Mumbai, It’s not just the Indian milieu that identified with the concept of “3 Idiots” but the blockbuster also touched a chord with the Non Resident Indians (NRIs) abroad, says actor R Madhavan, who hosted “Coffee with an Idiot” in the US.
“I was struck by the level of intellectual and mass connectivity the NRIs in the US had with ’3 Idiots’. It’s opened up a whole new discussion on the education system and the role of Indian cinema in bridging the gap between oriental and western perceptions on the power of the youth,” Madhavan said.
“It was a very select gathering, intellectual and fun at the same time. The whole idea of Coffee with an Idiot was inspired by 3 Idiots. I wanted the film’s success to be the take-off point for cosy sit-in dinners with a selected audience in four American cities namely Dallas, San Jose, New Jersey and Chicago. The interaction in each city lasted for nearly two hours,” he said.
But all this happened by chance. During his recent visit to Canada with his wife and son, Madhavan was invited to the Sundance Film Festival by his “3 Idiots” co-star Aamir Khan.
However, Aamir’s father passed away in the meantime.
Says Madhavan: “I was supposed to join Aamir at the Sundance film festival and, in fact, all set to leave from Canada to the US when news came that Aamir had to rush back. Of course, I was disappointed. I was hoping to participate in the festival with Aamir and catch his film ‘Peepli Live’ which I have’t seen. But more than disappointment I was concerned for Aamir’s loss. We all were.”
With Sundance cancelled Madhavan decided to take a different route and ventured on “Coffee with an Idiot”.
“In many ways, I owe the concept and its success to Aamir. If ’3 Idiots’ hadn’t happened, such a creative forum discussing education and the youth wouldn’t have opened up. On a more microscopic level, it was Aamir’s invitation to Sundance which actually made my ‘Coffee with an Idiot’ tour possible,” said Madhavan.
However, quite like the protagonist in “3 Idiots”, Madhavan seems confused about his future.
“I’ve a thriving career in Tamil and my career in Hindi cinema has just found its bearings. I can’t pretend that a ’3 Idiots’ will happen again. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. So when I am asked during the promotional tours of ‘Teen Patti’ if it will be as big a success as ’3 Idiots’, I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and running the other way.”