'KGF': Amid excesses, fan clubs reveal humane side

Excess is the norm. This mantra has been quintessential to the working of fan clubs across the country.

But excess does not come cheap. Excess is not celebration that's hastily put together either. Yash's fans in the city began collecting money a whole year ago for something you don't see everyday — a helicopter to shower flowers on their "Rocking Star's" flex.

Crowdfunding this initiative was no mean feat and authorities were worried about all the what-ifs of bringing a helicopter close enough to a massive flex, so that someone can reach out and release flowers, even as a packed, not-easily-controlled crowd watches from right under. It's the things that couldn't go wrong that you can count on your fingers.

Fans who had assembled at Nartaki theatre had expected the showering to be limited to the flex — they didn't see the helicopter turning around to shower flowers on them, too. A Dollu Kunita team beat their drums to the shower, fans danced, and some complained laughingly that the flowers were as heavy as rocks and their heads hurt.

Excess often translates to 'thrift', but many fans organisations make sure the excess and the energy are not invested in just celebrating. Many altruistic ventures that have been taken up in the name of Yash and KGF have nothing to do with either, or anything else the clubs ostensibly stand for.

Kiran, a member of the Yuvakesari Yash Kannada Balaga located in Agrahara Dasarahalli, says his organisation, on Friday, donated study material to a UPSC aspirant who couldn't afford it. They have no sponsors. The Balaga's members pooled the fund from their own pockets.

A part of the fund will be kept aside so that children from a nearby orphanage can be taken to watch the movie once the rush comes down. While these two ventures at least coincide with the release of KGF, some others are completely independent of Yash's work in the industry.

On Yash's birthday, the Balaga members took up the financial responsibility of an underprivileged child. On Rajyotsava last year, they gave books and shoes to children from a school in a remote area.

The disinterested observer may say that altruism is altruism nonetheless, and may not see the necessity in invoking Yash for every good deed. But a fan's relationship with the idol is emotional, and not so easily explained.

It goes back to something the star had told his fans: take care of yourself, take care of your father and mother, and then, if you can, serve the society. "The boss is leading from the front," Kiran says. The boss, of course, is Yash.

Sometimes, depending on the way the organisations work, fans don't even get to watch the movie soon enough.

A common belief about fans organisations is that they crowd cinemas on the first day of release. Rakesh, one of the organisers behind the helicopter event, says many hardcore fans, in fact, watch the movie only later.

"They may be right in front of the theatre, but they don't go in. They'll have other things to do," Rakesh says.

Rakesh, although one of the top men, doesn't know what the members are planning. Fan clubs are not pyramid structures, where work is neatly assigned and delegated. "The members may express love in whatever way they want," he says.

But whatever else the fan clubs may indulge in, KGF still seems to have undivided attention; they know KGF is not just another Yash film.

"That Yash's film is released in five languages is a matter of Kannada pride. But this is also a lot more than just the pride. He has tried to make a film that's universal," Shashidhar, a design engineer, says, as he shares a forward with DH about how the IMDb website shows KGF as the most awaited film in the country.

Another forward by him compared 'Book My Show' pages of KGF and Zero — which released on the same day — and showed how the Yash-starrer was clearly more anticipated.

Shashi's sentiments were echoed by every Yash fan that DH spoke to. The word he chose was "universal", another fan chose "world cinema", while yet another mentioned "international standards"; they all seemed to be saying the same thing.

KGF may be all that, but they have clear instructions from the "boss" about excesses. "He will tell us that our jobs are the first priority," Rakesh says, as though complaining that Yash wasn't letting his fans love him enough. But that tone lasts only a second. "He's right, though," Rakesh added more thoughtfully.

 

Also read: KGF wins hearts; netizens go gaga about the film

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'KGF': Amid excesses, fan clubs reveal humane side

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