Katy Perry’s India Visit Proves It Again – Bollywood Bends Backwards For Celebs From The West
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Katy Perry’s India Visit Proves It Again – Bollywood Bends Backwards For Celebs From The West

Bollywood goes all out to host and party with Hollywood celebrities but is that hospitality returned by the guests?

Quite honestly I didn’t know who Katy Perry was until Karan Johar opened his gates for her to party with all of his super - VIP Bollywood guests. Katy got distinction marks from everyone who’s someone in Bollywood. As far we are concerned she is Lady Gaga.

I haven’t seen such an impressive turn-out of Bollywood VIPs at any KJo bash in recent times. Just goes to prove, if an American performing artiste wants to feel special all he or she has to do is visit Bollywood. We lay out the red carpet for any Caucasian who has won even a shred of recognition abroad.

Katy Perry and Ananya Panday

Katy Perry and Ananya Panday

The ground reality is a little removed from the high-rise adulation. While Katy Perry was entering the poshest party venue in Bollywood, one could hear the paparazzi at Johar’s place wondering aloud, ‘Yeh kaun hai? Actress hai kya?’

Katy Perry is hot glamorous and sexy. She makes good photo-ops. What about 70-year old  David Letterman, the legendary talk show host who visited Shah Rukh Khan to interview him? Shah Rukh’s wife Gauri who doesn’t allow any guest beyond their gleaming living room allowed Mr Letterman right inside her kitchen. Mrs Khan even sat and had breakfast with Mr Letterman and her husband which they had cooked.

David Letterman and Shah Rukh KhanDavid Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan

Would the Khans open their inner chambers for an Indian media person, no matter how distinguished he or she may be? This brings us to our original question. What  makes all of Bollywood go weak in the knees at the mention of a foreigner guest? What made the Ambanis, Mukesh and Neeta, smile away the snub when Justin Bieber didn’t turn up for their party in his honour?

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey came to India in 2012 and went  back vowing never to return. In an ill-informed documentary that she did on her visit to India, she made some truly nasty comments that once again scoffed at our hospitality.

It wouldn’t be erroneous to say we carry out “guest is God” belief to an extreme when it comes to visitors from the West. When Will Smith landed in India, Karan Johar (he is the unofficial host for all American entertainers) took him to the sets of Student Of The Year 2 and made him shake a leg with Tiger Shroff. The shot, when it appeared in the film, evoked no response.

Will Smith in 'Student Of The Year 2'

Will Smith in 'Student Of The Year 2'

The real stars, the one who make or shake the global box-office, rarely come to India. Recently Arnold Schwarzengger was promoting his latest Terminator film all over the world. He chose to skip India.

A prominent representative from a leading international film production company told me, “India is seen as a very small market for Hollywood films. Only the super-hero films do well. And that too when they’re dubbed in the Indian languages. Major Hollywood stars choose to see a few media persons from India in Japan or Korea. Tom Cruise was the last big Hollywood superstar who came to India, and that was because Anil Kapoor who worked with him in Mission Impossible, invited Tom.”

Katy Perry with Jacqueline FernandezKaty Perry with Jacqueline Fernandez

For a large part we have to make do with the second-layer entertainers who are allowed to behave like superstars in this country. The kind of attention they get is just not commensurate with their talent. This hyper-adulation makes them feel they have the right to disregard rules and protocol. Hence Katy Perry decided she doesn’t need to show her passport at the airport entry!

Before Ms Perry the American entertainer who abused our hospitality was Justin Bieber who flew off in his private jet without properly concluding his Mumbai concert although he was committed to attend a party at the Ambanis afterwards.

Why bother with protocol when you can exchange your good manners with arrogance and get away with it?

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