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And just like that, Nishita’s business became everyone else’s business

By: Anumita Das

I personally like to laugh a lot. Like Chandler from the sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S, I even laugh at my own problems and use humour as a shield sometimes. Lately, I have been laughing and at the same time wondering what the heck is going on everywhere? While everyone is now busy with Rihanna’s tweet and Kangana’s response, FIR against Greta Thunberg and even Mia Khalifa joining in something of their interest, I am stuck on a local feel. And I just can’t seem to laugh anymore since the question of “responsible behavior” has come up.

Currently, two things are brewing in every household of Assam apart from tea. One is election and the related stuff and the other is a video clip of Singer Zubeen Garg playfully making unfiltered remarks on leading Assamese Actor, Nishita Goswami. While the former is something I am yet to take active interest in, the latter has left me confused with the idea of “joke” at a public platform where people were gathered to honour the work of filmmakers, actors and pay tribute to creativity.

The video that went viral after seconds of sharing on social media, shows Zubeen Garg openly expressing that during the shoot of a film, he took pleasure in watching Nishita Goswami walking away. He clearly mentions buttocks while describing. He shared his funny story in public. “I was looking at her buttocks all the while. We shot for around 20 days and all these days, I just kept looking at her buttocks while she walked away,” he said, thanking the Director of the film for providing him with the opportunity to do so.

The ones who made and shared the short video clippings of course got the humour and laughed their lungs out. They can be heard cheering Assam’s heartthrob, Zubeen, for his “playful attitude.” However, it did not go down very well with a lot of people.

We have seen Nishita Goswami and Zubeen Garg in a number of projects. I’m sure they must have developed a professional relationship or whatever. I have no right to dwell on that. But imagine this. You and your male colleague deliver a brilliant project together but years later, he speaks of it in a different tone altogether just to provoke laughter. He says that during the work hours, all he could do was observe your assets (of course jokingly) and thanks the employer for providing him with the opportunity to observe them all the time. Now, if he shares it with you, you will be left red-faced or maybe things can be just passed off. What will be your response if the same is shared in public? If it were an Ekta Kapoor-made serial, I can imagine the drama it would’ve involved. Now, put yourself in Nishita’s shoes and think of whether you’d stand there red-faced or try to lighten up the situation and do the damage control? Yes, believe it or not, laughter is a way of controlling the damage caused by anybody and I would do it, especially when I am on a stage.

Anyway, the video sparked a ‘war of words’ with diehard fans of Zubeen Garg slamming Nishita for nothing. The comment was made on her and now sadly, Zubeen’s fans think they have the authority to dictate what she should’ve done. The social media posts, mainly on Facebook, were in full support of the jokes and some are even commenting on a lot that is apparently “wrong”.

After reading the comments I gather this – Zubeen is God. Nobody should dare speak against him. Whoever speaks shall be trolled and threatened and subjected to abuses. Also, according to them, Zubeen talked about watching Nishita’s assets cause she was wearing a revealing dress. Nishita is yet to respond to all that has been spoken on her behalf and without committing a single mistake, she is the one at fault — a very typical thing to happen.

Some guys are even ready to put their own sister in place of Nishita to prove that it is “no big deal.” Of course, if you just see it, you will pass it off. But if you look closely and trace inebriated behavior on public platforms, there are many. We all know what Zubeen Garg is – an open book, a childlike human, one who works for causes and all things positive. This is how he earned the title “heartthrob” or Hiyar aamothu in the first place. However, we can’t forget his behavior in an inebriated condition. He earned various names under various circumstances. This I can trace to the time when I was in school and our drunk Zubeen Da climbed a ladder during his performance and earned a local name: ‘Jokhola’ (ladder). Since then, he does not seem to get off the headlines for something or the other.

Now, as a public personality and heartthrob of Assam, there are a lot of responsibilities on the shoulders of Garg. He has the responsibility of taking the tradition forward, of inspiring youth to contribute to society and etc. etc.

A simple question though… What did the recent remark on the actor welcome? Did it do any good to anybody? Will Zubeen like what his fans are doing to each other? On what level and to what extent has the joke done the damage? You need to ask these questions since people are fighting over others. Zubeen and Nishita are not even speaking about it cause it has gotten a lot worse with other people’s comments.

Obviously, when people of influence say something casually, a lot happens and a lot follows.

I will leave you with another set of cliché questions – Is this right for the fans to justify what was being said on the stage? Is it right for everyone to slam female actors for what they wear, what they speak or do? If one section of the society continues to be blind followers of whatever Zubeen says is right then unfortunately they are of no good in leading and bringing up a society.

I adore Zubeen Garg and am personally a huge fan of his songs. But that does not stop me from saying that the fans need to wake up and be able to at least not promote a virtual spat. This is completely unnecessary. Authorities are doing their job. Zubeen and Nishita are probably going to be seen in a project later. As of now, FYI the Assam State Commission for Women (ASCW) has taken up a suo moto case over Zubeen’s remarks and the rest we shall see. Thank you.

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