Madurai, a district in Tamil Nadu, in the southern part of India, popularly known for the Meenakshi temple. This temple is an architectural marvel, with sculptors speaking their hearts out through their creations ..er... should I say elimination ;-). Stone pillars , which emnate musical notes when incited, thousand pillars adorning the walkway, sculptures and a whole array of specialities make the visit to this place a visual treat which lingers around for a long time.
Well, apart from the temple ,Madurai, is popular for its "jasmine" flowers. Going by the name of, "Madurai Malli", the aroma of these flowers are suppossed to be an olfactory treat.
Yes, there is something more, what I encountered in Madurai too. The people are 'fanatic', (very strictly adhereing to the meaning of that word) about their film stars. You would have seen people adoring stars, here they 'worship' them.
Well, as luck would have it , my ticket on the train was waitlisted and I had to take the bus to reach an intermediate point. As i wanted to reach the destination as soon as possible I took the bus that was already leaving the bus stop. I had'nt noticed that the bus was a 'DVD coach' * . (:-(). The bus driver seemed to be throwing the bus around corners as though he were testing G Force endurances on human beings. The journey was suppossed to be for four hours, but i suspected that it would be much lesser.
I had taken the last but one seat and had almost comfortably settled. Probably it was around midnight when I heard a shre(eee)ik from a passenger behind me. I woke up startled and turned back. He seemed gleeful and happy. He was visibly excited and was cheering loudly. Confused I look ahead and I can see the reason. A movie, called 'Muthu' was being screened and the 'Super Star' , Rajinikanth was the hero in it. Our 'fan' was excited at the sight of his' star' on screen!!! For people who are not quite familiar, Rajinikanth, is the hero of the masses. He is a much celebrated and immensly popular STAR. Our 'fan' was joined by quite a few others who started whistling frantically and there seemed to be a brigade of them. One was apparently bragging as to how he was watching the movie for the fortieth time. If he were this excited for his fortieth .. I wonder ... !!! With such rampant enthuisam .. one can just amaze at the adoration these people have for their 'stars'.
At around 1 30 am ... one of the 'fan''s wakes me up. Puzzled I turn back , quite agitated.
(Translated, the conv was in Tamil)
'Fan' : Sir, could you move your head to the side sirrrr?!
Me : What?
'Fan' : I can't see Rajini properly !!
Me : U 've been watching this movie all this while , its 1 30 am , you wan't me to move so that U can 'see'??
'Fan' : I am a Rajini 'rasigan' (fan). Kindly adjust.
I am just dumbstruck. Amazed, suprised and confused at his 'adoration' I move towards the side.
'Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee' 'Wheeeeeeeeeeeee' ( He goes ....)
'Fan" : Thank U sirrr! U go to sleep!!
I smiled back.
Yeah, right!! I am going to sleep!! :-)
* DVD coach (noun) : A state transport run bus, which takes pride in playing music and movies in full blast. I learnt about this definition , from my co passenger towards the end of the journey!