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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mumbai Mirror on Celebrity Blogs

Celebrity blogs have not really taken off in India. But the media is seeing half-hearted attempts by Bipasha Basu and Aamir Khan as some big phenomenon. Intent Blog seems to be the only genuine celebrity blog in the Indian Blogosphere. Mumbai Mirror talks about the growth of Celebrity Blogs in India:

But veteran bloggers will warn you about these celebrity blogs. Journalist and host of one of the most popular Indian blogs (indiauncut) Amit Varma says, “These blogs would draw an initial response from the fans, but once they realise there is no value to be derived, they’ll stop visiting them.”

Author of Simoquin Prophecies and a blogger, Samit Basu is in no mood to come to the rescue of these star blogs. “They are fake and mostly ghost written,” he says. “Besides most stars use this space for publicity.” But what’s wrong with that, one may ask. It is a free space after all. Varma argues, “Blogging is as wide a term as writing. And just as you have all kinds of writers, you have all kinds of bloggers too.” Each celebrity blogger thus brings in his/her own touch to the blogs. Take Rahul Khanna’s posts for example (on intentblog). At times tongue-in-cheek, witty and at times heart-rendingly boyish in his sentiments, we came across one of his posts on intentblog.

n. Inability to post regularly.”
And then a post that begins thus,
“A Love Lost, I lost someone very dear to me last week.
My hard drive.
She took her own life.”
We’d like to believe these ramblings are your very own Mr
Khanna. Cannot imagine otherwise.

On a more serious vein, Nandita Das, straddles the many worlds of activism, cinema and introspection with ease. Whether it is defending the case for regional cinema or simply recounting the dilemmas of a friend about to take on American citizenship, her blogs read much like her films, provocative, contentious, at times edgy and at others unabashedly simple. Adept at story-telling, Shekhar Kapur’s blog posts read like pithy short-stories. His ‘inability’ to grasp Delhi’s reaction to the bomb blasts (even as a part of the city mourned the loss of lives, another kept its date with a Chanel fashion show), his encounter with a certain Patel running a motel in the US, all find a voice in his blog.

Varma and Co would like to argue that there is nothing esoteric about blogging (“there is no community as such”) and it is genuinely a free-for-all, the power and reach of which is just about registering. So while you have a Gaurav Sabnis, fighting for his right to blog against a powerful but controversy-ridden institution, you also have a Bipasha Basu surrounded by men anxious to pamper her, so that she can post a blog about her ‘serious’ turn. Unconstrained by word limits (you have can write anything from a single word to a 1000-word or more piece), unfettered by editorial guidelines (a reason why journos particularly love this space), unhinged by deadlines (that’s particularly appealing to media persons), blogs ensure a dedicated and active readership. “It is a very honest space,” adds Varma. “One that involves both the writer and the reader in a journey.” So let the sublime and the ridiculous co-exist in harmony in blogosphere, even as they battle it out in real life. Amen.


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