Thursday, February 9, 2017

No Theme for a Dream





There are moments when I miss being crazy about someone, something. Anything. It’s not that the Dil doesn’t dhak dhak. It does. But it just doesn’t say dhak-dhak-go.

I’m talking about fandom. Not being a fan of any celebrity or a team, I’m clueless about what being an avid fan is. And I’m not exactly proud of it, heavens no. I mean, I’ve seen my son save money to go to Europe to watch Arsenal play. And I know of friends who will happily endure hail and sun to watch their favourite star. 

What then, could be the reason for this cold detachment? Is it because my Leo smugness stops me from being starry eyed? Or is it genetic? 

There are, of course, reasons for doubting my genes. As a teen, I remember the excitement when Hema Malini was shooting in the vicinity. When giggly friends flashed their autograph books, I succumbed to peer-pressure. Eighties was a time when most men would do anything to get a glimpse of ‘dream girl’. So the following day, when dad was getting ready for work, I tried my luck, “Papa, Hema Malini is shooting close by. Don’t you want to meet her?” 
To which he said, “Why should I meet her? She can come and meet me if she wants.” 
I thought he was joking. But he added solemnly, “But only over the weekend.” 

As I huddle across a bonfire of memories, I’m reminded of meeting Rajiv Gandhi at Vigyan Bhawan and Vinod Khanna at an airport. While other girls etched the moment in Kodak, I couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm to push my way to get a picture. 
This is not to say my childhood was devoid of silly crushes and heartthrobs. Like regular teens, there were posters of movie stars and sportsmen for they joined the dots between dreams, hopes and aspirations. Yet, for some reason, adulation in all its waxing and waning shades lurked only in the shadows. 


Cut to present. We are watching Australian Open on television. The husband is cheering for Federer, the son for Nadal. When Federer wins the first set, the young man goes into a shell. The tension is palpable. If Federer wins, we go out for dinner declares the senior. Why not go out for dinner regardless of the outcome, I say. Since I want peace to win, I repeat, ‘Haha we are here to watch good tennis, both are equally good, both deserve to win….blah blah’. There is glacial silence. So I say I’m kidding, I have my favourite too. But I won’t tell. I look more sheepish than sheep. Finally when Federer wins the line call and the trophy, the young man finds refuge in his room. No dinner for me, he mutters. And the senior FedEx fan is happy for the entire state of Haryana. 
So much for good tennis.

Why get emotionally involved with someone you’ve never met? I really couldn’t care less if Salman goes scot-free, behind the bars or fathers a new baby Kardashian. I really couldn’t care less if Raees crosses Dangal’s earnings, does better than Sultan or wins an Oscar. All I want is a good movie or a great game. No heartbreaks, no heartaches.
That said, Indians are perhaps the most emotionally involved fans in the whole wide world. Priyanka Chopra confirmed this in her recent 3076th interview with an American talk show host. Above all, a South Indian fan is the very definition of the word ‘fan’. Nowhere in the world do hundreds of people die of shock when their idol dies. The rest of the world, including Justin Bieber fans can never dream of constructing his temple or tearing his posters if he names his baby Taimur.
Whatever it is, look at the bright side. If you are not a Jabra fan, you never have to get stuck in a stampede when SRK waives at you from the Rajdhani. You never have to skip dinner because your favorite team lost a nail-biter- unless it’s India. On second thoughts, eat less, why skip? And you never have to suffer a panic attack when you see your muse in flesh and blood.

It’s final. As I wobble into antiquity, I’m not running after anyone. Not that it matters, or they care, but if ShahRukh or Salman and Federer or Nadal want to drop in for a cup of tea, they are welcome home. But only over a weekend. After ten, before eight.


Image Courtesy: www.searchnetinc.com

25 comments:

  1. Yesterday I wrote a comment which apparently disappeared. I would say that I sail in the same boat as yours. Never been one to go bonkers or at war over heroes/film stars/sports stars. But I have seen how some fans go to crazy lengths. Guess hero worship takes on wilder dimensions for some folks. Loved your last paragraph. Similar to what I feel. :)

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    1. Thanks Rachna, wonder why comments are not going. Regardless, the fact that you read and liked makes my day.

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  2. Loved your candid take on 'fan'a-tisms! Honestly, even I am not that crazy about any star. So long as I am entertained, I am okay with it. But one does feel a twinge when everyone around is going head-over-heels or heart-broken about their muses! Like you said I don't know if its in the genes or just a predisposition! Gen next would just relegate this as another one of 'old gen' quirks I guess!

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    1. Fana-tism, what an apt word Kala.
      There are enough fans in the new gen too. Just that they take selfies instead of autographs.

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  3. What a lovely post, Alka!

    And staying detached is the quickest route to Nirvana.

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  4. This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.

    happy wheels | monkey go happy |

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  5. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I echo similar sentiments when it comes to idolizing someone, may be due to same Leo smugness. I guess I may show this kind of madness for only two people, Rahul Dravid and Sushmita Sen.

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    1. I admire them too. We have similar likes. Grr....from one Leo to another.
      Thank you.

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  6. I get it. You only dig politicians! Those silly SRKs and Sallus are passé. You like the Diggys and the Modis!

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    1. You know me so well. Diggy it is!
      Wait till I meet you today, just wait. One fresh lime soda is gonna fall over someone's head.

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  7. Fun post and I am exactly like you. Not a Leo though. I feel pretty awkward when people take a leave from work to go watch first day shows and talk about movie stars as if they are family ;)

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    1. I wouldn't know what to say when I meet someone I admire, except for being tongue tied.

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  8. Cut to 1975. We were in Goa soon after getting married, and were at the beach having lunch, when who should be at the next table but Shashi Kapoor and his entire family , enjoying fish. I recognized him and so did my husband, but both of us thought lunch was more important. We kept watching him in between morsels, and he would also occasionally look at us. It so happened that my parental house was very close to the building where he stayed. As we finished, and got up to leave ( I think the kapoors spent the entire afternoon there) , I smiled at him and told him "I am sure you dont know me, but I've been your neighbor for years ". Clearly , I didnt expect him to break into song at that , but he asked us how come we were in Goa, and congratulated us on our marriage, saying "How nice ! How nice!" with a great big beaming smile, and wished us well. No airs, no putting on attitudes, no chamchas. No, i did not take his signature on a paper napkin or anything. Maybe that was a good change for him. For us, it was just another day . kabhi kabhi aise bhi log milte hai.

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    1. How sweet. Shashi was such a charmer. Thank you for sharing this here.

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  9. You mirror my thoughts Alka.Never felt the urge to see any celebrity in flesh n blood.And giving your life for them?It is unfathomable.

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    1. Exactly, but it's good to be passionate about something, makes it more exciting.
      Passionate, not crazy?

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  10. That autobiographical soliloquy gave me a peek into your sangfroid. You would have made a great leader to the nation but now you have chosen to blog.

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    1. Haha, I couldn't even lead my school kho kho team.
      Always good to hear from you.

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  11. My comment got lost:( Much like you I have no real favourites when it comes to game or movies but just like to enjoy the unadulterated fun:)

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  12. I love such type of Blogging all the way
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  13. Neither have I. While I did salivate over SRK for some time, but some time being a "fan" was too not me. So yeah, even I have never queued up for anybody.

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