31 Jan 2012

SAHAR Airport Road

Model in the first photo. Child in the next. A mother and child from Delhi.

The First India Kids Fashion Week
Meet the Parents

There's truth in what Big B is supposed to have stated. i.e., if he is in the same frame as a child or a cute animal, no one will ever notice him. It was the same story at the first India Kids Fashion Week, except that it was the clothes that were on display that were competing without any success against kids who caught all the attention. That their kids will be noticed was why the hundreds of parents queued up with their children to fight for chance to be on the catwalk. From Moradabad to Bangalore, Bandra to Malwani, parents were all there.

My child cutest.

The child fashion on display was honestly, nothing to write about. This first event of the kind was just testing the economic possibilities of such an event. The parents probably got what they wanted, their child on the catwalk, in Mumbai. In a 5-star hotel. There seem to be enough people who look and dress like they are from the fashion, advertising, TV and film business and I'm sure my child will be picked up to become the next boy to play little SRK or Hritik, Kareena or Katrina.

Grown up kids.

There were some seasoned child artists too. Like Jannat. For her parents it was an event not to be missed. They came from Malwani, in Malad West, with her and the younger brother. Both walked the ramp.

You can differentiate the children who have already faced the lights, flashes, and people around them. Their body language is like adults but they all had a toy or a childish accessory in their hands to reveal their real age. When they open their mouths, they are clearer about their life goals than their parents or so it seems.

The kids who are here for the first time, behave more like kids and look around in wonder.

Jannat and family. Her father is businessman. She and her brothers are successful child actors.

This next family is from a small town in UP. The parents are both doctors. She wants to be a Miss World and walk the ramp when she grows up. She hates heavy make-up and likes to keep it natural. She knows exactly what she wants. The way she talks I'm sure she will convince her parents to shift base to Mumbai or Delhi in a few years.

Do you remember the actor who played SRK's dad in Don? I don't. But they do. At a talent show in Lucknow the man who played that role, gave this girl a prize. A prize that took the family to Delhi for auditions for ads and from there to here, to the Kids Fashion Fashion Week in Mumbai.

And Mumbai is the place to be. This is where you can become a star. Yes, they will shift base here.

Shivering in the surprise Mumbai chill was this Japanese mother, married to an Indian and living in Bangalore. She told us in a Bangalorean English/Japanese accent (she learnt English in Bangalore) that she was here for her daughter who is interested in fashion and wants to be a model when she grows up. She looked a little lost among the other pushy parents because she was unable to find a way to go see the show and watch her daughter walk. And since she was here with her son too, he also walked the ramp for fun.

And finally here's a poster from a stall inside the event tent. Paparazzi shots of famous parents who shield their children from the camera (at least for now) while there are a few hundred parents outside who would punch each other to have a photo of their child published somewhere before they grow up and lose their cute-ness.

This, Mr Don Henley, is the end of innocence, in a Mumbai minute.

Also, only politicians can push their children - kya?


debanish achom said...

This is a seriously good read. Reminds me of Little Miss Sunshine and the good dialogues. "Life is one beep beep beauty contest after another. You know, school, then college, then work, beep beep that." lol...

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

I didn't remember the dialogue or I would have used it!

Thanks man!

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Great post, Gopal. This whole business scares me no end. What did it do to you as a parent, I wonder?

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Actually, I spent a decade in advertising and wrote/shot a lot of ads with kids. I think it's up to the parents. But not for my son, luckily he has other interests in life and not to be on TV :)

For those who seek fame, it's what Debanish quoted: "Life is one beep beep beauty contest after another. You know, school, then college, then work, beep beep that." lol..."

So they are doing what SRK, Aamir etc. do day in and day out. Do the beep beep beep now when the kids are cute.

It might trouble you but I believe you are tiny minority. 99% of the parents wouldn't let got of a chance for a child to appear in an ad or serial. However, they could change their mind once they have seen a set though.

kavita said...

Lost childhood !Like Corinee I too find it scary and also disturbing.

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

It is disturbing but the sad truth is that most parents do not think so!

Mahesh Shantaram said...

That's a great post, Gopal. It's always refreshing to read a photo-opinion piece rather than a dry document on what actually happened - just as the sponsors would want it. Not good for advertising, but good enough for me. Good job!

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Thank you, Mahesh.

I've been observing the reporters I work with and reading how they write, I'm doing my own ekalvya-style learning. It's very helpful to give photographs some meat.

Michelle said...

Gopes..have I ever told you..that I had a chance to be the little girl in Masoom, but my Mom didn't think it was a good idea. She was also in that 1% and felt it wouldn't be a good idea if I were in movies at that age. I was quite bummed for many years, but in retrospect, life would have been so different. The success would have gone to my head!

abha said...

Good post, Gopal. Feel kind of sad about all this, but it about the times already here (not the times to come). Something like the show must go on, and the younger the better. It's like the item numbers that little children have to perform at schools for annual day etc.(know this for a fact).

Slogan Murugan aka M S Gopal said...

Michelle. You can safely say that your mom is one a million. :)

Abha, there are no clear idea where one should draw the line. Or at what age. That's why it is best left to parents to decide for their children.

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