One of the after effects of being on a reality show is that you are not a commoner anymore but the truth is that you are not a celebrity either.
So you are caught somewhere in the middle – between the life of a star and that of a common man- desperately in search of a foothold.
I am aware that I am biting the bullet here but the rule applies to all the reality shows – from Big Boss to Splitsvilla – If you are a contestant on any of these shows you are not a celebrity – no, no, you listen to me first – you are not a celebrity. No matter if you won the show – abused your opponent silly or took off your clothes – YOU ARE NOT A fcuking CELEBRITY.
And you know what messes it up even more- once back from the show – A Reality Show Contestant bears all the brunt that a celebrity does- oh! Trust me, he does – but, sadly enough, he doesn’t get to enjoy the fun part.
For instance, just like a celebrity- it gets somewhat tricky/risky for a reality TV contestant to step out alone in a crowded place but at the same time unlike a real celeb the poor guy does not have an option – He is well aware that he has to step out– for if he doesn’t buy that damned gobhi there would be no dinner.
Don’t think, I am not including myself in the lot. Hell, I am even worse. I have a hard time pulling a serious face every time someone walks up to me for a photograph-or worse – an autograph. You know you can’t be blunt and say no to the person who has come up to you because, of course, you don’t want to look rude but at the same time you are thinking in your head, “get out of here you dumb fuck and stop making a fool out of yourself. Who are you, Amitabh Bachann?”
I don’t know about others but that’s how I feel – it’s not a case of low self esteem- but it’s just that I don’t think just because you were on TV you are authorised to sign napkins and pass off under the garb of a celebrity.
I remember we were freshly out of the show and some of the contestants (I am not going to name names) decided to go out on the beach. So I am in a plain tee, denim shorts and a pair of flip-flops- all set to wander on the beach. When one of the contestants turns to me and says, “aren’t you gonna get dressed?”
“What for?” I asked, sipping my beer, “we are going to the beach, aren’t we?”
“Listen Stutee,” she replied, grabbing me by my shoulders, “take this seriously. We are celebrities now. You can’t go out looking like that.”
My beer came out of my nose, I laughed so hard, but it was every bit worth it. She was having a hard time pronouncing celebrity but she sure was convinced that she was one.
The other day I was at Barista and this girl walks up to me with that very familiar Hey!-I-Know-you look and I am in my seat praying, “Oh God, let her not come to me, please, please, please, please!”
I am not being a wiseass – I don’t mind the attention - but it is embarrassing in front of my friends- why because they get another chance to pull my leg you know with mean one liners like “Oooh! We didn’t know we have a celebrity in the house” and then I have nowhere to hide.
Anyway, regardless of my silly little prayer, God still chose to send her to me.
“Hey, you are Stutee right?’ she asked, a little unsure.
“Yes,” I replied, smiling and quietly preparing my mental note on ‘how was my experience in Splitsvilla?’ If only I had a nickle for every time I have answered that question.
‘I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog, I visit it every day and I love it.”
And right that second I knew that this was going to be one of my happiest moments in life. I just knew it.
My first public acknowledgement – I looked at my friends – none of them was trying to suppress a laughter – there was a look of joy in their eyes – a look of immense pride – a look that I had never seen before.
Although, that girl didn't ask for an autograph but to tell you the truth had it been she would have it wouldn't have been so hard not to laugh after all.