Of Bollywood friendships, dislike buttons and Honey Singh

Published: 29 December, 2013 08:11 IST | Shakti Shetty |

What is worse than alleged lovers in Bollywood insisting they are 'just good friends'? Not talking about their love lives at all � Karan Johar will, we are sure, agree. But what we fervently hope for in 2014 are dislike buttons in Utopian world aka Facebook and Honey Singh to cure our heartbreaks, among others

There’s a Hindi film song for every possible emotion and mood. Heartbreaks, included. In fact, Bollywood songs play a key role in people falling in love and then they sort of help a victim drown in post-romantic sorrow too.

Honey Singh
Going by his fan following, Honey Singh’s songs are loved for their in-the-face rawness. And his fan base is fast expanding. File Photo

From Pehle nasha to Lambi judaai to Accha sila, tracks catering to an individual’s sentimental needs are available in abundance. In all fairness, the supply exceeds the demand. So where exactly does Honey Singh fit in -- with his unique mix of realistic and unimaginative lyrics -- in this musical scheme? Especially in the matter of love?

It’s difficult to pen a sensible graph but going by his fan following, his songs are appreciated for their in-the-face rawness. And love it or loathe it, his fan base is fast expanding. With him preaching against feeling sorry for yourself, would there be fewer sad songs in the future? Or are we overstretching imagination here, Gulzarsaab? Related: If Salman Khan can be a virgin, anything’s possible.

Hide and seek
Before Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif decided to go mum on their relationship status, the most overused words among Bollywood couples were “We are just friends”. RanKat ruined everything when they thought the line wasn’t cool enough for them. Later, they came up with a better strategy: they just won’t talk about their love life. No matter what. Even if you splash pictures of them sharing candid moments in a faraway beach. The year 2014 will most probably see increased number of followers of this silent treatment. More and more Bollywood lovebirds will maintain silence and let the grapevine murmur. The benefits are way too many. Come to think of it, it works in the celebrities’ favour more than anybody else. The moment a star couple admits a relationship, the veneer of mystery wears off. On the contrary, if you keep the media guessing, you make the most of the speculations.

Growing up in the fast lane
If you look back, you’ll notice that as a kid, you weren’t as sharp as the kids are nowadays. You were beaten mercilessly, content with radio and TV and didn’t know the ABC of technology. You found happiness in little things and weren’t very demanding or outspoken. Children of today seemed to have evolved way too quickly. They grow up on Japanese anime, junk food and high-end video games. They are well-versed with smartphones and have girlfriends at the age of having imaginary friends. Also, the idea behind sex education wasn’t to encourage practicals between under-aged kids. Yet you see kids on social media -- first of all, what are they doing there? -- venting their spleen out on how life is unfair and universe conspires. Whoa! Our generation used to think that too but with a bigger dose of innocence on our part. Kids were better off as kids. Any given day. Or for that matter, any given year.

Marital potpourri
For ages, Indian society has been a silent bearer of casteism, especially when it comes to weddings. What if the whole theory of staying true to one’s caste is turned back (or forward) 180 degrees? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Of course, love is blind but love marriages are still a minor blip on the national canvas. If a law were to be passed stating that no marriages would be recognised between parties belonging to the same caste, there might be some interesting developments. Some overwhelming, while others, soothing. For one, people will start looking out of their narrow well of marriage proposals. Arranged marriage shall never be the same again. Child marriages will get a rude shock and child brides will see a decline in the long run. It might be the one of the best things to have happened to the institution of marriage in our country -- particularly in the rural areas. Does 2014 sound like a good year to pursue this wacky idea?

Fear, fear, everywhere
For better or for worse, with the Supreme Cour’s decision to uphold Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, homosexuality is finally out of the Indian closet. Even deeply conservative families are discussing -- a breakthrough in its own little way -- what the adverse ruling means to those from the gay community. This was the serious side of the coin.

Thanks to the law of the land, two men holding hands have a lot to worry about now. File Photo

The other side is a bit quirky. Among other things, this re-ban on unnatural sex pertains to heterosexual couples too. Which means, well, you get the dirty picture. There are other repercussions as well. In Mumbai, you often see grown-up men walking together, holding each other’s hands -- if not pinkies. There may not be an iota of sexual tension between the two but according to the law of the land, they are wrong. Mothers with two sons shall spend sleepless nights lest their boys get arrested for holding hands while crossing the road from school. Be very scared.

To like or not to like
One of the biggest reasons why Facebook is so popular today is it’s all about positivity and doesn’t have a dislike button. The tendency of people to like a status message or a picture or an online video contributes enormously to the FB phenomenon. However, with the rising sign-ups of Twitter, Facebook would be forced to think out of the box.

As a social experiment, we hope Facebook introduces a ‘dislike’ button. File photo

And in a fit of listlessness, it will conduct a social experiment. As an aftermath, it not only introduces the dislike button but also limits the number of likes one can use on a daily basis. Both the moves have catastrophic consequences for hopeless romantics who spend all day ‘liking’ girls’ updates. With the dislike button in vogue, users are bound to ruffle some feathers -- knowingly or unknowingly -- leading to vague explanations. And with the rationing of like buttons, there will be more futile conversations and less…err.. positivity.

Do the right thing
You watch cricket and you secretly start thinking of yourself as a cricket expert. You watch EPL matches on weekend and for some reason, you assume that you’re an expert on world football. The list goes on in this context where you indiscriminately presume your expertise. However, nobody claims to be an expert on relationship. Apparently, everybody is a student and lessons are in progress. Well, what would be the scenario if the opposite were true? Wouldn’t this planet be a better (or worse) place to live on? Wouldn’t there be more attempts at keeping a relationship alive than giving up too soon? Wouldn’t we be a happier lot? Wouldn’t Hrithik and Sussanne still be together? Wouldn’t there be more stories to share and fewer failures to regret? Wouldn’t we have learnt the art of moving on? 

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