The COViD Lockdown Has Celebs Giving Us Peeks Into Their High-Walled Homes
Thanks to COVID people are in extended house arrests. While the pandemic is wreaking havoc on those unfortunate enough to have been exposed to it and changing the world in ways we have never seen before, in the safe confines of our homes, the lockdown is bringing out the inner singers, chefs, bakers in everyone. It's making it perfectly acceptable to be spending weekend nights painting a canvas, not the town red. But it's also doing something unprecedented - It's giving us a peek into the homes of celebrities. Homes that were hitherto a matter of great mystique and privacy and out-of-bounds for the plebs with mile-high walls in the physical realm are now out in the open for all to see in the virtual world.
While we saw the Ambanis partaking in the national #5Baje5Minute clapping task we couldn't help feasting our middle-class eyes on the pristine sea-facing terrace of the world's most expensive house. The same task took us into the balconies of Virushka, the Bacchhans, the Kapoor's -- spaces that have become a normal feature in a day's social media churn.
I have now been inside the kitchens of everyone from Malaika Arora to a Disha Patani. As though they were not Bollywood stars who were just on billboards above our heads and doing gravity-defying shimmies in their latex hot pants on our screens just the other day, but younger and more glam versions of Tarla Dalals and Sanjeev Kapoors of today.
At this point, I can't tell who's gunning for more Youtube views - Bhuvan Bam or Varun Dhawan. Forget everything else, it's taken the untouchable God Of Cricket from a Wankhede packed with a million voices shouting "Sachin Sachin!" to a lawn-watering daddy who plays Ludo with his family post dinner.
I don't know what to do with the recent acquisition of knowledge about Karan Johar's complete wardrobe and the exact count of his Versace and Gucci jackets, thanks to his adorable moments with his twin babies. I am also accidentally in-the-know of his mother's penchant for having a particular kind of chaat alongside her grandkids while embellished in high-end jewellery over her nightie. As someone into home decor to an obsession, it's really hard to focus on that beetroot salad Alia Bhatt is making when I find myself ogling her distressed wood cabinets instead. Sure Priyanka Chopra, it's important to know how to wash your hands correctly in your 30s, but excuse me ma'am, is that marble wash basin sliced off the Trevi Fountain? And anyone can do Yoga at home. All you need is a mat and the will do it. But a Shirsasana with the view of the Arabian sea must have a different high altogether.
As a person as detached from the world of celebrities as Bill Gates is from poverty, I now feel privy to the hallowed and exclusive world of the uber-rich as though they're just one of my pals. In these slice-of-life videos, photos and Stories coming up on social media by the minute, we now know how our meagre incomes and their princely payouts lead to an actual difference in lifestyle. Kylie Jenner and her 3 year old daughter Stormi may have 3 swimming pools to Kwarantine in, Shilpa Shetty's living room is probably the closest to living inside the Taj Mahal one could get, and Twinkle Khanna's "Happy lil corner" is bigger than 3 entire 1000sqft flats combined.
But still, if one has to find solace at a "us vs them" situation suddenly thrown at us, it's this. If nothing else, the lockdown has been a great leveler. Celebrities, they’re just like us. With the househelp away and having nothing but the four walls of a home and internet at your disposal, whether you're a multi-million dollar Bollywood sweetheart or an ad agency junior, everyone still has to do the Jhaadu-Poccha and roll out that round Roti. And whether you have a few hundred followers or a million, the need for connecting with anyone who'd listen is real and transcends income, status and bedsheet thread-count levels.