Yes , the deep connecting thread between RaOne ; Vellore’s golden temple and life .
( so much for the opening line suspense . Chetan bhagat would’ve been so proud ! )
I have said this before , I’ll say it again .
Shahrukh Khan is THE best salesman India has ( we’ll omit any discussion about his acting skills for now )
He’s ruthless ,smart ,manipulative , swift with the tongue , dosen’t give a damn about being a “superstar” and will go to any limits to sell whatever he wants to .
I was in Vellore this diwali .. and while surfing through channels , I chance upon SRK on JAYA TV !
Talking on and on about how he loves can’t wait to work in tamil movies , and how the most talented people come from this state and how Rajni sir is the biggest superstar we have .
And how he wanted to pay a ‘tribute’ to Chitti in the movie !
Needless to say , the movie turned out to be ‘below expectations’ ( if you carried your brains into the theatre , that is )
The so called ‘tribute’ turned out to be a 1 minute something scene .
North Indians found it funny ( cumon …there was a vaccum after the Rajni jokes went out of fashion ) and bought tickets …
South Indians flocked to the theatre ( at least the first weekend ) to see him and money flowed in ..
Who cares if the movie was C.R.A.P ?
Selling tactic ? You bet my gluteus maximus !
Around the same time , I went for a Vellore sightseeing tour .
Have you ever been to the Jalakanteswarar temple in Vellore fort ? Do go .
It stands old ,strong and proud .The inner sanctrum so serene , lined by huge statues , the central ‘shivling’ and an aura of inner peace .
It smells of stones so ancient that you can easily imagine Tamil kings praying homage to Siva and ‘devdasis’ dancing in those halls .
On the other hand have you been to the Golden ‘temple’ ?
If you even happen to go there .. carry your lunch box/music system/Frisbees or whatever you usually carry to resorts or picnic places .
The place is ( forgive my lack of diplomacy ) an obscenity in the name of temple !
Flowing gardens , music and mantras playing , huge adorned pillars , ticket counters , hospitality that can beat Air India’s air hostesses any day .
Chuck that … a huge inner temple entirely GOLD plated !
( It was like , Bappi Lahiri’s dream house come true )
But was it a temple ? no .
Then again , who cares ?
The guy who runs it has his photos everywhere . People come , donate money , gape in wonder and put their faith in the self proclaimed incarnation ‘gruruji’ and the Goddess .
My great-grandmom used to pray in her ‘pooja ghar’ . It was nothing but one half of a store-room with old faded photos of Gods and a few bronze statues .
But the way I felt God in there , I’ve never felt it anywhere else .
Bottom line ?
Is that what we have come to ?
Publicity ? Show off ? Materialism at it’s pinnacle ?
Maybe it’s time God should hire a publicity or HR agent .
Before people ‘invest’ incorrectly In faith ..