JANANI KARTHIK DECCAN CHRONICLE
Fan club put a 500 kg garland worth `1.25 lakh on a Thala cutout outside Albert theatre
The celebrations associated with the release of an Ajith film are as legendary as the star himself. Billa 2 is no different.
Thala’s fans ordered a special 500 kg garland to put around the 35-foot cutout of the actor outside Albert theatre in Chennai. The garland, made in Bengaluru, cost Rs 1.25 lakh and it took another Rs 15,000 to transport it.
In the past Ajith’s fans have organised annadhanams and abhishegams to mark his film’s release. This despite the star asking them not to spend money on such things.
Sachin Mani, an Ajith fan in charge of celebrations at theatres, said, “We spend close to Rs 20,000 for every Thala release. As Billa 2 is a big film we planned for a bigger celebration. We have spent Rs 1.25 lakh on the garland and another Rs 20,000 for a newspaper ad.
He has always told us not to spend money on him. But this is the only way we can express our love for him. His film is like Diwali and Pongal for us.
We like to celebrate it in a grand manner. We organised annadhanam in an orphanage at the time of release. That gives us complete satisfaction.”
A senior member of the fan club, who has been associated with the first day first show celebrations for 16 years, said, “Anything for Ajith.
Fans from Bengaluru also contributed for the garland. It is a kind of family function for us and we don’t mind spending those extra bucks for our dearest Thala.”
Mariyappan, manager of Albert theatre, said, “It was like a festival at the theatre. The fans were overwhelmed. Though almost all stars have the big openings, Ajith has the biggest opening.”
Why do the fans, most of whom come from the middle classes, spend so much money to celebrate Ajith’s films despite instructions from him not to do so?
Sachin said, “He is our only entertainment. He makes us happy with his screen presence. We express our gratitude with these celebrations.”
Source: Deccan Chronicle (Dated: 16-7-2012)