Attend-Dance to their tunes, writes Sajid Khan

MUMBAI:Remember PT classes in school, the coach or the PT teacher used to shout ‘ATTTTTTENSHUNNN’ and no matter how sleepy you were, you used to automatically click your heels together, hands stiff and stand straight almost like you were auditioning for the Gestapo! So what was so powerful about the word ‘attention’ that made us forget everything and got our ‘attention’. It was the penalty factor. The powers that were (coach) would punish you if you did not stand straight, when you heard the word ‘attention’. So just like in school the word ATTENTION was significant, in the film industry the most significant word nowadays is ‘ATTENDENCE’. Nahi samjhe? Samjhata hoon, samjhata hoon.

I don’t attend parties. Or events. Or award functions. Unless it’s a close friend’s celebration. I think more or less PR agencies and organisers have realised this about me over the years and struck my name off the guest list. Perhaps to save `35 they’d have to pay the courier company. Nopes, I don’t feel neglected, I feel blessed. Think about it. There are more functions in the film industry per week more than there are days. Film launch, music launch, first look launch, trailer launch, success party of the latest film — announce another project launch, got married earlier but this is my pati ka launch, fashion event mein unaffordable kapdon ka launch. Soon there’s going to be one more reason to celebrate. Launch Ka Launch. All these functions aren’t meant for regaling and enjoyment, they are only meant for show of power. Most actors and technicians are like ‘Unhone invite kiya to jaana padega’. Nobody really cares, they just have to be there. Not because they want to, but because they have to. The only people who benefit out of these are the PR agencies, the journalist fraternity and the hotels or restaurants where these functions are held. The more attended your event/party is, the more power you have as a film industrywallah. A few months ago, at the behest of one of my writers, I attended a success party of a film which he had written. I got to meet all sorts of people and most of them are the sort you don’t want to meet. I also met this very famous socialite lady who never goes anywhere without her French poodle. WTF!!! She carried her dog to the success party! (The last time a dog was seen at a success party was when Teri Meherbaniyan was declared a hit). When I asked her why she brought the dog, she cracked a joke which was worse than the worst joke of Humshakals. She said, “ I love to party and he’s the animal. Together, we are the party-animal, hahahahaa.” I wanted to immediately call the municipality and ask the dog catchers to come there and catch….. her!!!!

What was even more intriguingly frustrating was that not only did this lady have a weird American accent, even her chota kutta barked in an accent. Normally, when dogs bark they go ‘bhow bhow’, but this chotu barked ‘bheow bheow’. So much for a ‘bhow job’. The producer of the film then came onto a dais which was slightly smaller than my bed. And thanked everyone for attending the party and how the film was a success and before even the first show how profits were made (a new fad in the industry). Yeh, before the film is released and it’s already in profits ka chakkar humka samajh main nahi aata hain. With every film taking this route nowadays, these are probably the most profitable and happiest times in the universe for the film industry. Nobody loses any money, everyone makes money. And why not? Films are made free. Actors and technicians work for free. Publicity is done for free. The only money spent on the film is at the success party. Or by you when you buy the expensive ticketwa. Since I was standing next to the accent wala kutte ki accent waali maalkin, she wasn’t too happy about not being called on stage. And she stormed off doing ‘humphh’. I swear I saw even chotu kutta go ‘Humphh’. That’s it. That was my exit cue. I could not waste any more time at a party from where even ‘Bheow Bheow’ has done a ‘humphh’ and walked off.

Toh bhaiyya, moral of the story kya hai? Attending or not attending a party isn’t important. Because if you do attend it also shows, that you dance to their tunes. Ahaaa! You want to know who the lady is, na? Yaar kuch guessing tum bhi toh karlo. But promise me at least once today you will go ‘bheow bheow’.