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Happening Hyderabad had unexpected rain and the chaos that followed. As it was off season we valued it more and I think it was good. Life seemed to change a bit on these rainy days. However, come rain or shine the film events continue to entertain in reel and real life.
I was at home watching some movie promotion events on YouTube. Firstly, a whole lot of praise for the hero from the director, especially if it is a big star. It starts with a standard punch-line praise where the audience gets to scream hysterically and clap. Then it goes into thanking this star for the life-changing opportunity to work with him. (This holds good whether or not the movie is a hit). Then invariably it is followed by a cheesy compliment to the actress – usually comparing her to a food item or a Bengali dessert. Laughter from the audience followed by a zoom into the heroine‘s face follow.
Considering most actresses in Telugu cinema are from Mumbai, they love to flaunt their limited knowledge of the language in broken Telugu. Going by the cheers, we presume she has charmed the audience. Then it is her turn to thank all the ‘sirs’ who made this happen and how it is a ‘very different film’. It could be truly different since she would have worn a red mini instead of a blue one in her last film. A few character artistes or the producer also mention how they all had picnic while shooting and felt they were family. Now I wonder if their off-screen feelings make a difference to the audience or the film’s success.
Hello.. Wait. The high point is to come. The music director comes on and invites the protagonist – the reigning star of the day – to render a song in the movie. He also explains why and how he bumped into this new singing genius during the film. This spontaneous talent recognition really inspires, doesn‘t it? I mean, for setting aside all those idols who are now idle and making a non-singer sing it takes a lot. But when it comes to the hero’s live singing gig on stage – we may feel like humming aaj gaane ki zidd na karo. Obviously- no auto-tune and retakes here.
We must salute tinsel town for not breaking this ritual and the audience for cheering every single time. And let us not forget the TV channels who set aside news stories to actually cover this ‘live’. After all, news is people and people love this.

Swapna Sundari

—  The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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