Aryan Khan Saga shows there’s a world other than glamor for young people to conquer
What were you doing at 23? Sardar Udham Singh asks in the fictional recreation of his life in the Prime Video film ‘Sardar Udham’. The question is asked of an Englishman who says he was the youngest police detective at that age. Udham smiles through the pain of his torture, recalling the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh. âYouth is a gift from God,â he says at another point in the film, âyou want to let it wither or make sense of itâ.
There have been many memes over the past three weeks about Aryan Khan and other 23-year-olds, usually Neeraj Chopra, the Olympic javelin gold medalist, comparing their achievements. Comparing is something Indians do very well. It’s rooted in our school system, which is grade based; in our college admissions, which are grade based; in our company promotions, which are based on reviews. Children are not only offspring but also goods, to be measured according to the market, their success and failure being passed on to their parents.
Nowhere perhaps are parents judged as much as in India, and nowhere children have such a long childhood. Whether you are the 23 year old son of one of India’s biggest superstars or the 55 year old superstar son of a famous screenwriter, in India you are a child until your parents pass away. They are supposed to protect you, help you, love you to death. No matter what.
Aryan Khan’s arrest was not seen as a failure. It was seen as a failure on the part of his parents. The bigger the greenhouse, the bigger the stones the world throws at you. And Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat is a fairly large greenhouse, the second most famous address in the country after Rashtrapati Bhavan, according to the actor’s joker confession.
READ ALSO: Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham to Dear Zindagi: films by Shah Rukh Khan that show the importance of the family
This is in large part because of our obsession with happy families. The idea of ââthe perfect family has been infused into our films. Even if it must be said that any quick reading of our greatest literature, our epics, will tell you that the family is also the site of the greatest conflicts, whether between fathers and sons, or between cousins. Yet the ideals passed down from generation to generation involve protective fathers, loving mothers, devoted children. How much modern families have changed, and how much parenthood itself has changed, or must change. Couples choose not to stay in unhappy marriages; they try to find happiness again; children from the same family are no longer necessarily from the same group of parents. Blended families are, like conscious decoupling, not only in Bollywood, but also in certain strata of society.
And being obsessed with other people’s problems is a way to avoid our own. The more we focus on others, the less we need to recognize our own problems. The ideal family is often the one with the most toxic secrets. It must be remembered what happened in Burari in 2018, where a family of 11 committed suicide, apparently because their deceased grandfather was speaking to them through the youngest son. Yet, as the documentary on it, House of Secrets: The Burari Deaths, notes, the incident just fell off the map, not attracting the kind of attention that the killing of Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj had. or the mental space that the murder of Jessica Lal captured. We don’t like too much sun on our dark places.
The focus on other people’s issues – especially if they’re famous – is what makes Bigg Boss compulsive viewing. Whenever contestants fight over food or chores, we can forget about our kitchen sinks and dirty laundry. Watching people behave badly is fun, especially since it’s often an approximation of our real selves.
The reason we were addicted to the Aryan Khan prison saga is also the reason why we were concerned about the death of Sushant Singh Rajput during the pandemic – a famous last name (inherited in the case of Aryan ), family policy and 24/7 media coverage. In Aryan’s case, there was a sad mother, not eating, only praying, having forbidden the cooking of anything sweet in the house; an insomniac father feeding on coffee and working tirelessly with lawyers on strategy; a meeting in prison between father and son where both said they were sorry; longtime friends who defend the family, one deposits a bond for a bond, another goes to meet him the same day. We could feel the pain and understand the dilemma of law-abiding, silent, and storm-resistant parents. Just as we understood the misery in the case of Sushant, a grieving father, sisters who lost a loving brother, and the untapped potential of a sensitive mind and courageous heart.
READ ALSO: How to fight drug addiction among young people: crack down on providers, create affordable drug treatment centers
But both cases served to highlight Bollywood’s new image as a den of vice and venality. As a character on the new Netflix show ‘Call My Agent: Bollywood’ puts it, Bollywood is a shit show, even though the naive agent, his unrecognized daughter, says she will do anything to get into the movies. : look for chai, coffee or even cocaine for the actors.
The Aryan Khan saga is not yet over. Famous almost from the day he was born, just like Taimur Ali Khan today, his life has always attracted enormous interest. From where he studied, to how many somersaults he can do, to who his friends are. His Instagram account already has 1.8 million subscribers, without his having ever made an effort, except to mock the camera from various foreign places. The three weeks he spent in Arthur Road Prison must have left a mark on him, allowing him to see a world far beyond the bubble of purified air that star children breathe. The way he uses this experience will make him the man he could be.
Our founding fathers did not have a very high opinion of cinema, perhaps because of Mahatma Gandhi’s contempt for it. Perhaps acting out your fantasies in front of the camera was pale in comparison – and rightly so – to fighting for the freedom of the country. Perhaps these incidents serve to tell us that there are other worlds besides glamor for 23-year-olds to conquer.
Disclaimer:The author is a senior journalist and former editor of India Today magazine
(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.)
Read all the latest news, breaking news and coronavirus news here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.