Well, if you’re thinking that this article is about his films and all the splendid work he does, you’re are not thinking differently. This isn’t about the great Ananth Mahadevan we all know, rather it’s about this humble and enlightened man I know. I’m a selfish man and all the articles on this blog are always about me — to an extent.
I’m always sitting in a corner with my questions. But, the first question is how, in this age of vanity and madness, did a common man get access to a cinematic celebrity in the first place? The answer to this question isn’t even clear to me but when I say that he’s a friend, I mean we’re friends on Facebook.
It all started somewhere in 2009-10 when I joined social networking sites to make social friends. I wasn’t satisfied with what I had and started sending unethical friend requests to strangers — many times to Bollywood celebrities whom I admired all my life or just to look cool and connected. I sent a friendship request to many; including this gentleman. And guess what, he was humble and accepted my request.
For many years when I was on my ego trip because I’d a few popular film celebrities in my friend list. But, as usual, I was blind to see that none ever responded. I still chose to be blind till 2014-15, while I was on an inner journey, and realized that it’s not about numbers or people in friend list, it’s about the people who care and connect. I realized this and removed all of them except this gentleman — he was the only one who responded sometimes.
I’ve seen him in films since childhood but I got to know a completely flip perspective about him through this social media friendship. Although it was never about asking for any favors, rather just about admiration, this friend never-ever questioned me about my unsolicited friendship request. I don’t know why he accepted my request but I’m grateful for this gesture.
If you need to know the character of a man observe the way he interacts with a stranger.Mahatma Gandhi
If we consider the above quote, he’s the only man, from the film fraternity, who has done interactions with me — however small they were. This is the part that has touched my heart and I’m writing this post. I understand that it’s not ethical to send friend requests to people you don’t know, especially celebrities, but I did a mistake and I ain’t regretful about the last one whom I didn’t unfriend.
Whatever happened is gone, but he’s the only man who has still kept a stranger like me on his friend list, and I have kept him on mine as a reminder of unquestioned humanity, compassion.
In 2017, I was fortunate enough to meet him personally and take his autograph in my autograph book.