Should we stop worshipping stars? – A message by a Fan

‘Mere gharwale samajhte nahin, woh star nahin, duniya hain meri’ – lines from Bollywood movie ‘Fan’

fan

In India; people are obsessive about two things – Cricket and movies. They are patriotic about cricket matches and go gaga over dialogues and whistle over Bollywood songs. Every Friday, the luck of a struggling actor changes as people flock to theater to see the movie. Result!! The struggling actor becomes a successful heart-throb overnight. Who makes these actors star overnight? – The common masses from various walks of life. But the irony part is that this same actor later is not even keen to share a moment with his fans.

The Shahrukh Khan Starrer ‘Fan’ too highlights the struggle of a fan from Delhi (Gaurav played by Srk) to catch a glimpse of his idol ‘Aryan (again played by Srk) who bears a striking resemblance to his fan.

On the eve of his idol’s birthday, Gaurav reaches Mumbai to wish his star.But things aren’t easy as Gaurav had assumed. When meeting his idol becomes a difficult path for Gaurav, he implements wrong means to attract the attention of his idol. This upsets Aryan and later Gaurav is arrested and thrashed by police. Aryan too refuses to acknowledge the admiration of his fan ‘Gaurav who requests for a five minute interaction with him.

This ignorance hurts the sentiments of Gaurav and he vows to seek vengeance against his own idol. What follows later is a game of cat and mouse where Gaurav is one step ahead to malign the image of Aryan. Gaurav nearly succeeds in sabotaging Aryan’s stardom but the climax takes an ugly turn with Gaurav finally meeting his death in the scuffle with his idol Aryan. Had Aryan given his few moments to share a space with Gaurav, the things wouldn’t have been drastic. The movie ‘Fan’ showcases the ugly truth of stardom and how ordinary people fall prey to the illusionary world of movies.

‘Pehle fan star ke peechey bhaagta tha, ab star fan ke peechey bhaagega’ – lines from movie ‘Fan’

There is a moral behind this movie which preaches us to be not over obsessive about movie stars whom we worship as god. We Indians are over emotional in everything, even in matters of movies. There are several instances of female fans writing letters in blood in memory of their favorite actor. One such actor was late Superstar Rajesh Khanna who took Bollywood by storm with his signature moves – tilting his neck. Female fans were too crazy about Rajesh Khanna and the hysteria for him was too overblown that even today’s celebrities don’t have that fan following.

People flock at the residences of their celebrities to catch a small glimpse of their idol. One such residence is ‘Mannat’ the bungalow of Shahrukh Khan. Hundreds of people wait outside the gates of his bungalow every day to catch his glimpse. Shahrukh greets them from his bungalow, waving and showing his signature moves by raising his arms in air. For fans, their celebrities are gods. But in South India, the filmy fever is too intense. The fans even have built temples in respect of their celebrities. Even the fans are larger than life like their idols.

There are even instances of fans committing suicide after hearing the demises of their favorite celebrities. One such recent instance was the suicide of TV actress Pratyusha Banerjee which took the media by storm and left one of her fan committing suicide because she couldn’t take the shock of losing her celebrity.

‘Follow karoon twitter pe, tag karoon Facebook pe, tere quiz mein google ko beat kar diya’ – lyrics from movie ‘Fan’

I really find this silly and exaggerating act of foolishness. Whether it is a cricket player, singer or any Bollywood celebrity, people take desperate steps to vie for their attention. Artists are human too. They too have a family and a personal space. But media and fans are so aggressive to chase them for interviews, autographs and selfies that they cross their limits to share a moment with them.

Nowadays celebrities have their Facebook page and Twitter account which is followed by millions of fans. Celebrities do post their daily updates on their day to day events which gets thousands of likes. They post pictures of their selfies or a group photo with their co-stars and families. The fans who view the online activities of their favorite stars have an assumption that a star’s life is a bed of roses. Unfortunately no one saw the struggle they underwent to gain the stardom. Be it Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar or Rajnikant, every actor has seen the hard days before achieving success in film industry. Acting is not just about talent, it is also patience, luck, hard work and determination.

Admiring a celebrity is ok, but worshipping him like a god is a maniac act. The unfortunate part about our today’s generation is that we idolize the reel heroes but hardly pay heed to the real heroes – our Indian soldiers who are guarding the border day and night.

Every Friday, a movie is released and a new star is created by movie audiences overnight. The movie ‘Fan’ is really an eye opener for the hysterical fans. As long as movies are released, fans like Gaurav will be crowding at cinema halls to watch the movie.

‘Gaurav hai toh Aryan hai, Gaurav nahin toh Aryan kuch bhi nahi’ – lines from movie ‘Fan’

The fame and prosperity of a celebrity depends on the presence of a fan. Imagine if the film industry closes downs? The future of a celebrity will be shrouded in darkness.

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Books are our true friends. Really?

