Mar 20, 2011

What is a Fan to Do?

When I was around 15, I was a huge fan of Ricky Martin.

Really huge. Well, at that point of time the only album of his that was big in India was the one with that World Cup song. Strangely, I cannot even recall it now without a little help from Google.

I listened to that one album over and over till my tape gave way. I had all the lyrics of all the songs by heart. I got a Spanish dictionary for the ones I couldn't understand. My family was surprised at the way I rattled off songs in a language that no one was remotely familiar with.

That summer I went to visit my parents in Saudi. At the local mall, I literally combed the music shop until I found about 3 or 4 of Ricky Martin's early albums that were all in Spanish. I remember it felt like a treasure hunt to me, it was nothing short of pure excitement. The shop guy was so amused by all the fervor I was so openly displaying that he gave me a life size Ricky Martin poster for free. It was one of the most happiest moments of my life until then.

Once I got back to India, I remember sketching I (heart) Ricky Martin on the covers of all the tapes I owned. The poster went up on my wall just above my bed. I had my shiny Ricky Martin badge stuck on the front of my backpack. I never went anywhere without the cassette tapes in my bag. I knew off the top of my head the color of his hair and eyes, his height and weight and all such stuff. I was surprisingly well informed at a time when Google was a non-entity. I was completely and totally drawn by his voice and music.

And then one day, it all came crashing down. I did poorly in some random exam that I have no recollection of. I came home disappointed, dejected, depressed. I sat in my room, on my bed. The tears poured down freely. Life seemed to have come to an end. My eyes wandered for a while and came to rest at the poster on the wall.

All of a sudden, it seemed strange to me. Like I was looking at a stranger. Like I had been woken up from a trance. Like I was kicked out of a long dream. Like I suddenly woke up to reality. Suddenly, everything seemed pointless, ridiculous. The tapes, the music, the words, the man on the wall. It all seemed to carry no meaning whatsoever. It had nothing to do with who I was. It had nothing to do with me.

I reached up and pulled the poster away from the wall. And then proceeded to tear it up into halves and then quarters and then eighths and then some more and some more. I threw the pile of paper bits away. And that was it. I haven't listened to Ricky Martin since.

Ahh, if you were waiting for a point to emerge from this long story, sorry to disappoint. It's a pointless little anecdote. Nothing of any meaning or significance, really.

I was just thinking this evening that I haven't been a fan in a long time. I realized that I've completely forgotten what that feeling is like. I then decided to relive the experience.

This time, I thought, I would choose an actor well worthy of being bestowed upon by my fandom. The first (and only) name that came to mind was Surya (the south Indian actor). I've always found him to be remarkably attractive and I guess he also acts well. And so it was decided. I had to make this official. So I give you a conversation I had with my husband this evening.

Me: I've decided to become a fan.

Murali: Huh?

Me: I've decided that I like Surya. So now I am his fan.

Murali (not even looking at me): Hmm.

Me: Okay?

Murali (Still not looking): Hmmm.

Me: Okay na??

Murali (Sparing me a glance now): Okay, okay.

Me: So, what is a fan supposed to do anyway?

Murali (Looked away again): Noooo idea.

So at this point of time I decided that he was being deliberately unhelpful and turned to my one source of inspiration and information: Wikipedia. A quick read later, I came up with a plan.

Me: I've decided that I'm going to watch all of Surya's movies. That's what a fan has to do.

Murali: Wokay!

Some more quick searching on YouTube, and I settled upon a Telugu version of one of his movies I've heard great things about, "Surya son of Krishnan."

I even coaxed Murali to watch it with me, so we sat down huddled before the laptop after dinner, watching the movie, part by YouTube part.

Me (About 15 minutes into the movie): Surya is a terrific actor.

Murali: I can't see that.

Me: How can you say this? Can't you see the way he emotes? Can't you see how he effortlessly shifts between roles? He is a very intelligent actor.

Murali (Smiling slightly): Oh, ya ya, now I see it.

And so we keep watching and watching. Interval comes.

Murali: So you still think he's a terrific actor?

Me: Yup, absolutely.

Murali then proceeded to touch upon about the various idiotic aspects of this so-called superhit movie, of which I could not deny any, having bore witness to these myself.

Me (with a touch of indignation now): See the actor cannot be blamed for a bad script or a bad story. Surya's acting is good. That's what I'm concerned about.

Murali (with a twisted smile): Yes, yes. Absolutely.

We then proceeded with the movie. It had turned out to be a sort of an all-rounder. So far we had been treated to a teen-romance, chick-flick, tragic drama and a heroic epic all packed into one movie, which was now showing signs of turning into a military action flick. My much pumped up enthusiasm towards fandom was slowly showing signs of dying away.

At this point, the movie takes a new twist. A particularly and remarkably ridiculous dialogue from the actress comes to mind:

Heroine (who is also childhood friend of hero who is still deeply in love with his girlfriend who lost her life in a violent bomb-blast meters away from him in a University in the US):
"I'm in love with you. I have known you very well since I was 14 or 15, loved you since I was 16 or 17 and noticed you since I was 8 or 9 years old. I know you can't forget your dead girlfriend but I don't care. Just tell me yes or no.." blah blah and more such sappy stuff.

Murali (now turns to look at me): Do you see it now? This is what a fan has got to do. Endure shitty dialogues such as these.

I had finally lost all patience and hope that this movie would dish out something worth watching. The YouTube windows were shut and locked away safely where no click would find them ever.

And so my tryst with fandom was over, yet again.

1 comment:

  1. lols..sumi. you picked the wrong guy! Try Prabhas.. :P