BY Jaya Biswas

Paparazzi, eat your hearts out, celebs are on a roll capturing their candid moments all by themselves and uploading those on the internet to connect with fans What were Priyanka Chopra and Ranbir Kapoor up to when they were shooting for Anjaana Anjaani in the US? Has Karan Johar finally managed to find a title for his new film? So, how do we know? Well, they are just a click away… And that is not all. One can also find Imran Khan enjoying a piggyback ride on Sonam Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan shaving, Akshay Kumar sleeping in the isle of an aeroplane and all these are supported by interesting titbits posted by the stars who want to share their personal moments with their fans. Not bad at all! From updates to promotions, film stars have wisened up to all the right tactics to engage and interact with their prospective audience. The latest being Twitpic – the new photo uploading section on Twitter. In India where Bollywood is as good as religion Twitter’s popularity amongst celebs is a definite indication of its rising popularity amongst the masses. There are many more to go in this list, Preity Zinta, Shahid Kapoor, Uday Chopra etc. are all hooked on to Twitter and Twitpics now. Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan is always on the move. Though sometimes he takes a commercial flight, SRK generally takes off on a private jet. When he is not abroad promoting his latest films, he enjoys time with his family and friends. Check out the Twitpic posted on his page. Starlet Sherlyn Chopra made it to the headlines yet again! This time she posted her nude photos on Twitter to lure voyeurs. Twitter is used to organise impromptu get-togethers between celebrities and their fans just before the release of any film. Karan Johar was one of the first few filmmakers in Bollywood to post the sensational first look of Kurbaan poster which was picked up by the media and fans in no time. When quizzed, KJo replied on his Twitter page, “I like the concept. I love to get an instant feedback from across the world.” Says Radhika Nandi, a BMM student from Mumbai, who was lured into accessing Twitpic by her favourite stars tweeting personal pictures, “When I came to know that SRK and Karan Johar have been regularly uploading pictures about their forthcoming ventures, I had to join. You wouldn’t get to see these pictures in magazines or on TV. It makes the stars seem approachable and accessible too. It’s great.” Fahmida Rahman, a school teacher from Garia, Kolkata, is a die-hard Salman Khan fan. Ever since she heard of Salman joining Twitter, she has been following him to collect his candid pictures. Fahmida sincerely believes stars’ getting closer to their fans is a good idea. She reasons, “When Sallu joined Twitter and started posting his photos from the sets of his new movie, I was thrilled. I also learnt about his humorous side when he tweeted ‘I’m with a fan of mine’ and it actually was a picture of an electric fan.” The best part about the whole exercise is one can download these pictures without any copyright hassle. Actress Gul Panag reveals, “The internet has unleashed a tsunami of data about stars and fans are spoilt for choice. Copyright? It’s a grey area. Anything to do with the law in India is cumbersome, painful and utterly slow.” One of the most active Bollywood celebs on twitter with 12,849 followers, Gul not only keeps posting updates, she responds to tweets of her fans on a regular basis. Despite no release, Gul because of her tweets is definitely a hit among the tweeple. National Award winning director, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury shares his side of the story. “I was very excited to join Twitter. I agree it takes away people’s privacy to some extent but I suppose it also helps filmmakers like us to let everyone know about our work. But then there are two sides of the coin. We shouldn’t misuse our resources,” he says. How to promote subtly could be learnt from Priyanka Chopra who tweets in a way where she manages to promote her upcoming movies by interacting with her fans. Actor-turned-filmmaker Kabir Sadanand believes in enjoying freedom with responsibility. He shares, “The world is opening up every minute to some new technology. It’s a great to touch base with your audiences. Join the ride or you will be left behind. Copyright can fly out of the window but some amount of discretion is a must. You need to be aware and accountable enough to use the medium.” Considering the influence which stars have on Indian consumers we wonder if the next trend will be celebs endorsing brands on Twitter or promoting services among their followers. What say?