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In quarantine, Bollywood is trying to give a cool tag to household chores.

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Coronavirus, which has serious implications for the poor, is just another opportunity for Bollywood stars to make inane videos and keep their fans hooked.

Among those discovering household chores are Bollywood’s best. While Katrina Kaif is giving tutorials on how to do the dishes and mop the floor, Fatima Sana Sheikh has posted videos of herself putting the broomstick to work. Videos of Malaika Arora cooking vegetable stew and Kartik Aryan listening to Old Time Road while doing the dishes also hit the Internet. You must have figured this by now: The latest ‘in’ thing during quarantine, at least for these Bollywood celebs, is to shoot videos of doing daily chores.

TV actor Hina Khan featured in a video mopping the floor and telling us what a day in the life of a celebrity could look like when there isn’t anyone to do their chores for them. Thanks, Hina. We would have never known the hard work it takes to clean a house. And the sound effects just amplify your ‘misery’.

Giving her tough competition is Malaika Arora talking about her “yummy” Malabari vegetable stew, “which is good for the soul”. And what will she have with it? “Steamed rice and chickpea gluten free vegan bread,” which was made by her friend Ravina.

The cool way to quarantine

Looks like self-quarantine has become quite a soapy affair for our celebs — first we saw the hand-washing tutorials and now some dishwashing ones. It’s time Bollywood gets a grip on itself.

When I sent Katrina Kaif’s jhadu tutorial to Maulida (our domestic worker), she was totally unimpressed and said: She’s doing it all wrong. Nothing’s going to get cleaned that way. When it comes to work ethics, Maulida is unbeatable. She means business and almost nothing can stop her.

A friend tells me that sweeping and mopping the floor is a “great quad workout and really strengthens the core”. Maybe, even celebs are trying to explore new fitness mantras.

Having washed dishes for over an hour, I can attest to the fact that it is a good arm workout as well.

So, maybe after the lockdown is over, jhaduponcha can replace your ‘leg day’ and core exercises at the gym. It would definitely make for a better mirror (gym) selfie.

Distorted Reality

From our social media feed to the news on television, the lockdown due to Covid-19 has exposed how many of us live in a bubble. While people are walking to their homes hundreds of kilometres away with no food to eat and barely any water to drink, others are making videos of cleaning their beautiful houses and their next home workout.

With the current crisis giving the well-off more opportunities to help those who cannot afford even a daily meal, perhaps this lockdown will force many to look beyond their privileged lives and understand that theirs is a distorted reality.

In Douglas Ward’s 1965 play A day of Absence , the white residents of a fictional Southern Town find all the black people missing. Since they’re missing there’s no one to shine the shoes and feed the babies, and the municipality is in chaos. So desperate is the mayor of the town that he says he’ll kiss any part of a shoe if they all come back.

Maybe, when all of this is over, we’ll be reliving a page out of Turner’s book. Where all the poor would be gone (in their villages), while we would be left with our incompetence and privilege, begging them to come back.

Daily chores might become cool and we may restrain from taking workers in our homes for granted, but one can never deny that such duties involve a lot of hard work.

I’m thinking of something witty to say, but then I realise I don’t need to. I think the “chickpea gluten-free vegan bread” did the job for me.

There are serious questions about how the poor and underprivileged will survive this 21-day lockdown. But for social media users, all they will have from their Bollywood and TV stars at the end of it is a barrage of inane homemade videos. Sure, by then, many would have learnt the right way to sweep the floor or cook yummy Malabari curry. Perhaps, years later, we can expect to see a biopic of an actor quarantined and cleaning his/her fancy apartment — with background music of course — even as the world outside was fighting to survive.

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