Dufan Christine is one of the newest citizens of our land. Did you need further evidence that Hrithik’s charisma and personality can capture hearts irrespective of time, age and distance? Look no further than her. She may have been one of countless who met him at IIFA but what she brought away from that experience is unique, special and something she will never forget. Here’s her story.
First, let me say that this was my first IIFA event because I just “discovered” Bollywood movies back in December of last year but have fallen hopelessly in love with both the genre and especially India’s most amazing heart throb: Hrithik Roshan. Since I live in Florida, just a couple of hours from Tampa, I was extremely happy to think that the event would be in my back yard, and even more thrilled when I realized that I might actually get to meet these wonderful stars in person.
My husband and I woke up early on Thursday morning to drive across the state. (Honestly, I couldn’t sleep anymore out of excitement!) We arrived at Tampa International Airport around 10:00 am, and had an opportunity to walk around a little, pick up an IIFA/TPA badge and booklet, and snap a picture of an ad for the event with Hrithik’s photo. Then we rushed up to the rooftop “green carpet” to await the stars’ arrival.
While waiting, we talked among ourselves to discover that some folks had come from New York, some from Chicago, and some were more local like myself. Still the excitement filled the air! Every time a star would land and the announcement was made, a cheer would go up! After 4 hours of waiting, my heart was pounding and I was nervous because when they announced that Hrithik had landed, the rooftop went crazy!
We tried to contain ourselves, but I don’t think we were able. When Hrithik stepped into the doorway leading out to the rooftop, the crowd surged and screamed! Suddenly, I was pressed against the barricade and breathless with anticipation and the pressure of 300 screaming fans!
As Hrithik walked along, the crowd moved with him, but I held my spot near the door. I prayed that I would just get one clear photo of him. I held my copy of “Jodhaa Akbar” and a black marker close so as not to lose it in the crowd.
Then suddenly, everyone rushed to the other end of the carpet. I was bewildered because I didn’t realize that he had walked out in to the crowd; all I knew was that there was a vacuum as all the people had been carried away by his presence.
Then just as suddenly, the crowd surged back against me, pressing me hard against the barricade. He was coming back! And all I could think was “Please! Please! Sign this DVD!” I held out the video and marker as far as I could, hoping and praying that Hrithik would take pity on me.
Seeing my hope, one of his bodyguards, took the DVD and pen, and keep it within Hrithik’s reach until he had a second to autograph the cover. Hrithik signed it, then shook my hand as he returned it to me!
(Let me take a moment here to say a huge thank you to that bodyguard! I may never know your name, Sir, but I will always be indebted to you for your act of kindness!)
Now there were 300 people on that rooftop. Hrithik shook hands, gave autographs, waved, and leaned in for selfies for several of us…but I felt like it was just for me. There was magic there that I can’t explain except to say that even in a sea of people, Hrithik made me feel like I mattered. Me–a brand new Bollywood lover–now a lifelong Dufan!!
Other stars got applause; Hrithik received screams of welcome. The rooftop came alive for those few minutes that he was there with us. I for one will never forget it, or the sweet people that made it possible.
You may have seen my picture on Facebook or Twitter with my prized copy autographed copy of “Jodhaa Akbar”. I’m still on cloud nine because of the experience. I enjoyed Hrithik’s movies before…but now I assure you that I will not willingly miss anything that he is a part of!
My husband and I don’t speak Hindi, so the probably lovely jokes told at the award ceremony were lost on us. The music and dance, however, were awesome!
Again, the crowd clapped for other stars but went wild for Hrithik! Even at 3:00 am, after nearly passing out from standing at the green carpet for the ceremony during the heat of the day, I was hooting and screaming when they finally announced Hrithik’s showstopping dance number! (I know it wasn’t the planners’ intention that Hrithik’s number should be the last item on the agenda, but sadly once he performed we watched as half the stadium cleared out prior to the announcement of the Best Picture Award. Clearly, Hrithik Roshan IS a Showstopper!)
I will never forget this magical, surreal experience. I touched the hand of a man–a mega movie star with a heart of gold and eyes that mesmerize–but more importantly, I made contact with a national treasure that moves me to dig deeper into an unfamiliar culture with new love and respect for people who I might never have been fortunate enough to know otherwise.
Five months ago I didn’t know what Twitter was or how to use Facebook; now I have “tweet friends” in India, Austrailia, Peru, England, and locally. All because of Hrithik Roshan.
Thank you, Hrithik, for giving me an autograph…a handshake…a smile…and the world! #HrithikRules!
Contributed by: Christine Fain (Twitter: @cfain63)