Sunday, October 2, 2016

Star Struck!

Nasiruddin Shah,

Not that I am a movie person. Not that I know a lot about you. Not that I have seen all your movies. Just that, whenever asked who's my favourite hero, I have given your name.

Yesterday, while I was waiting outside the theater for your program, 2 big cars zoomed into the premises, halting next to me. The door closest to me opened, you stepped out, greeted Chinu kaakaa heartily and disappeared into the theater! I stood there, stunned. Watching you from such a close distance, the close up glimpses of the grandeur and the simplicity of your personality, the unexpected suddenness of the happening, ... Well... I skipped at least 3 breathing cycles.

Inside, one person could have sat in my chair behind me, I was so on the edge of the seat all the time, eyes wide open, watching you and listening to you. 

In the end, the organizers announced that people will get copies of your book, signed by you. Haa! Is he going to sign so many books?! Really?! And then there you were, sitting at a table while a stream of humans flowed by, autographing each of their books. I grabbed a spot behind the media crowd, to watch you from the gap between two camera-persons. So many emotions running up till my eyelids, moistening them... Still can't explain why. You sitting there, so real, so near, signing, looking up, greeting, thanking, smiling, ... And your deep motherly eyes... Oh. So much to say, so much to keep. From Jaane Bhii Do Yaaro to "Maa main first aayaa!" of Dirty Picture to A Walk In The Woods... To see that all of them were in front of me, just some 4-5 feet away... Ohoho! So much for a little heart!

While I was at this, I noticed a super old grandpa, being maneuvered by his daughter (I guess), unable to walk or talk or see properly, lining up next to me, to do exactly what I was doing- look at you. Me and the grandpa, at once, were too specs in your fan following. What a hero you are! Some minutes later, I saw the grandpa on the other side, making through that stream with great difficulty and enthusiasm, for your autograph!

Your smiles and thanks for the people were now combined with an intermittent scratching of left side of your neck with left forefinger. Intermittent mild turns to look for the end of the stream of people and fiddling at the wrist watch followed. The stream seemed endless. There was a point. A breaking point. You got up and tried to leave! Then followed a burst of the media personnel, waiting so long to grab 'bites' of you, who made you sit down again- you sat and closed your eyes for about 5 seconds to cool the bursts of irritation within- to ask a couple of completely useless questions, and, pauses! Uh! You took off. 

I heard quite a range of opinions there. From "why was he so irritated", "may be due to age", "ek toh bite milnaa chaahiie yaar", to "that person there, that is Nasiruddin Shah". I thought I understood something about the other side of celeb life. 

But mainly, I thought I understood something about what happens to Shahrukh Khan's fans when they see him for real. Rather, I experienced it.
I was, yes, Star Struck!

I have one certain fantasy. Of spending an hour with you as a student, talking about life.

Not taking your autograph was the only thing I could do for you yesterday...

Thank you!