When God realized that he couldn’t be everywhere and that’s why he created books. Actually the quote stated ‘When God realized that he couldn’t be everywhere and that’s why he created mother’. As a reader, I feel that a book is like a loving mother who enriches a child’s mind with bedtime stories – Stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Indian History etc. I grew up reading books, living books and further cherished a dream to become a writer and here I am writing this article on whether books are really our true friends? Yes, they really are. Today’s generation is more inclined to reading few lines on Facebook rather than reading a book of 350 pages. Thanks to the arrival of Whatsapp and FB, we have become more inclined to know what is going in other’s life. There was a time, when parents encouraged kids towards reading books like Amar Chitra Katha, Chandamama and Wisdom. But today’s kids are so much hooked to the virtual friendship group that they don’t time for books which in contrary are their real friends.

For an extreme socially active extrovert, books are nothing, but a pile of paper bundled together. He will read the status updates on FB, tweet on twitter and add a pic on Instagram, but won’t read a book. I feel pity for the people who are losing touch with books. Ideally people have misconception that a person who reads books is bookworm, dry and less extrovert. I totally disagree with this view. In fact, a reader is more encouraging, quick to respond and cheerful person who has answer to every query. As a socially responsible writer, I always feel to share my ideas to my friends through my articles published on my blog. I am happy that 1% of my group responds to my article. The rest 99% either doesn’t have time or don’t have inclination towards reading. Through my articles, I care to stay connected to my friends. But the 99% of my group are so much drawn towards socializing that they don’t give a damn to reading.

Whenever I visit bookstores, I am disheartened to see the plight of bookstores which has a very less occupancy day by day. Though Kindle and e-books may be ruling the internet world, but the charm of reading a book is very different. Especially while traveling, I notice people reading the Whatsapp notification, but I hardly notice anyone reading a book. Are we slowly disconnecting ourselves from our reading culture?

Especially during my hard times, when there was no friend to support, I sought solace in company of books after my hard day’s work. These books really inspired me and stood by me whenever I felt deprived of company of friends. Friends will desert you, but books won’t. From Dickens to Amish Tripathi, I read books by authors filled with imagination, action, emotions and inspiration. I have been reading since childhood and will continue reading forever.

Someday when you are left with no friends to offer you company, just visit a bookstore and pick a book. You won’t be alone anymore.

The Mahabharata quest: Alexander Secret – A fast paced historical thriller by Christopher.C.Doyle

Novel Title – The Mahabharata quest: Alexander Quest
Author – Christopher.C.Doyle
Year of Publication – 2014

alexander secret

Dan Brown’s novel – The Da Vinci Code created quite a sensation in world of literature when it hit the bookstores, attracting every reader towards the fast paced storyline which involved secret societies, riddles, ancient secrets and the inside story of Mary Magdalene. ‘Da Vinci Code’ created a new genre in writing – a formula blending ancient secrets with fast paced action and suspenseful plot. Author Ashwin Sanghi’s novel – Krishna Key belonged to that genre. The Mahabharata secret: Alexander secret is the sequel to the first book ‘Mahabharata Secret’ penned by author Christopher.C.Doyle. This is an unconventional historical adventure which brings a team of intelligence bureau to solve an ancient riddle that revolves around Alexander’s expedition to Indus valley and a divine element that made him immortal.

Synopsis – Alice Turner, an archaeologist becomes a target of a conspiracy when she excavates a thousand years old mummy of a queen. But her excavation adventure becomes a threat to her life when assassins of a secret society chase Alice at every corner in Greece. While in India, Imran Kidwai, an intelligence bureau officer discovers a burnt laboratory filled with corpses. After a close encounter with death, Alice flies off to India to seek help of her friends – Vijay, Colin and Radha. What follows later is a series of action packed chases, horrifying revelation of ancient secrets and a secret society that threatens to use an ancient weapon to destroy mankind. The best part about this novel is the author’s strong research on Alexander’s life and his quest to find an ancient element that would make him immortal. Did Alexander become immortal? What is the secret behind the tomb of mummy? What is the mystery behind the unexplained corpses in the laboratory? Does the intelligence bureau team succeed in solving the riddle connected to Alexander’s expedition to Indus Valley? All these mysteries will be disclosed in the historical thriller – Mahabharata Quest: Alexander written by Doyle. I found this novel more interesting than Da Vinci Code and especially the Alexander connection with the ancient weapon. The other best part about this novel is the author’s intensive research to make this historical thriller more believable and highlighting some of the unknown facts about Alexander we never knew – his mother Olympias’ fascination for snakes, the defeat of Darius- the Persian King and Alexander’s ego which claimed the lives of his own faithful friends – Clitus and the historian Callisthenes.

Filled with action packed sequences and thrilling chases, this novel is like Mission Impossible meeting National Treasure. After reading this novel, my fondness in Alexander history has increased and I am keen to read his biopic right from his rise as a conqueror to his unexplained death due to poisoning.

If you loved reading Da Vinci Code, Krishna Key, Angels and Demons, then you will definitely like this book – Mahabharata Quest: Alexander Secret authored by Christopher.C.Doyle.

Ratings – 10/10