So Shriya Was in Town? It’s Time to Stop Worshipping Celebrities


This past long weekend was a festive one in Toronto with the Toronto Jazz Festival, Ribfest, Pride Toronto, and of course Canada Day. But I neglected to mention another grand occasion. Of course, I’m referring to our Tamil aunties and uncles, annas and akkas, bachelors and spinsters who all gathered together to sneak a glimpse of Kollywood actress Shriya Saran. Yes, one the most anticipated events of the summer, Mega Blast, had much of the Tamil population hanging out at Markham Fairgrounds over the past weekend. But for what?

Aside from all the carnival rides and inflatable castles, the predominant focus in advertising the event were the Indian celebrities who would put on a live show. This live show would highlight performances by Krish, Nikhel Matthew, Rita, Madhu Balakrishnan, and the most awaited of all – Shriya Saran!

Let me start off with this. Madhu Balakrishnan was a no-show for God knows why. I don’t want to get into that. What I do want to get into is why Shriya came to this event. She likely spent all of 30 minutes on stage over the two days to gracefully awe us with her presence. The first day, she didn’t speak a word but still wooed us with her iconic hip roll. The second day was not entirely different from the first, aside from the few words she did say when the mic was handed to her.

Thousands of kids were pushed up against the fences to capture even the slightest bit of Shriya. But not all were fortunate to have something to post onto Instagram. This isn’t to bash Shriya as she has proved herself to be a gorgeous, talented actress that cares a lot for peoples with limitations. This is to question why a ton of money was spent on her to come here when it didn’t really need to be.

Our Tamil uncles and aunties worked extremely hard to escape war and to provide a better lifestyle for their kids. They started off with just pennies in their pockets and had to file cases and sponsor families to come to Canada. Today, our uncles, aunties, brothers, and sisters have established themselves. We are proud of how rapidly our friends and families have become accomplished in such a short period of time.

So why spend all that hard-earned money on celebrities? We are all well aware of the flight tickets, stretch Hummers, accommodations, food, and other travel expenses that function as incentives for these celebrities to fly overseas. All of which are paid for these celebrities to come to Canada. For? Oh, that’s right. To wave their arms proudly in front of thousands of Tamils.

Krish, Nikhel and Rita did their fair share and put on amazing performances. But why not highlight our local Toronto Tamil talents? It is necessary to pay singers from India to showcase their talents in Toronto when we have many here who are equally well-equipped with incredible talents? Why spend all that money on actors and singers to fly here from overseas when that money can be used for good causes here in Toronto?

We are a tight-knit community and are always looking for ways to further ourselves in society. Why not use that money to help our Tamil youth or the elderly? Why not highlight the talents our Toronto Tamils possess? Why not help our sisters and brothers who are struggling back home?

The event would have been a success regardless of who flew over to Canada to make the event happen. I’m not much of a busy-bee on the weekends, so I will go to these events to spend time with family and friends and to enjoy the performances by our Toronto Tamil sisters and brothers. And of course, to indulge in authentic kothu roti and grilled corn spiced with lime and mizhaga thool.

The bottom line is that I enjoyed the event and I know that almost everyone who went also did. The show was a huge success. All I’m saying is – does all that money really need to be “wasted”? It’s just not necessary.

What’s next? Now the word on the street is that Legend Star Night is coming up in August to help fundraise for cancer research at Scarborough Hospital. Did I mention that Surya, Madhavan, Andrea Jeremiah, Prabhu Deva, Vivek, Rukmini, Shruti Hassan and Shriya Saran are just some of the celebrities who will be gracing us with their presence that night?

I suppose none of the hospitals in India need financial support for cancer research given that they’re all coming here to help fundraise for a Toronto hospital. Indians have it figured out: Turmeric is the cure for cancer. Should I even get into the amount of money that will be spent to host these celebrities? And for those who are hosting the event – why not donate the hundreds of thousands of dollars directly to the hospital if you really care for the cause so much? Remember folks, this is a “fundraising” event. You know what I’m implying here so I’ll leave it at that.

