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Fringes of fame aka star selfie ‘autograph’

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A few months ago on my trip back from Kolkata, I was sitting in the lounge hunkered over my laptop furiously dashing off a few ideas and responding to emails… I heard the dulcet tones of a vaguely familiar voice however ignored, absorbed instead with processing the packed three days spent with my client and team.

As I boarded, our eyes met and she exclaimed “Hey! I know you!” Even I took a second to make the connect via mutual friends’ of my partner… Sweetly she commented “Such a different context! So sorry I didn’t recognise you earlier!”

Honestly, I looked quite different from when we last met and while we certainly socially connected several times, we don’t really know each other so well. Both of us can be forgiven for not immediately recognising.

But here is the kicker – there are a lot of people out there that think they know her.

As I walked out of the airport, there was a full bank of paparazzi. Egads?! Was that for her? Could that be possible??

And it struck me how we’ve always met within the closed ranks of an ‘inner circle’ of our mutual friends’ homes, in relaxed known environments where you can simply be yourself.

Flashing Fahad at Flash Point

Paparazzi at the Flash Point book launch

I’m lucky. My partner is known but primarily within certain circles and environments. He has a chameleon like quality… many roles he does are so completely contrasting that recognition doesn’t get in the way of every day life.

Not so for some folks we know. With a few, I’ve learned to pick certain restaurants or places to meet where there will be less of the “Sir! Can I just have a photo with you?” In most cases, socialising happens either in homes or closed events.

Because selfies with someone famous is the new ‘autograph’. And I’ve unfortunately witnessed the mobbing that can take place with demands for brushes with fame.

Circa 2004

Saif Ali Khan + Carissa Hickling, circa 2004

So do I fall prey to this malady? Generally no… at least not with folks I genuinely know.

However, don’t laugh, I will confess to one ‘star pose’ taken more than a decade ago when we both were dashing late for the Mumbai – Delhi flight, sharing the bus across the tarmac together…. Emboldened by the fact I knew folks that worked in New York and India on his recent (then) hit film (Kal Ho Naa Ho), asked for a pic together. My little annoying ‘fan’ moment was never to be revisited. I assumed.

Except a funny little thing happened a couple months back. We met again… He was chatting with my partner as they were in a film together and we spent a most enjoyable evening at the opening of the Prithvi Festival. This time, I took the photo and spared us both a repeat of a star-struck selfie!

Lilette, Denzil & Saif at the Prithvi Festival opening

Lilette, Denzil & Saif at the 2015 Prithvi Festival

Clearly this isn’t just an Indian phenomenon. When Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister of Canada, all over Facebook popped pics with the new PM to the extent that it seemed that practically everyone I know in Canada has ‘met’ him!

What do you think? Is the ‘star selfie’ the new ‘autograph’?

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  1. Haha, star selfie, never thought about that but it could very well be the next autograph. I have to admit that I don’t have any autographs or star selfies though I met few famous people from the sports world and also from The political world.

    • Clearly VERY popular here in India. Hard to go anyplace with folks that are well known without someone stopping them and asking for a pic together which is then posted instantly on FB, instagram, twitter, whatever!

      Now get with the times dude and start building your collection with your famous sports heroes and politicos! 😉

  2. Sonel says:

    LOL @ star selfie and hell yes!, I would say. Definitely if I was a handsome and gorgeous as the two of you! The internet would be full of my ‘autographs’ then. The folks that do know me should be thankful I’m not. 😆

    • Sonel says:

      PS: When I am getting a signed autograph from the two of you? 😀

    • Hahahaha!!!! You are being too kind! My partner – naturally is rather photogenic with his real magic a gorgeous baritone. Me? I’m much happier sticking to the ‘fringes’. 🙂

      • Sonel says:

        Not at all. Just being honest. The two of you look like the stars you always see on the red carpet wall of fame in Hollywood. 😀

        • Flatterer!!! Is this the next instalment in the “MAS” charter? Shamelessly excessive compliments?? (teasing!)

          I’m actually quite red carpet shy. Do get caught sometimes but more often can side-step and let the shutterbugs do their thing with my partner. 🙂

          • Sonel says:

            hahahaha! That’s my middle name and yes. Episode 3 is on the way. 😆

            I don’t blame you. When you’re in the spotlight most people tend to take you apart and let’s not forget the critics. Not my kind of scene either. 😀

            • We have so far managed to keep my presence out of his media interactions… the latest attention is for how much weight he lost for a particular role – 13kg!

              Now.. I’m the one who should ACTUALLY be dropping weight and I even tried following (mostly) the diet he did. Result? I GAINED 3 kg?!

            • Sonel says:

              It’s a good thing then, especially if you don’t like to be in the spotlight.

              I can’t imagine how just must feel like. What does he say about all that then? Does it bother him or doesn’t he care what they say?

