Saturday, August 29, 2009

The mad, mad world inside a fan club

I recently saw Magadheera. Twice. The movie is phenomenal. S S Rajamouli has done a great job and Ram Charan excels.

I like to do different things sometimes. So after seeing the movie twice, I decided to join a fan club. I joined a Ram Charan fan club on the internet. At first glance, there was nothing very different from what you would expect. Collection figures of the film on the home page, a large number of fans, lots of pictures and links.

Slowly, however, as I explored the club, I started having a lot of fun. You have to read the posts to believe them. The world of Telugu cinema is dominated by a few families. So, you have legions of fans devoted to a family. You can pretty much divide them into those belonging to fans of the families of Chiranjeevi, NTR, ANR etc. So, in the Cherry (short for Ram Charan) fan club, you have people going to great lengths to ridicule Mahesh Babu, for example.

You also have some really interesting threads. Sample this gem: "Last person is the biggest fan of Charan". This means that whoever posts last on this thread is Cherry's biggest fan. In a couple of weeks, more than 4000 people tried to be the "last person". The thread is still going strong. Then there is this really hilarious thread where you have to compete to key in the letters in Charan's name in different posts without allowing anyone to interrupt you!

The polls are also really great fun. There was one poll that asked, "How did Charan act in Magadheera?" This question - in a fan club. I mean, what did the author expect? A bipartisan, objective analysis of his acting abilities?! (For the record, he's acted really well.)

But, you know what? Its all ok. I really like people who are passionate about something in life. Everyone should have something they look forward to outside work. I myself have been having a good time going through the posts in the fan club community. I have also started defending the actor and the movie in discussions at work and with other friends over never-ending email threads.

And I'm having a whole lot of fun!

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