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Awards can be a huge PR exercise: Vikram Bhatt

Vikram Bhatt"We have the opportunity to unveil the first look of Creature at an award function,” said the president of marketing from T-Series. I sighed. It had been sixteen years since I had attended an award function. Truth be told, I have not done any work that has won many nominations, but I have stoically refused to clap for others as well. Now a marketing opportunity had come up and it had to be done. So I went ahead and delivered. The event got us good coverage, I was told.

Now am I against awards? Not really, but I have a simple reasoning and here it is: should you grant anyone the right to honour you, then you should also give them the right to refuse you the honour. And this is not the rambling of an egoistic man. It's just plain logic.

Awards can be a huge PR exercise; they can be about television broadcast revenue, and they can be about being seen at the right place (read: having your pictures published in the newspaper the next day). But please don't make them about your self-worth because that would be beyond injurious to mental health.

Throughout time, powerful men have built a lot of societies and then made it appear as though being a part of those societies is a privilege. Other men have been foolish enough to fall in this trap. What is it that makes us crave the recognition and acknowledgment of our peers? This will remain a mystery to me.

We, the people in the film industry, first want to be a part of the 100-crore club, then we want to feature in the 50 most powerful people club, and then we want to be a part of the club that gets invited to star weddings. Now why does this matter so much to us?

I remember Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai wanting to have a quiet wedding, and the hullabaloo that surrounded their ceremony. “Hey, did you get invited to their wedding?” was all I heard from every second person. But does it really matter?

The more power you give someone else to validate you and your work, the more you will depend on them. But the fact remains that you are what you are and no one and nothing can change that.

Simply put, you will never become gold by touching gold and even of you do, my dear, at the end of it all, you will still be a picture on the wall.

Vikram Bhatt is a filmmaker best known for making horror-thrillers. He has directed more than 25 films in a career spanning nearly two decades.

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