Pathetic Tamils. #SorryNotSorry

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect TamilCulture’s editorial policy.

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6 thoughts on “So Shriya Was in Town? It’s Time to Stop Worshipping Celebrities

  1. I agree with you that we need to bring out our Tamil talents more to the stage, but these investors are thinking in a business mind.
    Think about it why did you go to the event… probably to see someone that has accomplished something that you would not normally see in your own country. This is where these peeps with money invest and get a greater return with the amount of money people spend at these events.
    In the end it is all a marketing scheme, think about it you feel good for going to an event where it is sending money to a charity so you don’t feel guilty when you are enjoying yourself at these events.

  2. Don’t agree with the author, I think you’re thinking rainbows and unicorns versus the reality. Help “the tamil youth and elderly”, there are plenty of events for fundraising for senior homes, and opportunities for tamil youth to showcase their talents. I see Toronto Tamil singers on TV ALL the time.  These big names draw people in,  you take the costs and whatever is left over goes to charity. That’s how Charity Galas run. Why go to Charity dinner events, spend money on food, dining, wine and auctions when you can just donate the money straight to the hospital? It’s a little incentive to donating. Having fun, seeing some famous people and donating.  Though Shriya might be overkill, look at the crowds that were brought in. I’m sorry, and in NO insult to the local talent, but there’s little comparison. Local talent is good, enjoyable, but these singers from India have that extra umph. They have MANY events that showcase local talent, what’s wrong with doing something different once in a while? Nothing. 

    and so NOT Pathetic Tamils.  #youshouldbesorry

  3. And, sorry, by exaggerating your point which does seem to criticize society’s fascination with celebrities/star power. Let’s just watch locally made tamil movies (a joke) and why don’t we boycott Hollywood movies and television while we’re at it.  Let’s admit it, I would go all fangirl if i EVER saw anyone famous walking down the street.
    Celebrities draw in crowds, and I don’t see anything wrong with them coming to shows. Sure they’re expensive, but it should be accounted for in the budget, and even if a few thousand dollars were donated from that concert, isn’t it better than nothing?

  4. I agree that it would be great to give young local talent a space to thrive . . . but from my experience . . . that’s already happening.  Young local talent is EVERYWHERE. Like another commenter had mentioned – they are on tv all the time and there are lots of stages for them to perform at.   Sometimes I just want some glitz and glamor.  Sure Shriya is ‘just another star’ but I think if people want an afternoon away from the stress of real life to just unwind with friends and family, they should have that option too.  I would compare Mega Blast to reality TV shows, of course they are brainless and do nothing but entertain . . . but what’s wrong with that?  Haven’t our struggles as a community earned us the right to have a good time?

  5. I understand what you are trying to convey. But then listen, so for this Mega Blast, it’s a business trick that they brought Shreya over here. As some other people have commented below, many many people came over to the event just to see Shreya, Including me (Frankly). They made a lot and lot of money – over what they paid shreya to come over here. An example would be the lucky draw for the car. I saw people buying  lots of tickets like 100 and 200 tickets each individual. Now see, lets say, for example, 100 people bought tickets for the draw. And many be 1/2 of them (or even more) bought like100 tickets each. If one ticket it $1, and 50×100 = 500+100= that would be a 600 already. Now we know there were a million of tamils gathered together and I’m sure more than 60% of them (or even more) bought those tickets.Now you understand it – and why do you think they bought the tickets? first yes, of course they  wanted to win the car, but then there is another reason too – the key will be awarded to the winner by Shreya. So I would say this is not a “waste” of money, but then it’s a total business trick which really worked out. And now coming to the LEGEND thing,  well I would agree it’s again a waste of money to bring all those celebrities over here, but then if they are making money over what they spent for the celebrities, then it’s reasonable. right?

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