Bollyspace

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I am in Love with Shahrukh Khan…but I’m a Journalist!

One of the first interviews I conducted as part of fieldwork towards a dissertation on fans, Indian cinema, and new media, was with Ash (pseudonym), editor of a Bollywood-focused website. Ash’s story brings into sharp relief a number of questions regarding the world of film journalism, especially in its global, Bollywood variant. [I am not concerned here with the regional language press].

Ash’s introduction to the world of Bollywood cinema was with the SRK starrer, K3G. In her own words: I was hooked. This led to her exploring a number of other films and soon, she began participating in online discussion groups devoted to various aspects of Indian cinema. Ash went on to say that she would love to meet SRK, and has been trying for a few years now.

We talked about all this for a while, and then the conversation turned to her work as a film journalist and editor of a major Bollywood site, and generally, what it meant to be a fan and a journalist. She said: well, we all know that the word "fan" comes from "fanatic," but I'm not that kind of a fan. And then went back to talking about how much she'd love to meet SRK. She also explained that when she does meet him, she would like to have a "normal" conversation with him. And after a small pause, added, "but you know, I'm afraid I will lose it when I see him face-to-face."

We laughed a bit about this, and proceeded to talk about her work. As a journalists, she said, "I have to be careful not to let my love for a star bias what I write...either for or against my star or other stars. I cannot lose control."

I have a feeling this is something that will be repeated a number of times as I go off to interview film journos in Mumbai...a neat little balancing act between two subject positions - as a fan, and as a professional journalist. I also think that I will have to look more into how new media have brought about key changes in the domain of film journalism (arguably one of the key modes by which Indian cinema becomes a "public" institution).

3 Comments:

  • thanks Aswin for having me as one of your interviewees. It was fun, even though I'm used to being the interviewer. All the best to you on your travels and continued research for your dissertation. And don't forget, if you run into SRK, tell him I said, "HI". Take care. Talk with you soon.

    By Anonymous Ash, at 10/30/2005 6:34 AM  

  • hey ash aka simran - I will certain say hi to SRK if I do see him! And I'll also bring back a bunch of articles that TOI mumbai (and other newspapers) has featured, celebrating SRK turning 40! SRK, along with John Abraham, are being credited with redefining Indian male sexuality!

    By Blogger Aswin, at 11/01/2005 11:38 PM  

  • Ah I knew I could count on you. Since SRK's in NY right now, I'll say hi for you to him when I get to see him. LOL

    Can't wait to read all those articles on SRK too. I don't know about John Abraham but SRK is certainly redefining the Indian male sexuality for sure! WTG SRK!

    40 and he's still hot! :)

    By Anonymous ash, at 11/06/2005 5:47 PM  

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