Bollywood Star Craze in New Mexico
Last week I wrote about my chance encounters of the filming of one of the upcoming bollywood movies called "Kites", which was being filmed here in New Mexico (USA). Tonight I got a taste of the star craziness that seems to be common when it comes to film stars like Hrithik Roshan.
A Sikh friend who lives in Santa Fe invited my family to his BIG open house party along with what we thought was going to be about 200 people (but must have been double that! Everyone probably brought their friends, friends). Guess who was going to be visiting the party? You probably guessed it, Hrithik Roshan, "Kites" Director Anurag Bas, Barbara Mori, Rakesh Roshan along with others. The house was amazing and HUGE! Talk about a lot of square feet and rooms in the house! Anyways, the attention of the large numbers of people who were there didnâ€™t seem to be on the house or the "house warming party", but on certain individuals (if you know what I mean). There were crowds of people anxiously waiting near the entrance for the moment when Hrithik Roshan would drive up. Almost everyone seemed to have some type of electronic device to capture a picture of this star. I smiled as I looked back from the door entrance seeing everyone with their cellphone cameras and digital cameras poised out and ready pointing in my direction towards the door (and they were not waiting to take my picture, that is for sure! hahaha!). At one point someone said Hrithik was coming in and many started to scream in excitement. I couldnâ€™t help but laugh. It reminded me of the videos I have seen of fans of Michael Jackson and others screaming in excitement (though I didnâ€™t notice anyone crying with tears "I love you Hrithik!").
I can understand really liking someone and admiring them, but it was as if he had "god status". I admit, I know very little about Bollywood movies and actors, though I have watched many movies during my years in boarding school in India and back home. However, It didnâ€™t seem like the attraction to him had anything to do with major accomplishments. It seemed like a purely superficial attraction because he is extremely famous (and attractive to the ladies Iâ€™m sure). I think sometimes people project this fantasy of the non-reality of scenes from the movies to a person, as if they are a the actual person from the movie (rather then an actor playing a role). I donâ€™t think being famous or having "star power" makes one a great person. However, Iâ€™m sure it was an exciting and fun event for all these people getting to see up close and personal this movie star that so often lighted up their TV screens.
Eventually when Hrithik actually arrived it was quite a scene. Everyone was snapping pictures from every side with flashes going non-stop. As Hrithik walking inside it was like he was entering into the lions den and being attacked from all sides. At one point he turned around as if he was having second thoughts about going any further since he was swarmed in the crowd of people. Everyone was pushing trying to keep up with him as he moved and my son Narayan got trampled being so small in the crowd of people. (pictured above is when he turned around probably asking if he can go another way, rather then through the crowd)
Eventually, he got to his table and people continued snapping pictures right in front of the table and swarming around like bees on honey. On the microphone someone kept repeated again and again, "Please sit down so that we can begin" (or something like that) but the people in the front didnâ€™t seem to pay any attention and just kept on taking pictures. It was as if they were going to get a gold reward for their pictures. Hahaha! All I can do is laugh. It was quite a scene. Eventually the bodyguards and security pushed everyone back and then things settled down.
After Hrithik and the others with him settled down behind the protection of a long table (and a few body guards standing close) some awards/proclamations and recognition were given. These were given to Hrithik, his father and to Barbara Mori, by various New Mexico government officials (I donâ€™t remember the details) and also by Bibiji Inderjit Kaur on behalf of the New Mexico Governor (in her role as Ambassador to India for New Mexico). Shortly after that everyone was invited to eat dinner and Hrithik and the others went inside to escape the crowds.
After this I went in side and luckily my wife Arjan had already gotten me a plate of food, so I didnâ€™t have to wait the the long line. I sat down and ate, and then we left the party because the kids were pretty tired after a long day.
As we left and started talking about the evening we shared what we thought about the evening. One thing I realized is that no movie star comes close to what you can get from developing that connection with the Guru and living a spiritual life. Also, I have been with a lot of spiritual people over the years, and movie star appeal doesnâ€™t even come close the impact and presense that some spiritual people have. All this attraction to the fame and fortune of some is so superficial. Itâ€™s all maya, and an illusion which is just a distraction in life. Itâ€™s like a game. You get a picture of someone and then tell all your friends that you met/saw "so-and-so", and this is supposed to make you feel good and special.
So often these days I see people trying to show off their wealth and status. It is so empty and sad. This wealth DEFINITELY does not mean you become happy or are better off then someone who has less money than other. In reality itâ€™s now how rich you are in worldly possessions, but how rich you are inside.
Ok, Iâ€™m on a bit of a tangent so Iâ€™ll stop here. The evening just made me think about all the things that some people hold as important in their life and how empty it can sometimes seem.
By the way, Iâ€™m not bagging on Hrithik Roshan or anyone in particular. I am just sharing the thoughts that went through me and what I felt. Maybe Hrithik Roshan does some great things for the world? I donâ€™t know. Anyways, it was an interesting evening and made me think about these things.
Ok, and now for all of you who didnâ€™t get to be there or didnâ€™t get any good pictures while snapping away, fear not, I managed to get a few pictures that turned out ok. I particulary like the pictures with my friend Tejinder Singh (blue turban) and Bibiji Inderjit Kaur (wife of SSS Harbhjan Singh Khalsa Yogji). Hrithik was quite respectful to her, touching her feet and then giving her a hug.
Ps. The woman who has black hair in some of the above pictures is Barbara Mori who is an international acttress who is one of the stars in the upcoming film called "Kites". The first picture is of my son before the crazyness. He has been starting to tie his own turban and was so was proud to be able to do it on his own (the simple things are so cool as a kid).
Pictures and text by Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa