The Tollywood HERO Worship

DISCLAIMER: The following content is not advisable for people with strong aggressive hearts and fanatic minds. All characters and incidents in this post are NOT fictitious and all resemblance to K. Shiva Shankara Vara Prasad and Co.  is intentional.

I must have been about 10 years when I made this list. Yes, I thought I was sure and this list would be the final one. Nothing more, nothing less.  It was a list of requirements that my life-partner had to fulfill.

  • He should not have beard or a mustache.
  • He should not eat meat, drink alcohol, and smoke.
  • He should either be an ex-student from the Sri Sathya Sai Institutes or be a Sai devotee.
  • He should NOT be a fan of Chiranjeevi.

As a kid I was a huge fan of Venkatesh. It was probably because he played all the good lovey-dovey roles. He was always the nice man at the end of the show. He never really planned murders or killed people for revenge. I never thought I would ever stop being in love with Venky. At least not until I saw Mahesh smoke on-screen. It happened during the first 5 minutes of Okkadu. (Yes, It was 2003 and I had left the second requirement far behind). I strongly believed this guy had intense eyes. They spoke volumes. Years rolled by and he didn’t appear on the screen as often as I would have liked to see him. Anyways, keeping the first requirement aside, I was hopelessly  drawn to the rough arrogance of Ravi Teja. Then I realized I couldn’t be certain. Most of the younger guys had some charm too. They were either tall and handsome or made good films and acted really really well. Although most of my friends have known me to be a huge fan of Mahesh’s, all that I care about these days is a novel and decent story line. Venky, Mahesh, and Ravi Teja are very violent and noisy people. They fight a lot on-screen.

Crushes are like first love in one particular way. As people believe, we are never really over our first love. I hold the same thing true for a crush. You  are over them and leading your very own happy life. Bham! One fine morning you come across them and you think, for one single second, “Oh my god! He is still so cute.”  When someone sends me a picture like this one, all that comes to my mind is, “Look at him in the Thums up picture. He is such a cute tomato.” Who cares about the salesman part! He has his life and I have mine. I’m definitely not going to buy an idea mobile or drink only Thums up just because he endorses them. I prefer Saridon for a headache and I am not sure what the other two advertisements are for.  He makes ads or movies, who really cares? He is a piece of handsomeness and the joy I derive from that is enough.

Coming back to the list of requirements, a number of people have asked me, “Why the fourth one? It’s kinda funny.” Well, I don’t know for sure either. I think it’s probably because of the way people absorb movies into their system. I’m not sure if all other states in India are this enthusiastically frenetic about their movies. It surprises and suffocates me. It was never officially declared, but the name Chiranjeevi is a religious faith that hundreds of thousands of people sincerely abide by. People behave like he is GOD. I do not object to his dancing and acting skills. He is a strong man, worked hard, and is an excellent actor. But luck did play a role. I would secretly like to believe that he got lucky catching a few famous novels by Yandamuri Veerendranath and combined them with Maestro Illayaraja’s music and made his way up the golden ladder his father-in-law laid down for him.

Hero worship stands true in its literal sense with him, no pun intended. People worship him in a manner that is overly done. He is a nice person owing to his work with the blood and eye donation work. But frankly,you should be the reason you donate your blood. Not his birthday. People take everything about him way too seriously. Some of them out there would give up their lives for him. Isn’t he just supposed to be entertainment? Something that keeps us occupied when we need to take a break. He is a topic in most of their parties. People fight over him, his caste, his work, his enemies, his extended family, and to add to it, his latest political drama. His fans are aggressive people. If you say one word against him you are dead meat. They fight over the number days his movies run for, the money he makes, and the so called collections. You are never going to get a share of it anyways. I have known people who only buy the drinks that he endorses. And that makes me want to yell, “GROW UPPPPP!!!” They will not let you go until you agree with them, that he is the savior of A.P born to redeem us of all our sins and take us to the promised-land. I am so tempted to talk about his fans pulping “the sseppu zzeevithaa” couple for their opinion on his entry into politics. But, again, they are a lost cause. I also do not want to include in this post, the extreme fanatical clashes between the Chiranjeevi fans and Balakrishna fans. That one I could compare to the battle of Kurukshetra. Oh! Sorry. That battle lasted for 18 days. This one doesn’t seem to come to an end even 18 years later. So let’s ignore that for now. Let us also ignore the cat fight between Manchu Mohan Babu and this guy during the Vajrotsamavam Fest. This Tom and Jerry couple, as he claims them to be, need no chasing around by us.

I do not say people compare him to God with no solid evidence. As the Hindu mythology goes, we have and pray to a number of Gods. Take Lord Shiva’s family for example; we pray to Ganesh, Parvathi, Shiva, and Murgan, similarly this fan lot automatically adores Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, and the very great Pawan Kalyan. They have to. I guess it’s in their holy book (whatever that is called). So, potentially, like he wasn’t entertaining enough he got his Co. in too. This gives the directors no choice but to cast these monkeys and we are left with no choice when our friends drag us to the zoo to watch them. Having friends who are silly fans chisels you and makes you a true friend. You are put in extremely frightening situations where you have to choose to stand up to your friend all along. My rules of friendship found me in the same theater 3 times to watch the film Jalsa. After being down with a fever for a few days, I have vowed never to watch another film that stars this man again, ever!! Has anyone even looked at Ram Charan closely? I look at men who dare to argue with me on this and doubtfully wonder, “Are men, who constantly crib about the actual handsome actors, insecure? Does appreciating this guy make them more secure?”

