Does Bollywood callously cast away its old?
In Bollywood, which incidentally is so rife with cliches, the adage -- old is gold -- seems to have never found many patrons
How else would you explain the insensitive manner in which when things get older, they are conveniently cast away in this industry? As soon as an actor reaches a particular age, whatever his achievement during his prime years were, he/she is conveniently forgotten like he/she never contributed to what cinema is today. We have all heard of horror stories about talented actors like Lalita Pawar, Manorama and innumerable others like them dying of penury and/or neglect and loneliness.
A recent case in point is Pran. This charismatic actor, whose contribution towards cinema over five decades is immeasurable, only had a handful of people attending his funeral. No, the industry can’t be too busy. After all, just about a month back when a young popular actress’ father passed away, almost the entire industry rushed over to console the bereaved daughter. The blinkered thought process is obvious. If you are too old and not in circulation, what would I gain from being associated with you?
And this insensitivity is not just limited to the old people in the industry. It is also about old films. We don’t care to even preserve films as recent as the ’70s. In our hurry to get flashier and wealthier and more innovative, we seem to be too easily letting go of our history, which cemented the very foundations on which the industry stands today.
Only if we remember that each of us is going to get older one day and perhaps wiser to the insensitive truths of life and this industry.