Success is Dangerous, Handle it With Care
File Photo: Kapil Sharma with Alia Bhatt
Four years ago, I posted a blog on IBNLive.com praising Kapil Sharma for his talent and on the way his Team Comedy Nights connected with a large cross-section of people across age and income-groups, sex, caste, creed, language and religion.
Kapil Sharma had just begun his journey then, he went on to attain stardom later. He made his debut in an Abbas-Mastan production as a lead cast and even made it to Karan Johar’s Coffee with Karan as a solo guest this season - if that’s any yardstick of arriving at the big table.
Wherever he went, thousands of people responded to him as they do to a celebrity. Success is dangerous. Some who attain it, wear it lightly. Some take it too seriously and it goes to their head. That’s when all hell breaks loose. Sadly, it happened to Kapil Sharma.
A few years ago, during the jury deliberations for Indian of the Year - Entertainment, I pitched hard for Kapil Sharma. My Editor-in-Chief wasn’t convinced but I didn’t give up. I rooted for him and the jury accepted my arguments. I was clear that he made India laugh and he did it week on week and his show reached millions of Indians in India and overseas.
Having admired his talent over the years, it pained me to see Kapil losing it. Clearly, he couldn’t handle his stardom and he felt the show succeeded only because of him. He did not realise or appreciate that television is a team game and that you can only be as good as your team.
Team Comedy nights worked not just because of Kapil, it had a stellar cast, some of whom are as talented as Kapil. Sunil Grover was one of them. Kiku Sharda was another. Their talent is no less than Kapil’s. The team went on to duplicate their success in the show’s next avatar, The Kapil Sharma Show.
It’s just that Kapil is the captain and when the team does well, most of the credit, if not all, goes to the captain. Unfortunately, Kapil did not realise this. Time and again, he displayed behaviour unbecoming of a team leader. He overplayed his hand.
He perhaps felt it was because of him everything worked and that without him, others may not be able to make a mark. He lost Sunil Grover after a bout of boorish behaviour. He later tried to make peace after the damage was done, but could not succeed.
He is still trying his best not to let his show’s popularity slide and has reached out to Raju Srivastava to bail him out. Whether it will work, we will know in a few weeks. But one thing is clear, Kapil has become the butt of his own jokes.
Kapil is not alone. There are many others who have fallen prey to this syndrome. All those who work in an individualistic medium – where solitary contribution is enough – can still get away if they feel or act this way. But in every team game, success or failure depends on the team. And not the individual.
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