On his birthday on January 8, Kannada superstar Yash encountered the kind of adulation never seen before in this country. The mass of humanity which descended on Bengaluru from all over Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, consisted of nearly 5 lakh people.
Says a source very close to the Superstar, “He didn’t want to celebrate his birthday as such. When last year his senior co-actor Ambareesh whom he respects a lot, passed away, Yash declared he won’t celebrate his birthday. One of his fans was so upset he set himself on fire in front of Yash’s residence. Yash rushed to the hospital where the fan died. But not before he wished his idol a happy birthday. After last year’s horrible incident which has been weighing on Yash’s mind, he decided to let his fans do what they like on his birthday this year.”
On earlier occasions the fans swamped at Yash’s residence on his birthday. This time, to avoid any mob stampede or any untoward incident, Yash’s fans were called to an open field to celebrate his birthday.
A cardboard cut-out of the Superstar which was 240-feet tall was erected. Yash saw the gigantic cut-out swaying dangerously.
Says the source, “No actor in India has been this honoured. Such a tall cut-out has never been erected for any actor in any part of the world. It could have toppled over anytime and killed many in the field. Yash immediately asked the cut-out to be taken down. A chopper had to be used to bring down the cut-out.
Yash’s fans had ordered a 5,000 kg cake which Yash cut after which the cake was distributed into orphanages all across Bengaluru.
Yash was taken aback by the size of the crowds this birthday.
“It is a big responsibility,” Yash admits. “This kind of adulation is unheard of. What if I disappoint them with my behaviour? Luckily for me, for my birthday, my fans expected nothing from me. They just wanted me to come to the venue there. During my birthday, on earlier occasions I have served them food at my residence. This time I didn’t even have a chance to extend that minimum courtesy and hospitality. All they wanted was for me to be there. Such unconditional love from the fans is overwhelming, and scary too.What if I let them down?”