“I never think of myself as an icon. What is in other people’s minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing.”
Audrey Hepburn, the darling of millions though she was, probably never had to deal with the sheer weight of expectations that more than a billion Indians burden their superstars with. This has historically been the case, and is even more so in a heavily mediated India, where television and the internet speculate upon even the trivial minutiae of a superstar’s existence. Camille Paglia wrote, “Popular culture is the new Babylon, into which so much art and intellect now flow. It is our imperial sex theatre, supreme temple of the western eye. We live in the age of idols. The pagan past, never dead, flames again in our mysterious hierarchies of stardom.” Substitute “western” with “eastern” and Paglia could well have been referring to India.