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Last Updated 08.04.2020 | 6:05 PM IST
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Reflections: Kyonki har ek fan zaroori hota hai!


A couple of weeks back when my 'Reflections' featured hot competition between Top 12 Male Stars In The Time Period Of Just 6 Months, reactions were fantabulous. I was amazed to see how fans are so ferocious in defence of their favourite stars and can't take a single word against them lying down. For every fan rooting for Salman Khan, there were a couple of others who felt Aamir Khan would be the man to look forward in 2012. For those who felt that Akshay Kumar is all set to bounce in a huge way with an enviable line up ahead, there were others already rooting for Shah Rukh Khan to re-write record books. To put it simply, Bollywood wouldn't have been Bollywood if not for this fan base which is not just discussing in a restricted circle any more but has invaded the world of web in a big way. This week's 'Reflections' tries to explore why fans react the way they do and what really drives them to come so blatantly in support of their favourite superstars.


A couple of weeks back when my 'Reflections' featured hot competition between Top 12 Male Stars In The Time Period Of Just 6 Months, reactions were fantabulous. I was amazed to see how fans are so ferocious in defence of their favourite stars and can't take a single word against them lying down. For every fan rooting for Salman Khan, there were a couple of others who felt Aamir Khan would be the man to look forward in 2012. For those who felt that Akshay Kumar is all set to bounce in a huge way with an enviable line up ahead, there were others already rooting for Shah Rukh Khan to re-write record books. To put it simply, Bollywood wouldn't have been Bollywood if not for this fan base which is not just discussing in a restricted circle any more but has invaded the world of web in a big way. This week's 'Reflections' tries to explore why fans react the way they do and what really drives them to come so blatantly in support of their favourite superstars.

Passionate fan


In my frequent visit to those who post comments on articles written by me or someone else, there is always a very strong presence of that fan base which is well versed with how a superstar has performed in the past, how he is doing today and what he would be working on tomorrow. Of course the love and passion of a fan is quite visible in his comments and he would continue to go gaga over his favourite actor even if the chips are down. In today's scenario, Shah Rukh Khan's fans can well be put into this category. The man hasn't had a film of his release for over a year and a half but his fan base has been unrelenting. 'He would break all records with Ra.One and Don 2'', 'King Khan is just waiting to make his BIG strike', 'He remains where he has been for years and only competition keeps changing' - These are some of the frequent comments that I come across when a passionate fan talks. Nothing wrong in that in fact. After all, it is this very passion of a super strong fan base that Shah Rukh Khan has accumulated over the years that has managed to keep him in circulation despite a prolonged absence.


New found fan


Frankly, I am sick of seeing every fifth person on the street wearing that 'Being Human' T-Shirt. Reason being that at least four of them are wearing a pirated version that has been bought for a pittance, hence defying the very purpose - charity - for which Salman Khan has launched this merchandise. No wonder, most of these people pretty much belong to the new-found fan base. Okay, so Salman deserved this as well since he has risen like a phoenix during last couple of years. However, what surprises me most are the conversations with some of my non-filmy colleagues who seem to be going gaga over the actor by addressing him with all the flattering titles. Yeah, good for all involved but I just hope that this enthusiasm stays intact in months to come as well. After all, this fan base is ready to change loyalties in a jiffy, to put it bluntly. Tomorrow if Salman's nemesis Vivek Oberoi bounces back with a Zila Ghaziabad, I won't be surprised to see these very fans changing tracks and commenting - 'Bas ab Vivek ka waqt shuru aur Salman ka khatam'! Nothing wrong with that after all. Kyonki har ek fan zaroori hota hai!

