Celebrities and their Fans

I was watching an episode of Vellanakalude Naadu (The Land of White Elephants) on Asianet channel on last Sunday, and I found the idea talked about to be a very interesting one and more valid than anything else for the present time. The satirical tv series has been doing a good job every weekend, but this one can be considered the one episode more close to life than any other. They have come up with an idenity separate from the big satire program Marimayam on Mazhavil Manorama and it feels good.

The episode dealt with the blind fans and their great role-model celebrities. It showed us how ridiculous the celebrity worship and the fan clubs happen to be. There is absolutely no point in these as the fans are never really the admirers as they should be. There are only two kinds of fans who are usually seen during a movie release; one is the type which got no ability to think for themselves and blindly worship a person for some strange reason, and another is the kind of fan who stick to this for material benefits.

Yes, there are fans who are not part of these two groups, but they are rare and as they don’t hate and abuse others, their voices are less heard. The other groups of fans whose lives are based on hate will make them heard because they are intolerant. What they do in the name of their favourite celebrities happen to be the curse of the movie industry. I have always believed that a movie should be watched and appreciated without caring about who acted in the flick.

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We know the most significant work which these fans do. They go around telling everyone and posting on the Facebook media that a terrible, average or above average movie of their favourite actor or actress is awesome. They abuse people who say that the movie is not that good. They also degrade the movies of other celebrities telling everyone that they are pathetic. Some do it because they are blind followers and others for some material benefits. But both types of fans are such pain on the social media.

What they do in the theatres happen to be even more ridiculous. They make sounds in the darkness and clap and scream so much for their favourite actors that listening to the dialogues is impossible. The howling which they do for the movies of other actors make sure that listening to dialogues is hard otherwise too. They try their best to make the theatre experience hell of the common man and make it even worse for the family audience. According to them, the world belongs to them only.

The fans also do pour milk over the giant flex hoarding of their favourite actors. Well, wastage of food when children are in need of nutrition comes easy, doesn’t it? Earlier, there was an incident in which a fan climbed over a flex hoarding of their favourite actor at Thiruvananthapuram and fell down while trying to give the huge thing a shower in milk. What did he earn other than the loss of his own life? It is a strange thing about life, that you make the people who love cry for you in the name of a person who doesn’t know or care.

The celebrities need their fans to make them popular and the fans need money while some fans are just dumb. The celebrities will surely make advantage of this, creating fake campaigns about their greatness, simplicity, skills, social work and everything else. If you see a lot of such posts from fans about “simplicity”, “social work” and the rest of the qualities, there is a big chance that these situations are created and paid for. It is not the media and fans that need the celebrities, but it is the other way around; otherwise, we would have seen the celebrities talking against the fan clubs – do we see such a thing? Not at all. Vellanakalude Naadu on Sunday showed how disgusting this hero worship is, in a clear manner.

***The image used in this blog post is a screenshot of the first screen of a video of the television series shared by Asianet.

TeNy

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Dome: A Special Thing

Whether it is of Taj Mahal, Victoria Memorial or Humayun’s Tomb, I have always loved the domes. Most of the pictures which I took at these places were of those domes. Whenever I passed in front of a building with a dome, I had to take a clear look at it, because I have always considered them the most beautiful element as part of a building – other than those Gothic elements. Simply speaking, we would consider the dome was the half of a sphere. But such an architecture always gives an even more special feeling.

I wish to visit many buildings in the world with the domes, including the Pantheon, Santa Maria del Fiore, Saint Peter’s Basilica, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Saint Gereon’s Basilica, Dome of the Rock, The Marble Church, Saint Basil’s Cathedral, and along with them all, Hagia Sofia, and the large number of buildings which was inspired by this Eastern Roman or Byzantine structure. The list is rather endless. Also among the buildings in India, I want to have a few names which are to be in a must visit list.

There are a few churches which I have noticed around here with those domes. None of them are that big in scope; these are the simpler ones. I believe that the largest dome I have seen until now is of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. But the cutest dome which I have seen should be of the church on the way to Angamaly from Aluva – Saint Martin de Porres Church. It has been there for a long time, I can remember it back to those times when I first traveled on the NH 47. I first noticed it due to the dome, and it is good to have such a simple spiritual building on the side of a road which is a lot traveled.

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Saint Joseph’s Church on the side of the NH 47 at Karayamparambu should be one of those churches which can catch anybody’s attention. Situated on the way from Angamaly to Chalakudi, closer to the former, it can be seen if you are travelling from Kochi or from the Cochin Airport to Trichur or Northern Kerala. There are figures of the Apostles around the statue of Jesus Christ right in front of the dome. Inside the dome, light gets through the cupola on the sides of the wings of the Holy Spirit in the form of dove, which is a nice arrangement. It is surrounded by photos of the saints.

