Greying gracefully

There are Bollywood celebs who have aged with such grace, there’s no knowing how old they really are. In fact, like old wine, they just seem to be getting better with age.

When it comes to aging, we’re all equally scared. In fact, we’re so petrified that there’s an overabundance of cosmetics that claim to get rid of crow’s feet in a night. And perfection-hungry as we are, we instantly buy into all the false promises that assure us the porcelain perfection. A little white hair is enough to send us into a fit about growing old.

While most Bollywood actors stay fit because they’re required to, there are some who just embrace aging in the most beautiful way possible.

They adapt and change with the constantly evolving style, and Bollywood is full of such inspiring examples. There are Bollywood celebs who have aged with such grace, there’s no knowing how old they really are. In fact, like old wine, they just seem to be getting better with age. However, classic celebrities who didn’t grow old gracefully like Rajesh Khanna, Tanuja, Munmun Sen and many more. However, celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan are still going strong both on the big and small screens. The evergreen superstar of Bollywood turned heads even at 77, he once again reiterates the fact that age is no bar. From films and television to the endorsement space, Bachchan remains relevant. In fact, Bachchan currently endorses 15 brands and has maintained his 8th spot in the 2018 Duff and Phelps Celebrity Brand Valuation Report, with a brand value of Rs 41.2 crore.

According to Forbes 2018 celebrity rich list, Bachchan’s earnings stood at Rs 96.17 crore and he remains in the top 10 at rank seven, competing with young stars such as Ranveer Singh and Ranbir Kapoor.

Plus, there is KBC which keeps him present on people’s consciousness and very much in the consideration set all year long.

Similarly, Rekha has done a jaw-dropping 180 films and upwards, she came at a time when actresses like Sharmila Tagore, Asha Parekh, and Mumtaz were ruling the marquee. But there was something natural about the new entrant. Her performances, whether it is Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Ghar (for the record, the film is her personal favourite and she described it as her major breakthrough in “serious acting”), Umrao Jaan or Ijaazat, reflect the pain, melancholy and the lived experiences (of rejections and heartbreaks) of a troubled life. Much like Amitabh, Rekha is the only star of her generation who has travelled well over the years and aged gracefully.

Celebrities stay old school, stick to real estate

Career in Bollywood is by far the most glamorous and monetarily rewarding in India. At some point or the other, they do face financial crunches. While, most of us have thought about how the celebrities live their lives in vanity vans, five-star hotel suites, plush pads, and iconic studios.

Much has been written and spoken about various aspects of their lives. But what about their money mantras? How do they make, save and grow their money? As many of them have irregular and sporadic income.

You might get surprised that most of the current reigning stars say they live on a budget.

For instance, Priyanka Chopra’s money mantra is to save first and then spend, a habit that was inculcated in her even before she started earning. How do they do it? It comes from discipline, says one of the world’s highest-paid actresses, Deepika Padukone. She says this habit influences every aspect, from the simplest things like diet and sleep to her finances.

Even young stars from wealthy families, like Arjun Kapoor, know that their profession is unstable and hence put together a fund.

A close look at the portfolio allocations of film stars shows that real estate is a major asset class for most of them. The investments of most celebrities, from Sidharth Malhotra to Priyanka Chopra, are tilted towards physical assets such as real estate. Though it is one of the most illiquid asset classes—that is, you cannot readily convert it into cash, mainly because the quantum is large—it is close to their hearts.

Then there are actors such as Soha Ali Khan and Parineeti Chopra, who have a well-diversified portfolio. Start-ups and new businesses have also enticed the rich.

Most celebrities are not shy of taking help from friends and family to manage their finances. And during the process of wealth creation, they too have made big mistakes, whether it’s producing expensive films that tanked at the box office or investing in assets without enough due diligence.

Bollywood celebrities on their struggle with insecurity

Vidya Balan: Insecurity in Bollywood is a dark thing

Actress Vidya Balan feels the insecurity that runs among actors in the industry is a dark thing.

The 38-year-old actress, who made her debut in Parineeta and went on to star in acclaimed films like Kahaani, The Dirty Picture, and Paa, says being insecure is human and everyone feels that.

When asked to name three dark things about Bollywood, Vidya told, “Studios after shoot. Parties that only start after midnight. And, the third thing is, the insecurity that all of us feel from time to time.”

“It’s human. Everyone feels insecure. I think in this industry where everything gets written about, every emotion gets magnified,” she said.

The Ishqiya star said she never plans to venture into writing a fictional book.

Vicky Kaushal: Insecurity is a human thing, should be embraced

Actor Vicky Kaushal, who has tasted the highs of high in a career just spanning four years, admits that being an actor comes with its share of insecurities, but it is a human thing that should be embraced.

“Of course (being an actor comes with insecurities), and it is a very human thing. Everyone feels insecurity and in this profession you get so much love that the stakes of insecurities become higher.

“Several ‘what ifs’ creep in because nothing is permanent. No success or failure is permanent. No good or bad time is permanent. So, it leads to insecurities,” said Vicky.

The actor says it is important to be surrounded by people who know you for the person you are. “Without success or failure that the person that I am… But I think insecurities are a very human things and we should embrace them and live through it and flush them out. Live them and flush them out as they will teach you things.” 

Tiger Shroff: Admits Bollywood makes him insecure

Many in the acting field say the profession comes with a set of insecurities. Son of veteran actor Jackie Shroff seems to agree.

“I am so insecure. But I am driven by my insecurities to constantly seek approval and appreciation… How am I going to… ‘Is my dad going to like it (my work)?’, ‘Are my fans going to appreciate my work?’ While doing a film with Hrithik Roshan sir, (I think) ‘I hope he is impressed’… He is my hero and I look up to him and I hope that I am not letting him down or slowing him down,” Shroff said.

Anushka Sharma: Bollywood breeds insecurity in actors

“This industry is such that it breeds insecurity in actors. Actors’ insecurities benefit everyone, it benefits producers, they pit one against the other and reduce their fees. It benefits the media, it gets them to write juicy stories about them,” said Anushka.

“So, generally, not just for actors, but for the world, insecurity has always helped someone else. Some people in the industry fall prey to it and the environment is such that it is difficult to not fall prey to it. But it was so different with Varun. If I had to make some suggestions to him, I was comfortable to say things to him that otherwise, I would not be able to say to someone else. Similarly, if Varun had to say something to me and suggest me to do something in a different way, then he could, he would. That is how it should be, everybody is a team member, with one goal, the betterment of the film.”

Expert Speak:

In the west people live in present but Indians either live in the future which gives daydreams or lives in the past which make us over-anxious and conscious about present or future. Moreover, Indians choose profession not for their own happiness or as per their choice. But they choose sometimes as a status symbol or blindly follow others whether that profession suits or not. The majority of westerners are particular about what they chose in life, careers and rulers are no exception. For most of the Indians, they love whatever comes in their path and adore quantity/ casualness over quality/ professionalism. These differences result in a drop/boost in morale & happiness! Well, I am not criticizing anyone, neither to enlighten too. I was just trying to put a hidden point on how a human being who is free from all obligations to illiteracy, backwardness, and corruption can lead his/her life peacefully and stable. —Dr Vandana Choudhary, Consultant Psychologist