Cost and effect: celebrations in limited editions!

Published On: 2013-04-07

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Cost and effect: celebrations in limited editions!


Source: TOI 

Date: March 12, 2007 


Indian celebrities doubt whether selling rights for those 'special moments' is really such a profitable deal. The mega marriage of the century (or shall we call it the re-run of the mega marriage of the century?) has just taken place in India. But all us Indians got to witness were the sidelights from the Liz-Arun wedding mania, even as an international media house, who has been sold the exclusive coverage rights, got to walk freely around the precincts of the Mehrangarh fort clicking from all angles the Indian ceremony. Suddenly, those most precious moments of one's life – marriage, birth of a child – have become marketable commodities and media houses are willing to pay top dollar to get such rights. 


Exclusive coverages of celebrity weddings and other landmark events in their lives including childbirth, etc have for a long time been sought after by celeb-based glossies in the West. Victoria Adams and David Beckham were reportedly paid a staggering $ 1 million for the coverage of their marriage by a society magazine. Michael Jackson too allegedly commanded the same amount for exclusive pictures of his baby son. 


Which brings us to the next most obvious question – considering India's preoccupation with Bollywood, are there chances of a mega event, perhaps like the Abhiash nuptials, ever attracting commercial interest in India? A horrified Sussanne Roshan reacts with a "never, not possible! I would never be comfortable doing such a thing. In fact, the idea would not be popular in India."


Sussanne's marriage to Hrithik Roshan in 2000 and the subsequent birth of son Hrehaan, garnered huge media attention. She continues on a more even note, "Abroad, it is a well-received concept. The celebs often donate the money earned to a charity. So the purpose is not just making money. Perhaps it also ensures there is no unnecessary over-exposure. But in India, we still believe that there are certain moments in life which one certainly wants to keep private and untainted by anything commercial, especially marriage," Roshan adds. A charitable thought and one quite contrary to what her father-in-law Rakesh believes. Roshan Sr who "personally will not be comfortable with the idea," nevertheless wouldn't be surprised if such a trend comes here soon. "Everything is becoming so commercial," he responds cynically. 


A view that theatre personality and a regular on the high-profile celebrity guest list Dolly Thakore completely agrees with. "Everything is saleable," she thunders adding that, "It is a ridiculous concept, but I guess we have stepped into an age where people have no qualms about selling their stories or allowing sneak peeks into their private lives." 


Similarly for Muzzafar Ali, whose son Shaad's wedding in Lucknow was fodder for the media. Calling the concept a strange idea, Ali comments, "Who really is 'that' anxious to know what happens at such weddings?" Something that former Miss India Queenie Dhody, who managed the Priya Sachdev-Vikram Chatwal star-studded wedding too has doubts about. "I doubt if India has such super celebs media houses would want to pay to get exclusive coverage rights to," she states. As for the idea itself, Dhody calls it a "matter of choice. I personally am okay with the idea."