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01/12/2012

The Gods of Indian cinema

I never understood fans. Human beings worshipping other human beings.

For singing, writing, painting. Doing things than anyone can do, with more or less talent.India,cinema,Bollywood,Kollywood,Amitabh Bachchan,Shahrukh Khan,Rajnikanth,top movies,worshipping,temples

I always felt that fans must, somehow, fill a void with the unconditional love for a star.

But enough of philosophical considerations. Everyone does what they want…

 

If you follow Bollywood cinema, you have heard of Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan.

But does the name Rajnikanth ring a bell? He is a South-Indian superstar (originally born in Karnatak from a poor Maharashtrian family, he mainly stars in Tamil movies – Kollywood).

Comparing the popularity of actors by the number of fans is impossible but let’s look at collections.

The top Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots (2009) brought Rs 201 crores (€28 millions) whereas Endhiran (starring Rajnikanth, and dubbed in Telugu and Hindi) brought 400 crores (€56 millions).

Besides, in 2006, Rajnikanth was quoted as the most paid actor with earnings of Rs 15-20 crores (€2.8 millions); in 2009 he was paid more than Rs 40 crores (€5.6 millions) per movie. Well above Bollywood stars.

 

India,cinema,Bollywood,Kollywood,Amitabh Bachchan,Shahrukh Khan,Rajnikanth,top movies,worshipping,templesSo obviously Rajnikanth has a huge number of fans. And here is what they do to worship him:

§          Build temple dedicated to him,

§          Tonsure their heads and fasting when he is sick,

§          Give a free gift of gold ring for every child born on the date of  the release date of a Rajinikanth’s movie,

§          Publicly ritualizing his film posters and appropriating Hindu rituals to divinize their star deity: to celebrate the release of a film they take poster of the movie to the temple and to a theatre where it is bathed in about 100 to 200 litres of milk carried, on their heads, by the fans.

 

And you, what do you do to worship Brad Pitt huh??

 

Sources:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-most-powerful-indians-in-2009-96100/433194/

http://www.indicine.com/movies/bollywood/top-5-biggest-grossers-of-bollywood/

http://cinema.currentweek.net/2011/01/kollywood-movies-top-10-blockbusters.html

http://zeenews.india.com/entertainment/celebrity/rajinikanth-fans-tonsure-heads-in-tn-temple_93509.htm

http://www.ihc.ucsb.edu/rajinikanth-fans/

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xhsqpe_robot-special-5000-rajnikanth-fans-give-rajnikanth-a-milk-bath_fun

http://www.tamilnow.com/articles/tamil-film-stars-fans-club.htm

 

01/08/2012

About the significance of hair in Hindu mythology

“Hair is a powerful metaphor in Hindu mythology.

Krishna has curly hair. krishna-007.jpgBalarama has straight silky hair. Shiva has thick matted hair. The Goddesses – Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga – have loose unbound hair. 

Hair has long been used in India to convey a message.

 

Unbound unruly hair represents wild nature.

Well oiled and combed hair represents culture.

That is why the wild Kali’s hair is unbound while the domestic Gauri’s hair is well bound and in her temples devotees make offerings of gajra, a string of flowers to tie up the hair.

In the Mahabharata, Draupadi’s unbound haKali-s.jpgir represents her fury.

In the Ramayana, the last jewel of Sita is the hairpin that she gives Hanuman to convey to Ram that her honor, and his reputation, stand in a precarious position.  

Shiva’s dreadlocks represent the potent power of his mind that enables him to catch and bind the unruly and wild river-goddess Ganga.

Shaving the head is associated with asceticism.

Buddhist monks shaved their heads.

Jain monks plucked their hair from the roots; to survive the pain is to convey that one is willing to suffer the challenges offered by monasticism.

Brahmins shaved their head but left a tuft in the end, an indicator that they were not monks but very much part of worldly life. This Brahmin tuft is tied up to show coshiva1.jpgntrol; Chanakya of legend famously untied this tuft to display his rage and tied it only when the Nanda dynasty of Magadha had been brought to its knees.

The hair of widows was shaved to enforce monasticism on them. It was this or the pyre, in medieval India, for those unfortunate women. The head is shaved to display bereavement as well as devotion.”

Source: http://devdutt.com/the-offering-of-hair/

 

01/06/2012

If hair is given to God and I buy a wig with this hair, am I God?

I have spoken a lot about hairs.

Hairs in the ears which is more developed in India than other countries (see: ). Hype4.jpgrtrichosis.

Hairs that grow more in India due to the humid climate (see here).

Hairs that Sikh people let grow and put in a turban (see here). 

Hairs that a cricket star shaved after winning a game (see here).

And I have probably mentioned it in other posts (here and there…).

 

And here a few words about the business of hairs.

 

”Many Indian women offer their hair to deities in Hindu temples in a show of (Click on “Lire la suite” to read more)

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