Dear Miss Sawant,
You are Bollywood’s finest actress.
A script today is a few hastily written scenes that connect song videos. Others claim to choose films for their scripts but end up accessorising item numbers; you choose them for their item numbers and let others take care of the unimportant things in the script. Others say they will only show skin for author-backed roles in scripts which demand it; you have roles specifically authored for you to show skin, whether or not the script demands it.
Your colleagues try to play different kinds of roles and goof up in every one of them. You play the same role in every film but you do it so well. They say they’re enacting characters but play themselves in every movie. You always play yourself and Rani Mukherjee comes to you for tips for her role in Saawariya. They want to play roles that are different from their personalities; you are set to play the Virgin Mary. They think audiences come to watch them play roles; you know that all we’re looking for is a little role play.
Top actresses are hungry for substantial roles; you are happy to be the glam doll. They want to do woman-centric films; you are usually surrounded by men but are always the centre of attention. They gain and lose fans according to their work; your fan following is a work only in progress.
Your contemporaries hide their relationships but you have been courted, engaged and have broken up on national television. Both of you fear ‘settling down’ because it will mean the end of your careers – they, when there is talk of them marrying and having children, you, when you are not in the news for two days in a row. They undergo plastic surgery and strain to keep that fact hidden, you do the same and your hidden assets strain to come out into the open.
The media manipulates your peers, you manipulate the media. They prattle on about secularism and visit darghas burkha-clad; you unabashedly ‘love Jee-jas’. Others respond to rumours by keeping their mouths shut; you do the same by shooting your mouth off. Others spend most of their time making bad movies and struggle to become celebrities; you spend most of your time being a celebrity and do a bad movie once in a while.
Like I said, you are Bollywood’s finest actress.
At least you don’t pretend that you are here to act.
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