Starry-eyed GenNow gives studies a miss
Calcutta, March 5: For every Debojit Saha, Abhijeet Sawant and Ruprekha Banerjee who makes it to fame and fortune via the reality TV route, there are thousands of youngsters who dream of emulating them, often ignoring their studies in the process.
And such is pull of stardom and big bucks among the campus crowd that psychiatrists, teachers and parents have been forced to devise strategies to burst the bubble without denting the self-confidence of the teenagers.
While the schools fret about the increasing obsession of students with television talent hunts, parents of many teenagers have been forced to seek the help of psychiatrists.
"The number of teenagers pursuing instant stardom has gone up. Most of these cases come to the fore as the examinations approach and the children continue neglecting their studies. There is a glut of cases this season, too," says city-based psychiatrist Aniruddha Deb. "After talking to the teenagers, we find that they strongly believe they possess the mettle to be the next Abhijeet Sawant or Ruprekha Banerjee and shows like Indian Idol and Fame Gurukul are their shortcuts to success."
But even for the winners of reality shows, it is long, hard struggle to stardom. Abhijeet Sawant, the first Indian Idol, tells The Telegraph: "I wish that the behind-the-scenes of Indian Idol are also telecast. Everyone must know the tremendous hard work that the participants put in. One has to stay away from family and friends for months and deal with the pressure of competition and that of constantly being in the public eye. I would advise youngsters to concentrate on their studies and take part in the talent hunts only if they are immensely gifted."
Lack of talent, however, is seldom an impediment to grand dreams.
"Most cases that come to us are of teenagers with stars in their eyes, but who do not possess the talent to excel in the reality shows. It is difficult for parents and even professionals to make them see things objectively. One might just end up hurting their self-esteem," states child psychiatrist Rima Mukherjee.
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