Bollywood would remember 2018 for the awakening of the MeToo movement. It first shook the foundation of the American film industry. MeToo didn’t quite have the same effect on Bollywood. But the overfamiliar attitude of leading men towards actresses and producers slapping young female strugglers’ thighs for effect, has stopped.So the scandals of the year…
1. Predators Of The MeToo Movement: From Subhash Ghai to Subhash Kapoor, they fell from grace faster than rose petals from a windswept garden. Harassment-accused Sajid Khan lost his directorial post in the House Full 4 project. Sanskari actor Alok Nath proved himself a lech. While director Vikas Bahl is still trying to figure out the losses. Look what Tanushree Dutta started!
2. Padmaavat & The Corny…Sorry Karni Seva: They threatened to cut off Deepika Padukone’s nose if the film was released. The film was released under tight security in all Indian states except 3. This writer watched a strictly private screening of the film in Patna. The next day Karni soldiers demanded to know why I was allowed to watch the “banned’ film when in fact the film was not banned in the Bihar state.
3. Sridevi Suddenly No More: The Diva’s death in Dubai still remains a puzzle. How did she die? The formal explanations have gaping holes. How can a legend of such spectacular stature be snuffed so suddenly? Is there a God? Or are we dealing with the devil?
4. Priyanka Chopra Snubs Salman Khan: Who would dare to walk out on a Salman starrer, and that too after persuading him for the role? We still don’t know why and how Priyanka got herself into this uncomfortable situation when she turned her back on Salman’s ambitious film Bharat. But to take on Salman head-on requires nerves of steels. Our Desi girl proved she has what it takes.
5. Malaika Arora –Arjun Kapoor come out : For years there were whispers of their relationship. But now after her divorce Malaika Arora(sans Khan) threw all caution to the winds and came out in the open with the new guy in her life. And never mind if Arjun Kapoor is 10 years her junior.
6. Arjun Rampal-Mehr Jessia Part ways: They were together as Man & Wife for 20 years. Then one fine day…poof! Apparently Arjun is now dating Serbian model Natasa Stankovic. The universe not only moves in mysterious ways, it also move fast.
7. Zeenat Aman Erased: Yesteryears’ hit star and the man who played the tyrannical Tipu Sultan on television,Sanjay Khan came out with his memoirs where he conveniently forgot to mention the sordid episode from the past where Zeenat Aman , in a long-term relationship with the Khan, was thrashed in public. Zeenat lost a part of eyesight during the beating. But it seems it is Sanjay Khan who can’t see.
8. RK Studios, adieu: Jeena yahan marna yahan isske siva jaana kahaan…sang Raj Kapoor in the classic MeraNaam Joker. Little did he know that one day in 2018 his sons Randhir and Rishi Kapoor would announce their decision to sell of Raj Kapoor’s dream and passion the iconic R K Studios. Indeed the end of an era.
9. Irrfan & The Big C: When Irrfan announced his illness we were shocked. But our shock turned to disbelief as several other Bollywood names fell prey to the dreaded disease. Let’s hope 2019 brings the healing touch to Bollywood.
10. Naseeruddin Shah’s Ticket To Pakistan: The minute this peerless actor expressed his insecurities and fears about the future of his children, a zealous politician offered him a one-way ticket to Karachi. As of now, Naseer is not planning to take up the generous offer. There is much unfinished business to look into at home.