Reel blends with real, as films, stars and fans form a lively personal community

Can you imagine a life without our glitzy, glamorous ‘n’ glorious Bollywood? …A life without the big screen shaava shaavas and the jhatka matkas, without our beautiful actresses doing the dhak dhak or our macho actors flexing their biceps and mouthing OTT dialogues. Indeed, life without our wonderful Hindi film industry would be a big bore. The celluloid super magic that starts with the spell-bounding ‘Lights. Camera. Action’ and continues to box office dhamaka and 100-crore clubs is definitely captivating. The dizzy dances, the live interactive theatrical presentations or even the keyhole gossip of the stars enchant their followers to the zenith point…

This is a kaleidoscopic magnetic world where superstars including Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and now after, Kabir Singh, definitely Shahid Kapoor and others cast an incredible spell on the viewers with their larger than life personas’ on screen and end up becoming an integral part of the lives of their fans. No wonder, the thronging fans from across the globe just can’t get enough of their celluloid demi gods and goddesses. So, what makes Bollywood such a bonding magnet? Well, for one, it’s not just an industry that merely makes films, it actually also brings an entire nation together. For not only does it erase borders and demarcations, it also links millions of people from various strata together and cement their ties for them to become a modern community.

In fact, so powerful is the lure of Bollywood that you have thousands of people coming to Mumbai every day just to live their dreams of becoming actors and actresses. Ask the handsome Sidharth Malhotra why he decided to join the film industry despite nobody from his family belonging to it and he avers, “My mom and dad were extremely stressed out because I didn’t get my subject (Math) in college after my 11th and 12th in Delhi. And they were like kya karega ladka bade hoke. So I was essentially one of those millions, or lakhs of kids in Delhi who were really lost. I could have done an MBA and got into a marketing job or a finance job. But I am really happy that I didn’t. Films were a part of my life as a common man and then I decided that from being an outsider, I’d get into the centre of its being. So I joined films and became a part of the community.”

Indeed, Bollywood bonds people together. So no wonder, you have millions of people setting up fan clubs, fanpages, fan media just about their fave stars. Every night and day, they take out a steady stream of information in terms of fresh content and pictures focusing just on their pin-up stars. What the stars wore, airport and gym looks and what not… are their main interest. And the actors too cooperate and make sure their look is on-point whether at the gym or the airport. As Salman Khan says, “We are what we are because of our fans. Their love keeps us going. Today, I believe my fans are a huge part of my life and I think my films and I too are also an integral part of their lives.”

No wonder, superstar Shah Rukh Khan who recently completed 27 years in Bollywood took to his Instagram to thank his fans “for letting me stay in your hearts for 27 years.” Indeed if it wasn’t for the fans, there really wouldn’t be any demi gods and goddess of the silver screen. No wonder, Amitabh Bachchan and so many other top actors make it a point every day to step out of their balconies just to wave at their many fans who at times wait for hours just to have a glimpse of their superstars. But that’s what Bollywood is really about, isn’t it? It’s not just an industry working to make good films, it also bonds the stars and their fans together on an emotional level. In the words of maverick director Mahesh Bhatt, “Bollywood is part and parcel of the lives of all of us.

We eat, drink, sleep and breathe films. It’s not just us. Ask any fan and they can recite their favourite actors’ dialogue verbatim. They know more about the actors’ lives than the actors themselves. No wonder, there is this voyeuristic pleasure knowing about celebrities and their personal lives. Stars and their exciting lives makes the world bond.”

Arjun Kapoor insists, “It’s also the connection that bonds people. When I did Ki and Ka, so many women came up to me and said, ‘Thank you’ for doing the film’. You never know how your work affects and connects with people. They like you in the Kapil Sharma show or Koffee with Karan… there is so much happening that people like and enjoy. When they connect and say, this guy is entertaining, what more do you want?” The ever-youthful Anil Kapoor adds, “I’ve been very fortunate that I have almost completing four decades in films. I was lucky and fortunate that I was a part of films that click. You keep on getting these kind assurances, support, success, positive feedback, appreciation, and that gives you the energy and the injection to keep moving on. It helps you bond with the audience and that keeps me going.” Indeed, it works both ways!