Friday, August 29, 2008

Stars and their number one fans, or: Goddess Zeenat.

A couple of weeks back I watched an early 80's Dharmendra film titled Krodhi, directed by Subhash Ghai. Dharmendra played a Don called Vicky in it, Zeenat Aman was his platonic assistant and Shashi Kapoor played a policeman trying to catch this master of disguises. However, instead of a fun masala fare, the movie ended up being Pran the Priest trying to convince Vicky of the inherent goodness within himself. Or something. Point being, it wasn't a very interesting movie, but Hema Malini had an interesting special appearance in it so perhaps I'll end up rewatching.

I also enjoyed one Shashi-Zeenat song immensely, so much so that I ended up uploading it on youtube.

It's a cute wedding song, where the two sing teasingly at one another. And this morning I found not one but SIX comments posted to the video, by somebody who appears to be Zeenat Aman's biggest fan.

Sample quotes:
The entire world of Bollywood is in one corner and Empress Zeenat Aman is in the other corner: Corner of the Mystical Goddess of Bollywood - always copied, replicated, envied, and imitated but NEVER repeated again!
I love this one:
Zeenat Aman: Queen-like entrance, queen-like glamour, queen-like beauty, queen-like high class, queen-like power & confidence, & queen-like magnificence!
She even played a queen in the fabulous Dharam-Veer (see picture in the beginning of the post)!
Shashi & Zeenat always had the most vibrant & energetic on screen chemistry & dynamic! Their interactions were always so playful, charming, funny, & almost child-like cute:) They actually enjoyed working with each other in real life (as Zeenat has stated on various occasions that he was extremely funny & witty to work with), & that great positive energy was totally visible on screen in all their films, as evident in this cute & playful number from "Krodhi"!
Good to know!
Zeenat's mere entry onto the screen or into a room would command everyone's full attention - effortlessly fabulous! No wonder Shashi looks in such complete "awe & adoration" upon seeing this wonder - who could resist "Venus" in front of their eyes?
Indeed, who could?

I love me some Zeenat, but I definitely pale in comparison with this fanatic, and I think all of my fanaticism does! Fans are a funny thing. Occasionally hardcore fans of a star annoy me immensely. For example, I cringe every time somebody mentions their favourite Bollywood actor is Shahrukh Khan and then they add "of course!". As if Shahrukh as your favourite is some sort of pre-set default for all fans of Hindi cinema and liking anybody else is an anomaly. On the other hand, I also like hardcore fans of stars - as long as devotion to some star stays positive and doesn't involve bashing star Y to heighten star X or similar phenomenons. These "Goddess Zeenat" comments in my inbox I merely found cute. It's lovely that the sex symbol of yesteryears still garners adoration from modern fans.

Of course, it does get a bit crazy with some diehard fans. I've seen claims that all films of some star are great and they're always, without a doubt, fantastic in them. This likening to gods and goddesses is also not unfamiliar. I suppose in a country where Amitabh Bachchan genuinely has a temple of his own, calling somebody a divine being wouldn't be that outrageous.

I couldn't seriously do it, though. I'm almost too critical of my favourite stars. Perhaps it's the fact that my biggest favourite is Saif Ali Khan, whose early career not only deserves an entry over at, but a failblog of its own. Sure, he's done some pretty good things during the last ten years and I love him for it, but even then I have complaints to voice. Poor Saif, he probably would deserve fans who posted essay-length comments about him on youtube and called him the Nawab of the Heavenly Realm or something, but instead he has fans who discuss his fitness program and make mean jokes about him over MSN (a shoutout to a fellow fan, she knows who she is). We mock because we love, really.

So what kind of a fanatic are you: the fault-finding, the extolling or the crazy?


Anonymous said...

I like to consider myself a "sensible fan". For instance, I am a huge Sridevi fan. I love her more than I love bacon. But I don't think she's the most wonderful, most perfect human being in the world, nor do I think she's the greatest actress(I don't think anyone is "the greatest" at anything, really, but I'm digressing). That doesn't bother me because I don't want any of my favorites to be perfect or "the best" anything. I want them to be human. I want them to have feet--and other body parts--made of clay. I honestly don't understand some fan(atic)s who refuse to consider the possibility that their favorite performer isn't a god(dess). I wonder about the reality they're living and feel glad that I'm not living there, having to think only happy thoughts lest I be turned into a jack-in-the-box and banished to the cornfield.

Okay, that was longer than I intended, but to sum up: I may act crazy, but I'm not :) I know where to draw the line when it comes to idol worship.

Nicki said...

Wow, glad to point out many good things. As you know me, I'm a die hard Bipasha fan but I'm not the types who would blindly not see other better actresses or more beautiful actresses than her. I like her for many reasons. Ironically enough, I was planning on blogging on why I love her so much. I mean I grew up with Bollywood since I was a little girl but I've never ever adored anyone as much as I have with Bips. I've never considered any celebs a god or goddess but I have seen that before. I still think there's something good in every celeb. So what kind of fan do you think I am? LOL

Anonymous said...

I'm with lapetitediva on this...I think I am sensible (except when it comes to Shammi and then I have to admit to some bias). But one of my favorite things about Indian film fans is their dramatic declarations of love and adoration.

Anonymous said...

Am with you on the Saif bandwagon - his voice could have been better but his recent work is great! :-)

Like memsaab, I think I'm a sensible fan, too, except when it comes to Shashi where my sense seems to take a nose-dive!

PS: Didnt realise it was you who posted the Krodhi song. It used to play a lot on Indian TV years ago and I was so glad to see it again after all these years!

ajnabi said...

I'm a performance fan. I pretty much form my opinion of an actor based on his/her work onscreen because all I really care about is how well s/he entertains me. On the other hand, what I know about Preity Zinta from her Wikipedia entry and interviews makes me like her more. :-) So I can't claim to be totally unbiased by offscreen persona.

veracious said...

lapetitediva - Yeah, for me recognizing the flaws in somebody usually make them somehow closer to heart.

nicki - I think you're a great fan! ;) But you also hit upon a sort-of pet peeve of mine; people who only have one favourite and that favourite is PERFECT and AMAZING and everybody else to them is rubbish. I don't understand that logic at all.

memsaab - I think dramatic declarations of adoration are a-okay ..until it's time to discuss movies and some of these fans insist their view is the right one. That's when it can get annoying. :)

Bollyviewer - His voice, his acting, his hair, his picks in movies.. ;)

Glad you enjoyed the Krodhi song. :)

Ajnabi - You know, I also insist that I don't let off-screen stuff affect my view of actors, and 80% of the time, it doesn't. But sometimes it does, though usually for the better and not for the worse.

Andromache said...

I have lots of favorites and I mock and squee about them in turn with like minded people. I mock because I care, really. I don't really care about their personal life (though it's a bonus when they turn out to probably be cool people.) I really don't like the idea of having one actor who I obsess about over all others because it seems very limiting in terms of movie choices.