Every time I watch these 'Celebrities', (more profoundly fingered by today's SMS generation as 'Celebs') either on TV channels or newspapers, I don't know for whatever reasons, I start dwelling into and about their lives. Very often it's because they've struck my fancy just simply with that floating aura around the exotic look of theirs,(that however happens mostly in case of female celebs[;)] ) and some times because I think they are tasteful enough to be included in, as part of my food for thought.
The word 'Celebrities' I use in a very strict sense here which excludes those Page-3 jamborees, who will out of their desire for ephemeral popularity not mind paying out thick sums to get their pictures published on Page-3 of all those untouchable blotting tabloids. Innocent they are of the fact that it is the status quo as celebrity which puts someone on the paper and not the other way round. Celebrity status is something one earns - not by socialising but through exception making.
Now the general perception of a celebrity for a common man is I believe - someone who's glamorous (with a black goggle somewhere on the face), and always escorted by at least one colt armed bodyguard. The underlying assumption - more the number of bodyguards skirting around a celebrity the higher is his or her status and popularity.!! And there's a whole gamut of celebrities one can observe upon a close look around. They come in all various types and can be classified as per their profession, popularity level( as in local, national, global) and the associated enchantment.
The professional classification includes a wide range starting from being the most classy and ostentatious show business capitalists i.e. Film Stars to a little less enticing (but not smaller in any sense when its comes to the control of masses !!) small screen TV serial actors to Cricketing Heroes, Tennis Sensations then to Politicians and Underworld Dons and even extend up to the wildest thing one can imagine - Encounter Specialists.
Although the popularity level correlates quite closely to the profession of the celebrity, there are some who are equally popular as their highest counterparts, when their talent and skill of exception making could not have budged their popularity graphs even slightly above the zilch if not for the controversies which overhauled their image. People like MF Hussein, Mallika Sherawat, Jaya Lalitha, Bal Thakrey etc etc belong to this ordinary league. But who cares, its the limelight which matters in the end, controversies are just the bulbs which generate that limelight!
Coming to the next classification - Associated Enchantment - Now this is something truly materialistic and carnal when looked holistically. So all those quintessential femme fatales and almond eyed -sugar clad dolls rule the celebrity chart of men's while those flamboyant chocolate heroes with egressing sinews do the same for all the women's. Its simple mathematics. Celebrities have always been closely associated with beauty and charm and that's where this classfication plugs in. The pre-req of being a celebrity has for long been, knowing the art of body perfection. So even if you are not a big shot or talented in any way, your god-gifted enchantment will take you places and build up a huge fan following.
Gone are those days when one could count celebrities on fingers. Few could then qualify as a celebrity, since opportunities were limited and there was no deluge of information of the kind which current media has drowned us in. A completly new concept has emerged lately - that of Celebrity-Making, that has materialized itself to become a dissolute profession which in the disguise of Talent Hunts and other Reality Shows has already started to cash in on the dreams and armaans of people. People there, become celebrities day-in and day-out and this has lured others to jump into that fire-fighting exercise.
But this rat race of becoming a celebrity has diluted the very essence of the word 'celebrity'. If everyone becomes a celebrity then does that even leave a space for exception-making, which essentially is all about being a 'celebrity' in the first place. Its decreasingly becoming a game of proving one's self, and instead of succumbing ones dignity, self-respect and integrity to the mercy of those lewd channels, newspapers and dot-coms to gain that elixir called 'fame'.
Celebrity is someone who, according to me, can leave a lasting impression on people, who has the courage to leave a mark on the history and who can give back to make this world a better place, quite in contradiction to the kinds which exist today.
I guess pursuing simplicity and living like the common man of Laxman, will definitely earn me some popularity or even make me one of those 'celebs' in future when everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.