November 15, 2010

How To Stop Worrying and Start Loving the Spotlight

How does one deal with being in the spotlight?

While this question has never really plagued my mind for I know or at least I think I know that I’ll be a natural at handling the limelight, I have been thinking about this for sometime now. It was a at a friend’s wedding where this question hit me. Sitting there in the church and hearing the priest chant the names of the couple to be in almost every sentence that escaped his mouth, I wondered what would be going through their minds. Looking at the bride in white and the groom who was as calm as the center of fire I thought they did pretty good in the 45 minutes of fame they were subjected to.

But think about it. If you happen to be someone who was never sought after in school and perhaps never went to a regular college and were the person who somehow blend in with the background without putting more effort than a elephant strutting down the street then dealing with the spotlight can be a tough thing. To say a marriage is your day might be all right but it’s only in a church wedding that this gets a whole new meaning. There are no million relatives who stand between the guests and you; there’s no floral cover shielding your face- it’s just the two of you. And over that you need to do the talking, the nodding, the kissing and what have you.

Now imagine being the poster person for low profile and then imagine yourself in such a place.


Yeah that’s what I’d say. Off late there have been a lot of people who just don’t know how they ended up hogging all the collective attention of the world. There is dearth of people who just can’t handle attention and there ain’t nothing they can do to avoid that. Gone are the days when you could say or do something stupid and no one would notice. But with 24 hours in your face news channels, Internet, social networking sites and the works it’s instant death for people who can’t handle attention. Look at how the formertelecom minister A. Raja dealt with the attention his nefarious acts attracted. First he was shocked that people got to know of what the hell he was up to. Then he feigned ignorance; then came the dodging; then came the coldness; then came the over zealous smiles accompanied by invisible victory signs and finally when the writing was on the wall he made a handful of official statements in less an hour. In the end when there was literally nothing left to do but scoot he did it with much aplomb addressing the media in the middle of the night.

There are many more examples of people just not being able to handle the spotlight. Take Lalit Modi for instance. He had everything going for him and then he tipped the first tile triggering a domino effect with a few stupid tweets! Even Shashi Tharoor couldn’t curb his enthusiasm on a few occasions when it came to tweets. Lalit Bhanot is in a league of his own. Much like Alfred E. Newman or Rahul Bose he’s number one in the field of one. If you thought Bhanot couldn’t top his standards of sanitation statement he actually said there were some monkeys in the area when the press grilled him about a South African swimmers Indian spectators were like monkeys analogy!

So how does one deal with the spotlight?

Is there an easy way out?

Considering that most of these people don’t want to do things any other way except the easy way….

Keeping this mind I can just say look and learn from Sharad Pawar.

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