It was 13th July, 4am in the morning and heavily raining. Yet, there were hundreds of people gathered at Ganga. Not the holy river, I’m talking about the multiplex in Kolathur, Chennai. It was the release of the most awaited film of 2012, starring the man with one of the largest fan bases in Tamil Nadu. Billa 2 starring Ajith Kumar was welcomed with fireworks, Harthi and Abhishekam. Huge cutouts of Ajith were erected around the theaters, which were decorated by huge and charismatic garlands. Fans even lit camphor on their hands and showed it to their king, Ajith’s cutouts. It surely was crazy out there, but love can make anyone go crazy.
The theater’s door opened 45 minutes later. And there was tsunami. At least, that’s what it looked like. With huge roar, the hundreds and hundreds of fans, like those children who rush out of school the moment the final bell goes, charged into the hall.
The theater lights went off. Like kids, curious to see what is inside their Christmas present, the entire crowd was having their eyes wide open to see the thing that has kept them waiting for so long. At last it faded in, the certificate, the title cards of the two producers and finally the face. The entire theater resounded with whistles, claps and the chants of Ajith. But the cheerful voices almost came to mute immediately, because their hero was in agony. It looked as if Ajith was experiencing an excruciating pain. We could almost feel the pain in his fans’ hearts. But how can the fearless David Billa feel so much pain? While everyone in the theater was searching for an answer, the magical line fell out of Ajith’s lips. “En Vazhkaila…. Ovvoru nodiyum, ovvoru nimishamum Naanaa Sedhukkinadhu da…” And again the entire theater went crazy. An ultimate opening for the ‘Ultimate Star’.
Starting from there on, every single dialogue, and every punch the bad guys get were cheered for. There weren’t any romantic scenes in the film, yet it didn’t affect the fans. David Billa is a gangster, yet people loved him. Not many big heroes have taken up a role with a negative shade. Rajinikanth did that many times in the long past and recently in Enthiran and even received the best villain award for it. There were more claps and cheers for Chitti than for Vasi. Be it in Mankatha or the recent Billa 2, Ajith is the only other actor to have attracted a large fan base, doing a negative role. Billa 2 doesn’t have a strong story, yet the theaters are full for the next couple of days.The Superstar and Ajith share a similar type of fans. Their fans don’t care pouring out the money they have to buy tickets worth thousands of rupees, costly fireworks, and garlands that are worth lacs. They don’t care if they lose a day’s pay or if they had to wait in a queue for the whole night to get the tickets. It’s not just their onscreen appearances that draw more fans, but their off-screen qualities too. Both the actors are known for their simplicity and down to earth being. They both have the ability to change the people.
The way Ajith's fans celebrated Billa 2's release, has led to certain questions like “Is this type of idol worshipping good for Tamil cinema?”, “Is it okay if people waste their time and energy on this or is it just one day's harmless fun for fans”. I personally feel there is no necessity for such questions. When the stars who are being worshiped, have the capability to bring large scale happiness and cheer to people, nothing seems wrong or waste. As far as the fans can celebrate their favorite matinee idols without causing trouble for anyone else, I guess nothing is wrong. Its their choice of seeking happiness. How many of us raise questions on the lavish wastage of wealth and time by the upper strata of the society on booze, woman and gambling? So why make the fuss now?
Remember, what another famous don said? “Naalu perukku nalladhu nadandha, edhuvumey thappillai.” Probably you can also interpret it as "Naalu peru santhoshama iruntha, edhuvumey thappillai."
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