NRI Shares his Experiences
It was an unusual Thursday evening. My roommate finished his work early and rushed home. His friends were all geared up calling each other trying to find out who is going to pick up who. I surprised myself by planning my clothes, car fuel, route to theatre, travel time and traffic conditions a day in advance. Once I reached World Gate 9 theatre in Virginia, I was disappointed to see an empty street. There was no crowd, hungama or any trace of craze we see for the first day show of a big Telugu hero. I thought since I was over enthusiastic and reached an hour before the show, I didn’t find people around. I immersed myself in an animated conversation with my friends on Telugu movies. Time passed. Ten minutes before the show, I looked around and there were hardly any people. I was utterly disappointed that not many turned up to watch my favorite actor’s much awaited film. My tickets were checked at the entrance. Theatre staff told me, that the movie is being screened in two screens and I could sit in any one of them. I gave her a cynical smile angry at fellow fans who didn’t turn up to watch the first day-first show of our favourite star.
I entered screen 4. It was a pleasant surprise. The screen was full. People came in and sat much before I reached the theatre. I didn’t get a seat to sit. Laughing at myself, I rushed to screen 5. I was taken aback again. This screen was full too. Fortunately, me and my friends found some seats vacant close to the front row. I didn’t mind. I sat down and titles rolled. As the dacoits looted the bank and tried to escape, our hero made an action packed entry. The theatre went berserk. The name that pulled those two theatre full of people on a working day, the name that kept them loyal to him despite no major hits since four years, the name that made them hoot, jump, laugh, imitate and pray for him despite staying thousands of miles away from their home country and state, Pawan Kalyan, flashed on the screen. The minute he appeared, audience screamed ‘Powerstar’ and papers flew blocking the screen for sometime.
What happened for the next two and a half hours was sheer magic. His character, dialogues, dance, fights, expressions, mannerisms, music and look left the audience enthralled.
No one asked the kids in the theatre to come out and dance when Pawan Kalyan was dancing. No one asked my friends to turn red in laughter looking at characters imitating actor Rajasekhar. No one asked people to give a standing ovation once the end titles rolled. Fans hugged each other in merry and joy after the movie was over. Which star in India has fans like these?
“Gabbar Singh” starring Andhra’s biggest star Pawan Kalyan, released worldwide yesterday and created a mass hysteria. This euphoria was last seen 10 years ago.There are other stars whose movies become major blockbusters. What makes ‘Gabbarsingh’ special is how people reacted to it. It was unbelievable how fans took Pawan Kalyan’s success as theirs. I found a great smile on the face of each of his fan. A few frantically called their friends back in India to tell them about what they saw. A few others truly shed happy tears as their long wait came to an end. Everyone who watched Gabbar Singh wanted to tell the world that ‘he is back’. To feel their favorite hero’s success as theirs and to celebrate it with tears, to me is the highest form of love and affection. Stars come and go. Money flows in and out. Actors live and die. Cult personalities become chapters in history books. But there is only one among a million stars whose popularity is immune to time, failures, criticism and competition. Pawan Kalyan is a star of million stars. His enigma is timeless.
I spoke to a Pawan fan after I watched the film. He called me from India to seek my opinion on the movie. I told him that I loved it and beyond any doubt, it will be a super hit. He immediately hung up. I thought the line got disconnected. He called back later saying he disconnected the call as he got emotional in joy. Which star in India has fans like these?
In the interval break, I pondered over the question, ” Why do people like Pawan Kalyan so much?” It is not merely his acting, dance, histrionics or anything on-screen. There is an inexplainable charisma Pawan casts on the audience, that goes beyond the magic of cinema. Perhaps, in the world of Pawan Kalyan’s fandom, there is only an entry and no exit. Once you start liking him, there is never looking back. Every Pawan Kalyan fan is a fan of Pawan and his school of thought. A school that subscribes to no show off, no self praise, no hypocrisy, no double standards, no casteism and no pretense. Pawan is loved for the his eternal style statement called simplicity.
In the interval, I gave a break to my over analytical brain and went back to my seat with my popcorn. In the second half, my cheek bones ached as I laughed continuously. Gabbarsingh had incredible background score, continuity in comedy, tight screenplay, apt dialogues, terrific screen presence and sensible cinematography. It was a great entertainer. I have the habit of listening to what people speak after the end titles. Most often, that immediate reaction of the audience in theatre is the most reliable, credible and real verdict for a film. After Gabbarsingh ended in the theaters, I heard,
” Kushi Malli Vachindi “, ” Kev Keka “, ” Malli Vachindu Ra Bhai “, ” Ennalaki Malli…Superb. Evaru director? “, ” Sweety ni rammante raale. Miss aindhi. Ippudinka tickets dorakavu”.
I walked out with a power packed smile. I felt as if my own movie was a hit. I went to the popcorn counter again to get a refill of my popcorn. A white guy (American) working in the stall asked me, ” Is this better than Dhookudu? ” with an American slang. I threw a smile at him.
I wanted to tell him, “He is Gabbarsingh and yes he is on Dhookudu”!!!!!