In the old days, a film star was a film star. Now he is so many other things.
For instance, the other evening, we had gone for this all-star glitter filmi nite at the municipal stadium in Andheri. The show began with Shaba Azmi coming on the stage and welcoming everybody. "Ah," said my elder son, Darryl, that's Ms. Azmi, she works with the hutment dwellers and is a leader of the Narmada Valley Project activists. She is our leading protestor, ofterseen making speeches at Churchgate station."
"At this moment, I don't think all this is pertinent," I said.
Sunil Dutt came on the stage and took the audience down memory lane by talking about some of his memorable fils. "Well, well," said my younger son, Derek, "there's Dutt Saab, MP, he is carrying on a running battle with the municipal corporation to stop the approach road to the Bandra station from the East and with the airport authorities against the removal of encroachments in the airport area. He has also walked to Hiroshima and Amritsar."
"Please, we have come here to see the show," I said.
Meenakshi Sheshadri came and sang and danced on the stage. "She is doing so much for the anti-drug group," the wife said. "She looks like that, buit she is very sincere and constructive and regularly makes speeches to drug-addicts at August Kranti Maidan."
"Let us watch her singing and dancing," I said.
By this time, Mithun Chakravarty was on the stage, doing disco-dancing. Darryl said: "There's Comrade Chakravarty, he is Mr. Jyoti Basu's right-hand man and advises the CPM government in West Bengal on youth and cultural affairs."
"I have not paid for these expensive seats to listen to a lecture on the CPM," I said. "Clap to the disco tune, stamp your feet."
The crowd cheered wildly as Amitabh Bachchan came on the stage, pushed aside the microphone, and recited one of his father's poems. "There comes Mr. V.P. Singh's bete noire," Derek said. "Mr. Bachchan in person, the man behind Bofors, HDW, St. Kitts and Airbus A-320. I expect an FIR against him anytime."
"We are not ther to judge Mr. Bachchan, we are here to admire his voice," I said.
Shatrughan Sinha began telling jokes in a loud and dramatic voice. The sife said: "he is a borm politician. He can still get the home ministry in place of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed."
"You are distruning everybody, they want to hear his jokes," I said.
Finnally, Mr. P. Upendra came to the microphone to thank everybody for making the evening a grand success. "Who's that?" asked Darryl.
"Must be some film star," said Derek.