All the headlines are very exciting sounding, Saif rushed to the hospital from a film set, Kareena by his side, Soha issues a statement thanking us for our prayers, etc. etc. And then you hear what the injury was, and it all kind of deflates.
His thumb. He hurt his thumb. It’s not a very dramatic or manly kind of injury. Unless his thumb actually got sliced off, I just don’t see it making that much of a difference in his life. I mean, we’re talking, what, a sprain? A break with a tiny little splint? There’s a plastic surgeon mentioned, so maybe some of the skin got knocked off?
Plus, “thumb” is just a funny sounding word, isn’t it?
Even less manly, I think this might be the biggest injury Saif has ever gotten on a filmset. I mean, Shahrukh broke his toe, which isn’t very manly either, but it was just one of his many many on set injuries. Everyone else is always having slipped discs and brain injuries and broken shoulders, but Saif’s worst injury is to his thumb?
Although it’s a tiny little injury, at least we get to see a nice little miniature case study of how the injury stories work. There’s the initial reports, because the media is always aware of what these people are doing every second of every day and it is always news. You know, in America, this kind of thing might only come out in post-release interviews about how hard the filming was, or in a public statement issued by the studio.
And then there is the descent on the hospital, waiting to see what big names might be visiting him. Again, not a common thing for other film industries! Big names meet each other at parties and night clubs, not hospital rooms.
And finally, the official statement from a leading family member. Usually an older brother or father, or sometimes son. In this case, Soha Ali Khan, a sister, which is a little unusual. But I guess it makes sense, because his wife and mother are obviously too upset and private to talk, and there’s really no one else in his family who is famous enough and also close enough to be appropriate. Again, unusual! In America, statements would be made by official “family spokespersons” or something, not just a designated relative.
Of course, what’s really interesting is what happens when there is no one actually related to the patient with the appropriate level of distance, fame, and ability to talk to cameras. And then you end up with Amitabh Bachchan talking about Dilip Kumar on behalf of his wife, which would never, EVER, happen in America.