is a classic example of this kind of buffoonery and like Karan he resorts to a lot of adult jokes. But unlike Karan, Khan leaves a lot to your imagination, thus avoiding embarrassment to himself, the audience, and to people like us watching their antics at home with family. And he actually makes you laugh.
Kapil Sharma is a good anchor too.
Kapil has a knack of asking really sensitive questions to anyone in the industry and getting away with it unscathed, even including Salman Khan, whom everyone fears and respects. But you always feel that he will ask that vulgar question, make that vulgar comment any moment. Yet somehow, he never actually does.
But with Karan, the sky is the limit. So we see him pitter-pattering on the stage, bandying jokes full of sexual innuendo with his male friends, asking his female friends very private questions about their relationships and sex lives, and actually using the words to describe these, with no shame at all. And people say he is a cool anchor.
The recent Filmfare Awards show is a classic example. The Filmfare Awards stand out from the rest of the shows for their somewhat serious approach to the whole thing and their long pedigree. But this year saw Karan and Kapil anchoring the show, where they talked about the Karan’s damaged back door, Karan’s big opening, the woman inside Karan and so many other ‘Karanalia’. One would have thought they would be ashamed.
So, it comes as no surprise that AIB didn’t find anyone else a more fitting host than Karan in a show which started with loud obscenities mouthed happily and proudly by Karan and continued by other hosts in front of a stadium full of spectators. Worse was to follow, such as a host accusing Ranveer of jerking off to Fareeda Jalal, Karan revealing his favourite sexual position, Aditi being called a whore in the industry, Ranveer being mentioned as being permanently horny and maybe having AIDS, Arjun Kapoor being an asshole, etc. The number of obscenities? Endless. From DICK to SHIT to SEX to ASSHOLE to MOTHERFUCKER to CHOOTHIYA to MASTURBATION to ANAL SEX to God only knows what else. The words were supplemented with appropriate actions like Ranveer mimicking a blow job, Arjun posing for anal sex and Karan being the diva of the lot. This was a battle of obscenities where everyone wanted to score better (or worse) than the other. This was a slum with people dressed in designer clothes. If they had ended the show with a mass, condomless orgy, it would have been a finale perfectly in keeping.
And you guys are angry at Amir! You guys say this is creative freedom.
Hijras express their creative freedom in much more elegant and refined ways, so do most thugs and prostitutes and pimps. You guys have already screwed up the psyche of India with your stupid films, social carelessness, your drug parties and the way of life you project as cool which the youngsters blindly follow so that they fit in. Now you have the audacity to book an entire stadium and pull out your dicks in the open! And if someone else reacts to it you call them a prick. I wonder where all of those cultural police are who were busy burning theatres that screened the PK!
(I also wonder where all the young, hip, charismatic young generation of the Indians are hiding this time as I see none of them making any remarks about this. Or are they wondering when the next batch of obscenities are going to be staged and searching online for tickets! Or are they eternally busy browsing shopping sites and imitating foreigners or giving their worthy takes on this to TV channels in their pseudo accents and diva poses! )