Switty-switty fan


Such fans would in fact hardly be termed as fans but then they too make a significant contribution to a fan base. These are the ones jinka dil har underdog ke liye dhadakta hai. This means they stay on to be sweet-n-saccharine whenever someone out there in dumps makes a sudden revival. So when John Abraham goes on to deliver Force, there are mega bytes spent in blogs and other forums around how he deserved it ever since he gave the first screen test for Jism. Or how Jackky Bhagnani could have got success much before F.A.L.T.U. in Kal Kissne Dekha itself if only the climax was more powerful. Or how Jimmy Sheirgill could well have given Al Pacino some competition if only Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster would have arrived half a decade ago. Or how Abhishek Bachchan could have been celebrating a huge success in Dum Maaro Dum if only his character didn't meet with a premature death in the film. Basically these are the fans who root for every actor who has had a barrage of flops and want him to be revived. However, bring on the Khans or the other superstars in front of them and they could well get into a massive debate by terming them as 'plain lucky'. Aaaah....now that would hurt!

Anti fan


For every action, there is an equal reaction. This means that for every 'switty switty' fan, there is this 'anti fan' who loves to criticise any and every other star out there. Oh yes, so the benefit of doubt could be that this guy generally hates Bollywood. But guess what, he watches every film (whether in theatres or worse, pirated copies) and then claims that 'mazaa nahi aaya'. Even if one ignores his/her crime of watching a film illegally on DVDs that arrive before release, what is indeed irritating around these 'anti fans' is that they want to criticise everything and anything about the star in question. So if Akshay Kumar goes subtle in Patiala House, he gets flak and if he goes over the top in Tees Maar Khan, the reactions aren't any different. Kareena Kapoor goes Size Zero in Tashan and she is blamed for not being sexy enough. However, when she gets into that rare skin show in Ra.One then she is termed desperate. For them, Vidya Balan is way too plain and unattractive in Paa but when she sheds her inhibition in The Dirty Picture, she is termed as, what else, but 'dirty'. Basically this is the 'anti fan' base that can never be happy about what transpires on the big screen. Kucch toh problem hai inke saath as a result of which this 'anti fan' base also suffers maximum ire, especially from the 'passionate fan' base.

Unreasonable fan


While a passionate fan base is what keeps the momentum on for superstars to revel, it's the unreasonable fan base which is more destructive than productive. For them, their superstar is not just God, he is something beyond that. This means that even if Salman Khan sleepwalks through Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna, it is nothing less than an Oscar winning performance. Even if A.R. Rahman's soundtrack for Jhoota Hi Sahi hardly makes waves, it is a classic in the offering. Even if Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's Raavan doesn't create many ripples, metaphors are drawn around her 'Sita' act. While all of this is still understandable to an extent since an individual's choice could be different from a group, the most shocking trend amongst this fan base is the sheer neglect of box office reception to a film or an actor. There are imaginary numbers thrown out of nowhere to make their superstar's films look much bigger blockbuster than they already are. Comparisons are drawn with lesser stars and an attempt is made to project their heroes as 'Demi-Gods'. However, the worse happens when manipulation is done to such a major extent that entire past, present and future of their favourite superstar is painted in all-white while the rival superstar is made to look like a buffoon who somehow managed to survive on the basis of good support from their on-screen co-stars. Now this is what occasionally leaves a bad taste in the mouth as credit is apparently stolen away when it was due!


Abusive fan


Now this is a fan base even a superstar would love to steer clear of. This is because all he needs is just a spark to respond with a volley of cuss words and other unmentionable things that hardly justify their stance of being someone's fan. It is understandable when a fan has come out in defence of his favourite superstar. However, instead if a plain and simple sentence that could have either resolved the matter or at least carried it forward to a certain conclusion, what one hears are personal remarks on not just the ones who challenged the position of star in question but also his friends and family. I am time and again surprised to see the kind of filthy language that is used in public forums when all that the discussion warranted was some logic (and certainly passion) to be thrown in. However, to one's utter dismay, what one gets to see is the topic entirely shifting away from the subject in question and instead resulting in a personal battle, something that even a superstar would be more often than not keen to ignore. Now this is a fan base which (perhaps) carries an intrinsic frustration of a different kind and finds an online forum as a means to vent it out. Kya ye fan sach mein zaroori hota hai?

Aap kaunse fan hai?

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