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Saint George Basilica at Angamaly stays as the symbol of a rich history of the town. It is one of the largest churches in South India, and has a nice cupola on the top too. There are images of the Apostles on the glasses of the dome, and if you look from the inside, you can see that the light also comes through the glasses with the pictues of Apostles painted on the glasses. You can also see the smaller domes at the front. The use of painted glasses can be seen throughout this church, and the light makes some wonderful reflections!

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Saint Joseph’s Cathedral can be seen at Muvattupuzha just before reaching the town while coming from Perumbavoor/Angamaly or returning. You can see the domes from some distance. The Malankara Catholic Cathedral has a total of five domes of which three are visible from a distance – the number five should be representing Jesus Christ and the Four Evangelists. This big onion domes are rather rare in the case of churches here – it is good because I won’t have to travel to Russia or parts of Eastern Europe to see them.

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Saint Thomas Church at Karumalloor on the way from Aluva to Paravoor, has a newer style of domes. It was rebuilt in the last few years, and even though it is not special in its architecture, the domes and the altar are worth having a look at. Having three domes in the front and the rest extending like a hall, there is some modern variety here, for there are domes, but none which reminds one of the antiquity. We do keep looking for some variety everywhere, don’t we? Well, here is one.

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***The images used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot Camera.

TeNy

A Little More Divinity

Here is another flashback of my spiritual journeys that go back a few years to a season of Honda Unicorn. I have my doubts if churches can be called “cute”, but here are a few of them if they can really be called so. All of them are from Kerala, and have left a permanent mark despite their small sizes and in spite of not being that famous. This is the season of Lent, and I would consider a few more of the abodes of God can only do good. After all, I am one of those very few unlucky people who always have their birthdays during the time of Lent.

Christ Church, Munnar: Belonging to Church of South India and having a history of over one hundred years, this one goes back to the people of the tea who had arrived here in relation with the tea plantations of Munnar from Britain. The stone laid in on 11th March, 1910, this church is really well-maintained and you can have a very good view of the hilly town from here, which is beautiful, only to be challenged by the beauty of the church itself. You can see India’s colonial past and understand that this one has a lot of stories to tell.

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Church of Our Lady of Hope, Vypin: Located at the island of Vypin, which forms a part and is connected to the city of Kochi by the group of Goshree bridges, this is a small church which has the lake directly in front of it, and makes a very beautiful view if you are looking from the other side of the water body. There is a lawn, a cross and a grotto in front of this white church building, and also a number of Chinese nets and some huge trees which give enough to shades to have some spiritual rest.

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St. Sebastian’s Church, Thoppumpady: The new bridge which was built at Thoppumpady made sure that you can only travel to Fort Cochin and Mattanchery through the road which goes on the side of this church. This is a protected monument by the archeology department and the renovation works were delayed as it couldn’t be done without permission – it has been renovated now, and the photo that I have is from before that. Its antiquity is its beauty, and there is also the lake on the back-side with a nice view of the historical Harbour Bridge.

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Holy Cross Church, Mattanchery: More of a shrine than a church, this is a pilgrimage centre with historical significance. There is the presence of a small church-like area inside it though. It tells the tale of the historic oath which was made by the members of the Saint Thomas Christian community of Kerala that they would not submit to the rising Portuguese dominance which have been trying to forcibily Latinize the local Christian community that had existed with the Indianized version even before Christianity spread through Europe.

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St. Mary’s Church, Njarakkal: A part and a major centre of Vypin that I had earlier mentioned, this church at Njarakkal is not that different from Church of Our Lady of Hope in its architecture, but can still claim an identity of its own. It has more space inside the structure and also has very beautiful and traditional altar. The style is just like a number of older churches built at that time and having the feeling of being very old, but the renovations have made sure that it stays beautiful and worth the admiration.

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***I wish to leave the total statistics related to the number of the churches I have visited since 2009. The first one is the district-wise division, second on the list outside Kerala and third on the churches visited outside India. The only two districts missing are Kasargode and Malappuram. The districts might not be exact as I have my doubt about the borders, but the numbers are exact. *The photos used in this blog post are those taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC W-310 only.
(Ernakulam-174, Kottayam-69, Thrissur-39, Alappuzha-29, Pathanamthitta-17, Kollam-9, Kozhikode-7, Idukki-13, Kannur-4, Trivandrum-4, Wayanad-4, Palakkad-3)
(Tamil Nadu-59, Pondicherry-11, West Bengal-11, Karnataka-8)
(England-41, Scotland-9, Sri Lanka-8)

TeNy