Viral Fandom

I have a cousin. He’s 28, doesn’t have a stable job. He’s also pursuing a PhD alongside, but the only thing he’s genuinely interested in, is being…. a Sachin Tendulkar fan. Apart from minor sessions of photography and the art of rangoli making. Now Sachin Tendulkar has been quite a phenomenon in the Indian cricketing scenario, no doubt. But what is it that ordinary people get out of worshiping a celebrity, is what I don’t understand. My brother has thousands of news articles… every single magazine cover… book or biography on him. He makes rangolis and sketches on Sachin Tendulkar in his spare time. The fandom is so crazy, I bet it’s a full time job in itself!

So, in a bid to meet the legend and his inspiration, my brother made a music video. Yes. Music video with a song directly lifted from a film called … wait for it…. Fan. So 24th April, was Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday. My brother devised a plan to release a music video starring himself as a fan on his birthday on YouTube (impeccable timing, I must say), go viral and hope that his idol takes notice, hope that his idol agrees to find time to meet him and subsequently hope that his idol actually meets him. Such is the devotion.

When I told this to my younger brother, all of 19 and slogging through college, he asked me, out of concern if he should text our cousin to get a real job. Good going, little guy, except that I will only take you seriously when you stop bugging me to recharge your cell phone balance.

Now, I can’t really understand the whole concept of fandom to begin with. Yeah there are people who turn out to be achievers and can hence be deemed as good role models. One could be in awe of such people. But the right way to channel this fandom would be to try and emulate their principles and dedication towards their career. What does mindless stalking beget?

Growing up, I too was a big fan of Hermione. Okay, in my case, my idol was not a real person, but I firmly believe that Emma Watson and Hermione Granger are the same woman. Herma Granson. The most I did was applying a lot of shampoo on my hair, so that I’d get the whole bushy curly haired look when it would dry. *Guilty*. What I did try to do was study hard enough to be a pansophical ass kicking woman.

I’m not being judgmental here, it’s just that it’s hard to find good role models in the society. So if you do find one, wouldn’t it do better to follow the personality rather than the person?

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