As the saying goes, you have fans and then you have ‘jabra’ fans. One such fan (Mr. Sanjay Patodia) of the superstar Amitabh Bachchan decided to become his devotee instead. So, the latest addition to the ‘God’ list is none other than the ‘Shehenshah’ himself.
Yes you read that right. Sanjay built a shrine in Kolkata for his ‘God’, Amitabh Bachchan. This temple has been splashed generously with slogans such as ‘sorry God we worship Amitji more than you’ and ‘thank you God for being among us as an actor’.
The rooms of this temple has a montage of Amitabh Bachchan’s photographs from his various films and visits to Kolkata, as well as pictures of the welfare work done by the All Bengal Amitabh Bachchan Fan’s Association. The inner shrine has been pasted with a ‘Jai Shree Amitabh ‘wall paper. The altar comprises an ornate dark-green chair procured from the sets of Aks(given by Rakesh Om Prakash Mehra). On the chair is placed a glass case with a pair of white leather shoes inside it, the same shoes that Amitabh wore in the film Agnipath (given by Amitabh himself ).
On the glass case rests Bachchan’s portrait. While entering the sanctum sanctorum, Patodia adorns a ramawali that has ‘’HarHar Amitabh’’ and ‘’ Jai Shree Amitabh’’ printed all over it.
Amitabh is worshipped here as a God with full rites and rituals being showered on him as to any other God, including the ‘film aarti’ sung to him in faithful devotion to the sounds of cymbals and bells.
The fan craze:
Every year on the superstar’s birthday,Patodia along with other devotees make their annual pilgrimage to Mumbai to see him in flesh and blood. They celebrate the release of any of his movies by distributing sweets and roses outside of the movie halls. They are even promoting his upcoming movie Sarkaar3 in their own way.
The welfare work:
Along with other important dates related to the superstar’s life, the All Bengal Amitabh Bachchan Fan’s Association, celebrate August 2nd as his‘second birthday’ or ‘World Fan’s day’ as it was the day when he recovered from coma due to hisfatal injury he had incurred on the sets of Coolie.On this day, besides performing regular rituals, the devotees organize blood donation camps, distribute books and clothes to the poor, etc. and at other times they teach children, distribute water, send donations to areas of natural calamities, etc.
Amitabh’s show of gratitude towards the welfare work they do:
Last year he watched the special screening of all three movies (Wazir, Teen, Pink) with his fans from this association. He has even mentioned about these fans in his book ‘Main Amitabh Bachchan bol raha hu’. He does not like the fact that there is a shrine for him but feels blessed to know that they do social work through this organization.
Sanjay said “I have met him several times and I consider it my good fortune that whenever I call out to him he recognizes my voice. What is a greater gift than God acknowledging his devotee?”
Such is Sanjay’s devotion that he has named his two children after Amitabh’s son and grandson.
When asked why he is worshipping a shoe, he said “I considerIt to be his feet ‘charanpaduka’, just like how Bharat kept Ram’s shoe on the throne for 14yrs.” He also added that soon they are going to install a statue of Amitabh Bachchan which will embody these shoes, his watch, his sunglasses and some more items personally used by him. “This will be better than the one in Madame Tussauds as that does not have a personal touch.”