I have seen people waste time and money on this man and it compels me to think, “Is he worth all this? Do people realize that he isn’t even going to notice that you made a 30 minute video on his achievements, that you celebrated his birthday in some remote corner in the U.S, or that you got drunk and got into a fist fight for trying to save his ass? Did he even bother to consult you when he decided that he couldn’t handle the pressure of politics and dissolved his political party? He was busy hugging the political party that he had mocked for years and he left you to argue with your “other” friends, and defend him like he was family.” And what IS with this whole “Annayya, please come back into the films” thing. I have tried to and do not understand it. The man is an actor just like anyone in his field. He had decided to retire (or whatever!!) and here you are pulling him back and expecting him to lead you to the promised-land again.

In graduate school, I was once introduced to a guy who danced extremely well and was real cute. He probably din’t even realize that I existed after the introduction but I had a huge crush on him for a while. As per the rule more than 80% of guys who are born in the 80’s and 90’s are his fans. So was this guy and I knew it. I grew out of the crush, and moved out of graduate school. I once happened to notice that he put a picture of himself with his hero on Facebook. There were a number of people who thought this was indeed a golden opportunity and behaved like this guy’s soul had now been blessed. I looked at the picture in dismay. I say dismay because all I could think was, “Dude, you look and dance way better than your man. You are. And if you tried your hand in Tollywood you would rock.” I just could not bring myself to say it.

Life’s lessons have taught me that we cannot have a list of requirements. Nothing is in our control. Waiting for a guy born in the 20% of the non-fan group doesn’t seem likely. I might have to watch “Gabbar Singh” or the “old man himself” on screen in the future because my boy-friend wants me to, but picturing a little incident of the future brings a satisfying smile on my face. If my kid comes running to me asking me for money to watch the latest movie starring Pawan’s son, Ram Charan’s son or Allu Arjun’s son, I am going to whack his ass hard and not give him any. And if my husband ever dares to help my kids out, he will be denied the benefits of the house for a week.

FOOTNOTE: All the angry ones better remember! If you were dumb enough to ignore the disclaimer and are reading this now,  I’m the queen on my wordpress site. That gives me the authority to write what I want to with additional benefits of approving or trashing and spaming your nitwit comments.

27 thoughts on “The Tollywood HERO Worship

  1. Hey Sahaja…. I recently started following your blog after reading ‘An Arranged “Happily Ever After”…’…. Unlike the superlative words, your articles are very simple language, and I did smiled sometimes while going through… Good work and keep just like this.. Sensibly Smart… Simply Superb.. 🙂

  2. Well, this is a bit hard one now 🙂 Don’t know how many years this stayed in your heart, you are pouring it out, lol.

  3. Oh! Tell me about it. After watching the so called big stars movies like sneham kosam, iddaru mitrulu(I guess it was fate, these were one of first movies I saw) or samara simha reddy or Johnny I decides not to watch Telugu movies unless I get a good feedback from 3independent reliable sources..

    And never understood the actor/actress worship.. They are just eye catcher to grab attention, after that it’s the script and direction that decides the fate of movie..

  4. :O .. mahesh babu fan ante nuvve gurthvasthv! last expectd..but DAMN GLAD to read this…n the last 2 sentences..we ought to do exactly dt !! 😀 …

  5. Interesting write up!!! 🙂 But still, i am his FAN, (just FAN, not Fanatic.. )… 😛 That picture of your future did really bought in a lil laugh..

  6. I experienced the problem you described…Over the years, two girls who I had a major crush on were fans of the self proclaimed kings brother (read the power’less star). I was never ever successful in restraining myself from commenting on how stupid fanboyism/girlism is, which got me in their bad books. But hey, learnt it the hard way, but i did learn that people do take it seriously.

  7. Not so much surprised to see yur caustic comments, but felt a pinching realizing that mah fav hero on screen ‘Chiru’ is not acting now on screen but acting in reality. Too much of anything gets too bad whether it is fanaticism or your sarcasm!

  8. Ah, someone dared to write in without abuse and in plain, matter-of-factly tone! Over the years, I realized I am “anti-hype” in any field – be it Chiranjeevi in TFI (I do admit I am a fan of Pawan Kalyan, and none else in the khaandaan!), or Sachin in the cricketing world, or “kolaveri Di” in the viral-sharing world we created around us today. I really don’t see a point in worshipping someone else more than one worships oneself! (Reminds me of Ram Gopal Varma and his “Ramuism” — people who claim to adore him and follow him do not have their own -ism really – all they have is Ramuism… which is exactly opposite of what Ramu actually thinks/expresses.)

  9. Sahaja you rock!!! .. thoroughly enjoyed ur post. I completely agree with ur view. In my childhood, even I was fan of Chiranjeevi for some unknown reason..but I later matured enough to appreciate films only on the basis of it’s overall effect/feel. no more favorite directors, heroes, musicians or even languages 🙂 … I’m just a fan of GOOD Films..

  10. Witty enough.. a peek in your patented thoughts..!!! and u can really patent them. 😀 good going sahaja.

    and bdw. I bookmarked your site. 😀

    expecting a thnx for the bookmark 😀 😛

  11. Just A Doubt…. If you don’t like someone then why are you wasting so much time on him ?? 🙂 The opposite of Love is not hate it is Indifference.
    P.S. : I am not a Fan, I am a Man 😛 😛

  12. Lovely writeup… 🙂 LOL!!! I just could not stop laughing at this “whacking-your-kid’s-ass” part… 😉

  13. Too good write up Saha!! I thought I was the only one who hate this actor so much, but after reading this blog and the comments , NOW I feel relieved! 🙂 Luvd your writing though! 🙂

  14. Pls dont read the below comment:

    It doesnt make any difference if u like Pawan kalyan or not, i think ur biased.

    P.S: If you are mad i cant help it i have given you the hint. :
    D 😀

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