              LOL! No diets for you anymore Carissa and clearly you don’t need it. 😀

            • Like any actor, he wants to do interesting work that is appreciated. When its not or misinterpreted, obviously that’s tough…

              He had one incident last year which was picked up by nationally that was mildly embarrassing and, honestly, a bit amusing. He shrugged it off until he started to get threats. Now THAT was super uncool. Thankfully it settled down as something more salacious was picked up both by the press and political extremists!

              He’s very passionate about what he does and with some roles gets completely obsessed with understanding the context, stories, etc. The role he lost weight for was a perfect example. He read lots, hunted down lesser known speeches, trivia and more! So is happy there is some media attention as he can share his perspective on a historical figure that is much misunderstood.

              And me? I’m mostly camera shy these days as still carting around an extra 5 kg since I busted my ankle 1.5 years ago! Don’t be fooled by photos from before then. 🙂

            • Sonel says:

              I can totally understand. To him it’s also a job and he is proud of what he is doing and I can only imagine how tough it must be. I love my movies and series. Mostly horror and sci-fi but I do like a chic-flick now and then and I am forever thinking how difficult it must be for the actors sometimes. We see the finished result and never see what goes on behind the scenes and after all, they are feeling, caring humans that have the work problems and other problems as well. I think in a way they have more problems than us, because they have to deal with all the fans, the acting, the media. Oh dear, I will never survive. I’ll make one movie and then disappear and become a hermit on a secluded island surrounded by pet sharks. LOL!

              Threats are super uncool and I am glad it settled down. I think most of the times the press are the instigators and most of the times what they sell isn’t the truth either.

              I bet he is and it sounds like he is a great actor as well. I would love to see some of the movies he played in.

              But my question now : Didn’t you ever wanted to play in one of his movies?

              Oh no! Another broken ankle! The same happened to Roughseas. It must be really tough, but yes, when it comes to extra weight I can totally understand what you mean. I have Fibromyalgia and yuppy flu (chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome), so most days I find it difficult to concentrate or even do something because of the pain, but the swimming helps a lot sometimes. Menopause didn’t help either, but what the heck? I’m 53 and hubby says I look a lot better than most of the young girls of today who never had any kids (if I can believe him), but for once I was glad for the extra layers when I had a nasty fall a few months ago. If it wasn’t for those extra layers, I would have definitely broken a hip or leg, so I am not complaining anymore. Extra 5kgs is nothing. Really! 😀

            • He is proud of what he does! His craft is his life and he loves it. He’s primarily a stage actor however a few films he’s had small roles are more internationally known (both of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films, for example). And the amount of work actually required? A BlueStar Daddy Cool ad he did which runs for an amusing 30 secs took 2 days of back breaking work… as in he literally came home barely able to move, bruised up from all the stunts.

              As for me? Once upon a time I used to act in theatre – which is part of how I understand his world – however left that behind some 20+ years ago! 🙂

              I’m being kind when I say 5 kg… optimal would be to drop 10 kg but realistic is 5kg – so that’s my mythical goal and sticking to it. I really have no excuse not to…;-)

              Sorry to learn about the Fibromyalgia and yuppy flu – amazing how you are able to have such a focused eye to capture such remarkable images. Clearly takes some crazy patience. Clearly a lady with some pretty special qualities!

            • Sonel says:

              He should be and I can see he does. Loved the video. It’s awesome and by the stunts I can totally understand. If I had to do those stunts, I would not be able to walk for months. LOL!

              Of course I looked him up on Wikipedia. Going to see if I can find those movies and watch them. 😀

              Sounds like the two of you are soulmates indeed. Will you ever go back to acting?

              hahahaha! Let’s stick to 5kg then and one of these days I will hear that you lost 10 kgs. 😀

              Thanks but I lived with it all my life, so by now I am used to it. Some days are worse than others but I am still alive and it could have been worse. 😀

              I am glad you think they are remarkable. To be quite honest I don’t really think much of it. I take the shots and after a bit of editing I post them. It’s great to share it with others who appreciate them. I do have more patience with that than with people. Is this another “MAS” meeting? Flatterer! Thank you. 😀

  3. I had forgotten that you are very close to famous people! Makes sense that meeting someone you know is still just that – and not meeting a ‘celebrity’. How nice it must be for her to come across a familiar face, too!

  4. An autograph could be faked, but a selfie? I think it is the new autograph!

    • Hahaha! Clearly we know which ‘camp’ you have joined! Now… do you have your selfie with Justin Trudeau?

      • No I haven’t met or seen him… I only have a picture with the guys from Blue Man Group! Ha ha. Autographs…. I don’t think I have any of those either.
        Saw pics of the new kitty. SO cute and those big ears! My kitty has been sad since hubby just left to go away for work.

        • Heheh! Yes Zoe is waaaay too cute! (And we are completely biased!) My partner is out til 20th Jan on a film shoot so am solo ‘pet parenting’… in short kitten and I are having great fun!

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