Who cares about Thackerays? Who recognise them beyond the Indian shores?
IANS correspondent Viral Shah reports from La Paz in Bolivia that a cab driver there is a great fan of Shah Ruk Khan. Jorge Ramirez, who might be meeting an Indian for the first time in his life, said on seeing the correspondent,"From India?" "Shah Rukh Khan?" Before he ould answer even that, he popped in a CD in his cab's player that belted out "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham."
To be asked about Shah Rukh in the midst of the Andes at the elevation of over 12,000 feet was surprising enough. What added to it was Jorge's excitement at meeting someone who was from the same country and, therefore, by implication his favourite star's representative.
Without understanding a word of the song Jorge was occasionally humming along songs from Shah Ruk Khan's movies.
"I love Shah Rukh Khan and I have seen many of his movies," Ramirez told IANS. As if to prove his knowledge of the actor's body of work he mentioned "Karan Arjun", "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai", "Chalte Chalte", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", "Kal Ho Na Ho" and "Main Hoon Na".
"I found 'Kal Ho Na Ho' very touching, with Shah Rukh Khan's heart problem. I remember 'Karan Arjun' was about two brothers and a mother. I also loved 'Main Hoon Na'," Ramirez said as he seemed to process the complicated names of movies.
Ramirez said his CDs and DVDs of Shah Rukh movies came from Lima, the capital of neighbouring Peru. When told about the actor's new movie "My Name Is Khan", which Ramirez did not know of, he promised to get it from Lima on his next trip there.
It is hard to gauge how popular Hindi movies are in this part of the world, but if a visit to a corporate office the next day is any indication, their popularity certainly stretches beyond Ramirez. An office worker was playing a Shah Rukh song on her PC!