Grandma's Tales

February 3, 2007

Amitabh & Shah Rukh Khan – should we compare?

Filed under: Games People Play,Language,Society — Geeta Padmanabhan @ 10:51 pm

It’s the great Indian pastime of the moment. News channels allot airtime for it, newspapers and magazines fill columns with it. Drawing room and long distance conversations are dominated by it. Who is better on KBC, Big B or SRK?
This is a silly question, really. They have brought their own brands of showmanship to the job proving there is more than one way to ask questions. Amitabh was quiet and dignified, keeping that invisible space between him and the contestant intact. When they gushed and went gaga in his presence (one young woman said, “I know you’re married to Jayaji, but if you’ll have me, I’m ready to marry you!), Amitabh was merely amused. He smiled, looked away and waited for the moment to pass. There was a touch of awe in the air and Big B’s humour was understated.
SRK is the other side of the coin. He is a witty, jovial, wisecracker. He bubbles with one-liners, hugs constantly, cracks jokes effortlessly, talks about his family, passes remarks about those sitting in front of him. He is the complete showman, making things happen on KBC. He constantly looks for ways to pep up the show, seems to be genuinely enjoying himself. “Oozing charm from every pore” is how Bernard Shaw would have described him.
They answered comparisons:
Amitabh: Frankly, I have not seen his programme. I’ll watch it first an then talk to him. Is he following my format? Great.
He has his. I have my way of doing the show. He did it at a different age, I’m doing it at my age. I’m not saying he is old, I’m saying I am young. I am good at whatever I do, so this is ok. I have given away money, I’ve given away watches, I’ve given away love. The show gives me an opportunity to be close to the people who made me.

Well, let’s keep discussing the issue, even while making comments like, “comparisons are odious, but inevitable”. We only get the kick of gossip, but news channels and papers get profitable numbers of eyeballs. Those who must enjoy this most are the involved actors. After the flurry of interviews with all the big names, they must be sitting back and smiling at all the public attention the question has raised.

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