I haven’t heard the word “pawanism” until last year and partially experienced (which was documented in the earlier blog) when I watched CMGR in India early this year, but truly lived it this time as part of the Attarintiki Daredi premiere here in Dallas 48 hours ago. It is not to often you find so many men and young male adults (and not so young ones too) openly raving about a young hero, tracking his current and upcoming movies.

So it was easy to see “eagerness” and “enthusiasm” once again in the air last week, as soon as AD release date was finalized.  Pavan is what I often call as “class agnostic” hero.  Both “elite” and “mass” crowd seems to adore him with equal enthusiasm.  Movie ticket to Pavan’s movie this time was cherished as if it was a ticket to outer space, or a ticket to witnessing moon landing LIVE along with US president.

Experiencing Pavanism this side of the Atlantic Ocean was quite a memorable event to everyone along with me.  Below URL to the video captures the madness and excitement driving to the movie theatre, getting the movie ticket, standing in the queue, running towards the screen to grab the best seat, throwing lots of confetti into the air, watching crazy fans actually lighting camphor on top of a coconut and giving ode to their demi god, celebrating the awesome feeling post move with a cake, and more.  Read the lengthy blog @ your leisure which will be continued to be updated as I digest the craziness that I have experienced, and right away watch the madness in the video with awesome sound track from the movie.

I really do not recall when was the last time; I have experienced this level of excitement, the one which I have experienced during the last 48 hours of premiere show of Pavan Kalyan’s movie Attarintiki Daredi (AD).  Typically excitement begins for Pavan’s fans as soon he announces a film or it may start even when there is a rumor of his movie being possibly launched.  Launch of AD movie was received with CMM Level 5 type of excitement, because this time movie is being scripted, and directed by ace director and scripting wizard Trivikram.

I haven’t realized that I was always been a ardent fan of Trivikram, until when I learned that he is the genius behind successes of some of favorite movies such as “Nuvvu Naak Nacchav”,  ‘Manmadhudu”, “Athadu”, “Khaleja”, “Jalsa”, “Teen Maar” and most recently “Julayi”.  My respect for this director reached to its peak after I have learned more about him via web and after watching his speech at MAA awards

As soon as the news was out that more than 90-minute footage of AD was leaked on the Internet, there was quite bit of anger, rage, and sympathy wave that was generated both in movie industry and amongst his Pavan Kalyan (PK) fans.  But like a silver lining among the dark clouds, there was also some excitement amongst the fans, as most of them have realized that movie which was delayed forever due to unfortunate chaos in the Andhra Pradesh, would be finally released, now that the part of the movie was leaked on to the internet.

As soon it was announced that the movie would be released on Sep 27th, intense maniacal planning has begun within our colleagues @ Cigniti.   Once I had said that, there is always someone in Hyderabad, who knows mythical someone, who will get the movie tickets for any movie in town.  However this time, I had a luxury of knowing Sudhakar, who is so well connected in DFW.  I was confident that he would get the tickets to the premiere show.  We also had access to Manohar who is well connected with who’s who of movie fraternity and specially theatre fraternity in Dallas.

But 24 hours before the movie is to be premiered, it was clear that we are on our own to get the tickets.  Raj called with anxiety in his voice, tickets are being issued @ Hollywood theaters in Irving. Sudhakar and I drove there to realize it as a false alarm, as the movie is yet to be listed in their ticketing system, and learned that tickets cannot be issued. Meanwhile, Rajesh who is self proclaimed die-hard movie fan has begun the planning the tailgate celebrations for the movie.

