The Tale of Two Events (BH: D299)
May 30, 2012
One of the greatest benefits of all the social networking and chatting technology that I am shamelessly addicted to is the possibility of having contrasting chats simultaneously.
Classic example yesterday. Two recent events in the United States are discussed. Both were crowd pullers in their own sense. But the organizing and attitudes from the inner portals couldn't be more different.
The O-so-talented (O being his green card category) Shyam worked with Beyonce on her comeback Revel concert. He was the graphics artists for four of the songs. He was on FB chat yesterday telling me about the 14-16 hour days he had to put in.
He gushed about the sense of humor and perseverance of Beyonce. "So down-to-earth," he said. Given her humongous global appeal, she had every right not to be! But then she isn't born in a culture that teaches that being a snob is the fundamental requirement to stardom.
The other chart I was having on Gmail was discussing precisely such a culture. Indian. Specifically south Indian. A fundraiser in Texas. Some Indian celebrities in attendance. Somehow having been in films is automatically considered scholastic ability. So the "stars" get plenty of time to air whatever is in their airy heads while others are cut short and rushed to badly timed flights.
The real shocker, however, was the treatment meted out to the accompanying artists who don't have the 'star' status. So they get less than zero attention from the great organizing minds. Accompanying musicians to a concert singer weren't even given the facility to call their families back home in India to let them know of their safe arrival. These artists, most of them with no knowledge of English were left to fend for themselves with a despicable $10 allowance.
At A&M, the SPICMACAY had an exemplary tradition of hosting and treating the visiting artists well. So I know that what I heard yesterday isn't universal. And Granted what I have is second hand information but I consider it worth mentioning so that such horrendous treatment is not meted out to other Indians brought over in the name of festivals, concerts and fundraisers.
Of course, it is widely accepted that the major thrust of most of these India club organized events is getting drunk and other thrustings. But inhuman treatment of artists is simply a shame. It is a culture that is worth abandoning.
Suck up, by all means, to celebrities, but just don't treat others who are not stars in your narrow minds like dirt. Organizers in this case aren't uneducated third rate thugs, but supposedly highly educated shining beacons of so called Indian success in a foreign land. Inexcusable!
Posted by Arun Surendran