When I watched the 2nd teaser of FAN, I saw glimpses of my story in it as well. I had grown up watching the same dimpled affable character in movies like DDLJ, Dil to Pagal Hai and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, but I was never a serious fan until I landed in Bhubaneswar after my 12th exams. Every weekend one could find me bent over CDs and DVDs of his movies in the Planet M store in the ground floor of Big Bazaar. While my friends bought new clothes or went dining out, I was more than happy to spend my savings on my digital library. And when I went home for one weekend, I would not talk to anybody; I would eat, sleep glued to the TV watching the movies which I would have got recently. I had a handwritten list of all his movies, I would tick off the names of the movies I had in my possession. I remember I had an even crazier idea, to have all his photos downloaded from Internet! Even I find it hard to believe it today I had actually embarked on this mad mission. Some evenings, I would spend in Cyber Cafe, while others had their Facebook accounts to check (I didn’t have one back then) I was downloading his pictures from Google in that constricted space. Thankfully the pen drive where I had stored all his pictures got formatted and I didn’t have it in me to start all over again.
I also remember how the night before My Name is Khan released, I was furious at Shiv Sena for threatening to not allow screening of the movie. Even shows in Bhubaneswar were under threat and I remember vividly how it was a front page news in all leading newspapers, police all around. Somehow the movie released with the big posters being taken down. I was not able to get tickets and when someone informed me of being in possession of ticket being sold in black, I forgot all my ethics. I actually ran to reach the theatres in my trousers because the show was going to start soon. It was the first time I saw him on big screen and it was my first ever night show.
When he owned a team in IPL, KKR automatically became the team I was going to root for. Initially being the butt of jokes, I remember I was so happy when they were crowned Champions, I distributed chocolates in the entire class. I had even got a Knight Rider jersey, an official merchandise to cheer them on.
My craze for him reached fever pitch when Ra.One was going to be released. I think it’s better if I don’t talk about those times when I had painted the entire Facebook with Ra.One posters! So irritated were people that they were happy when the movie released just because the posts won’t come.
In the recent years, I have mellowed down, realizing I have a name for myself to make. I don’t collect his movies anymore, I don’t follow the KKR matches as keenly as I used to, but every year around this time, when his movie is around the corner, he evokes the same kind of emotions in me. As Gaurav says in the teaser, there is some connection, the energy he exudes, the belief that he provides that dreams do come true. I may not be as crazy as Gaurav, but I too have argued with people at some point for him. One may not love him, but if one hates him, ridicules him, I don’t think we would ever be friends. This hasn’t changed still.