There was debate, if we need to block entire show for friends and family. Apparently, Rajesh is known to block entire screen for premier show of PK movies, when he was in hometown in India. However, owing to the steep ticket price, we instantly dropped the idea.  I have asked Rajesh, if he and his PK fan gang, would do “teen maar” dance in the movie parking lot, learning crazy things he is known to do before/during/after watching PK movies. He debated if a flash dance to be planned, but it was also dropped owing to the time

Raj called again 8 hours before the movie, “It’s real. Ticket are being issued right now at the theatre”.  I went to the theater around 11:40AM on the day of premiere.  I felt silly going to a theater on a week day morning.  There were just 2 dozens cars in the parking lot which can easily fill 1000 cars.  Most of them are Honda, Toyotas, and other Japanese / German cars indicating that desi fans of PK are already in the queue.  There were about 2 dozen folks in the queue.  I did not bothered to stand in the queue, thinking 25 folks isn’t much.  However, within another 5 minutes, another dozen folks added up. But I still did move out of my car.

I got another call from Raj; he checked what is my sequence number in the line. I told him, I am still in the car.  His anxiety skyrocketed, he asked me to go to the front of the row.  There was rumor that number of tickets would be limited to 2 per person.  Rajesh sent half dozen of his friends to stand in the queue.  They were all at various positions in the queue.  Raj called me again, asking me to join Vamshi who is queue in queue at sequence number 3. I have reluctantly gone into the queue, thinking what’s the rush.

As soon as doors for the theatre doors opened, everyone scrambled to get themselves in front of 3 ticket windows.  I have started hearing, folks asked for tickets anywhere from 4 to 25 tickets. My buddies and I have asked for 28 tickets, on behalf of our friends and colleagues.  I have noticed within first few minutes, over 100 tickets got grabbed. I am sure within next 5 minutes; all 400 tickets for the premiere show must have been sold out.    I have noticed everyone (including me) instantly sending SMS and sending photographs of the tickets on WhatsApp and someone posting on the Facebook.  When was the last time, you or someone did this for a Telugu movie ticket 🙂

A spreadsheet was created on how to decide who would be the lucky 28 folks, who will watch the premiere.  After arriving at a complex algorithm, a name was mapped to each of the ticket.   We all planned to assemble at the theatre one hour before the show.  Unlike in India, there is no seat number allocation here in US.  Getting the ticket is just half the battle won; next battle is get a good seat for you and your friends and loved ones.  By the time we have arrived, we saw over 100 folks in the queue chanting “Pawanism”.

Rajesh was already at the theatre along with dozen other folks. He had actually convinced his client to watch the movie, and invited him to cut the cake.   As the time for the movie was fast approaching, shouting and slogans reached its peak.  Theater management given up trying to get the fans calm down.   As soon as they have begun verifying the ticket to get their entry into the screen, all the fans rushed into the screen to grab the best seats.  Ticketing users shouted asking everyone to stop, but none of them bothered.  They ran into the theatre flashing their tickets.

We could hardly hear anything first 10 minutes of the movie.   There was so much confetti thrown into the air.  Scene inside was wild and beautiful at the same time.  Typically I have seen confetti lasting first 10 minutes of the movie.  However, in this case, I have noticed confetti being thrown for almost entire movie.  I have seen few crazy fans actually lighting the appeared to be camphor on top of a coconut (which I think was not a great idea at all), presented ode to their demi god, and hit it on the floor, in front of the first row.

Coming to the feedback of the movie.  Do you really need it ? If you come this far end the blog, you are probably PK’s fan.  If you are one, you would not care about the feedback anyway.

I loved the movie to the core (may be except the part related to Ahalya skit).  I loved almost all the songs, which I have been listening since last few months, loved background score, cinematography, awesome one-liners, narration and the flow, scenic locations, bright colors, humorous stunts, larger than life portray of the lead hero, subtle message indicating there is no point in all the wealth if your loved ones are not around you, need to choosing the right path if you are confronted internally between choosing anger vs. forgiveness.  Yes, I have ignored few extreme cinematic liberties taken by the director to convey larger than life image of Pavan Kalyan.  Overall, it was just pure fun

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2 Comment on “Experiencing Pawanism (@ west side of the Atlantic)

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