He’s been a slave. A crook. Both the Hunter and the Hunted. A Teacher and a Student.
Autodriver, Don, Scrientist, Robot….God. /\
Today, 12.12.12, is the birthday of the Man who created God with his smile.
There are few in this world who has enamored as many hearts as one Mr. Shivaji Rao Gaikwad. Wait, what? You haven’t heard of that name? Well, he goes by another name too. Rajinikanth.
The City of Chennai, an unassuming, calm and hawt city to the south of India is celebrating the last festival of the year. (Sorry guys, Xmas has been overshadowed here!) Drumrolls, paal-abishekams, dances and revelry abounds the place.
For Rajini is a not just a mere phenomenon. He is THE phenomenon.
Ask for a logical reason for his popularity and you won’t ever be satisfied. He is not an Adonis, no 6-pack also! He is 63 years old and has romanced with over 5 generations of heroines on-screen. He has lost more hair than his movies tend to show.
But, the moment you see ‘Superstar’ followed, letter-by-letter, by ‘Rajini’, glowing with lights and glitter; when you hear 200 people in the same room whistle and howl, chanting “Thalaivar! Thalaivar!”; when you see the phenomenon, boot first, walking towards his adversary, the camera snaking its way to see a finger pointed upwards and hands deftly manipulating his sunglasses; when you heard the introduction song by the mesmeric SPB; and finally when you see that walk and that smile, you will know why he is larger than life.
He is the perfect example of rags-to-riches. He is the epitome of simplicity and humility.
Perhaps the best way to describe it is the famous line from his hit movie, Padayyapa:
“Unna en ellarukkum pidichirukku theriyuma?…Vayasanalum, un azhagum style um innum unna vittu pogala”
[“Do you know why everyone loves you?…However much you have aged, you have not lost your charm and style”]
Critics say his movies are cheap commercial trash, nothing compared to his counterpart Kamal, who has admirably shown his love for the cinematic arts in every possible way. Critics say he has no talent. Well, critics can watch Moondru Mugam and go jump in a well. For it was his choice to do what he loves. And thankfully, what we love as well.
Me being rendered speechless is a rare occasion. This is one such.
From Billa to Basha, Arunachalam to Endhiran, Annamalai to Mappillai, Muthu to Sivaji;
Here’s to Rajinikanth. Happy Birthday, Sir.
PS: The West has Chuck Norris, we have Rajini. And he could easily give Norris a run for his money.
Hurt? Go buy a lollipop.