The Bachchans: Jahanpanah, tussi great ho!
So we don't have royalty. So what, we do have the Bachchans, don't we? In this egalitarian, film-obsessed city, the Bachchans - Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai - are as close to royalty as you can get.
And what perfect casting, too. There's the wise old king who built the dynasty and is worshipped by the people. At his age (67), he's not afraid to speak his mind or to take pragmatic decisions that will fill the royal coffers. Then the Queen Mother, who wields a different kind of power and involves herself in matters of state. The dashing young prince, eager to make his mark. And finally, the beautiful princess, whose tinkling laughter fills the castle.
Could be a fairy tale. Except that this royalty, in a manner perfectly appropriate for this city, has worked rather hard for its riches and glory.
And the king is not above chastising his subjects either, especially when they step out of line. In fact, Amitabh Bachchan has become quite the one-man crusade against media excesses these days. We may not agree with him all the time, but he does have a point. And courage, too. How many of our celebrities would dare take on the press in the manner that Amitabh Bachchan has? And hold his own against its combined might? In all honesty, we must applaud that courage.
But what do we do with his endorsement of Narendra Modi's Gujarat?
In all honesty, we must note that Bachchan is behind Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, who have rather publicly placed their faith in Modi as well. And all three could well be called Mumbai's Shahenshahs.
Next controversy, please.