I remember a time, not so long ago, when celebrities beckoned us distantly from movies, magazines, and music videos. Today (with a little help from our nifty smartphone that lights up every time the object(s) of our affection share(s) a tidbit of their life on social media) we are breakfasting with them or being a co-bridesmaid at their BFF’s wedding, heading backstage with them before they hit the stage, or going on a cruise with the ‘gang’, part of the entourage.
We’re not fans or followers anymore. We’re friends. And family.
According to this logic, singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh has over 3.1 million of them. Instead of being mere admirers of his work, style and career graph, the ones who’ve hit ‘Follow’ on his profile, look at him the way you would a family member kicking serious a** out there. He’s a puttar (son) to some, paaji (elder brother) or sona munda (very roughly, a goodlooking guy) to others. It’s as if the Jalandhar-born artist is not a tabloid superstar who’s just bought himself a private jet. Instead he’s a symbol of his fans’ potential.
When he talks about ‘Kareenaji’, not Kareena/Bebo, we feel he hangs out more with his audience with a glass of lassi, than being Bollywood royalty. When he reposts their pictures with his movie posters or cutouts along with the ubiquitous #lovemyfans, we find it natural to assume that he’s just one of us.