Life from a saint's perspective

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Nubile fantasies of a receding hairline

It is with great skepticism that a sane movie buff treats the letters r-a-j-i-n-i-k-a-n-t-h when put together. Throw in the words first-day-first-show, and you get a potpourri of emotions ranging from angst to disgust!

Though my roots trace back to the areas of Trichy hitherto explored only by barbarians and politicians canvassing for votes, I have always strived hard to be counted as a son of my adopted land Kerala. It is with great consternation that I swallow my true feelings when the largely ignorant northern parts of our large country christen everyone south of the Vindhyas as “madrassis”, in a derogatory fashion usually reserved for beggars! In fact, nothing could be farther from reality! Tams find a lot about us weird, like our love for booze and beef! If you are a tam and beg to differ with me, try walking up to yer dad and tell him that you are in love with a mallu! That’s the litmus test! Still, one thing that unites us is a love for movies and movie stars!

It remains a matter of perpetual argument between me and my tam friend Dharmesh about who is the better actor; Mohanlal (the chap whose rendition of hindi dialogues in the movie “company” reminded you of premchand) or Rajinikanth (the only human on earth whose fan following doubles every time his hairline recedes)! So, to settle the matter once and for all, we proceded to the movie hall where Sivaji the boss was being released! Yes, friendship makes you do silly things….

One can go to the extent of calling this frenzy the eighth wonder of the world! Vans packed with milk tins started off from our colony at 3 in the morning to the movie hall, where a 40-foot cutout of the actor was waiting to greet us! As a tribute to the actor and the marketing manager of amul, fan club presidents hurried up ladders and emptied all the milk… half on the cutout, and the rest on an unsuspecting skeptical mallu staring at the biggest nautanki ever witnessed by naked eye! Ticket counters opened an hour before the start of the movie to a cracker bursting welcome that would put presidents and nation builders to shame! Soon, ticket prices rose to a level that gets the Bombay builders thinking about their choice of business!

As the movie started, I got the feeling that I was the part of something that was larger than life. Kudos to the makeup man who made an ageing, balding man seem fresh enough to romance a girl younger than his own daughter on screen! Kudos to the most expensive director in Indian cinema for delivering a hit with a storyline more browbeaten than Federer on clay! Kudos to the girl who was ready to display all her talents and nubile fantasies to an audience under the shadow of an actor who earns a zillion times as much as she does! But all said and done, the catcalls of hundreds and thousands of fans were reserved for their hero who defied, rather abused the laws of gravity! Can I sense Newton turn in his grave? May his soul rest in peace!

As three states stake claim to this man, and critics and physics professors shake their head in disbelief, I watch the man unveil his charisma using one rupee coins, cigarettes and chewing gums in an era when actors are judged more on their bulging biceps than expressions!

I stand converted!


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