Who Is Rajinikant?

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For all those who are from the late 80s and thereafter, the name Rajinikant means “ishtyle” and style means Rajinikanth. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever the word style can be associated only with Superstar Rajinikanth.

Coming from a non-filmy background, for Rajinikath, the transformation from an unknown bus conductor to being the numero uno star in Tamil filmdom has not happened just by pure luck. His perseverance, hard work and risk-taking attitude have been the key factors that propelled his career from a non-entity to dizzying heights in the Cinema industry. People affectionately call him as “Thalaivar”, which means leader and he calls himself as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad.

As the legendary Shivaji Ganesan’s era was coming to an end, the Tamil audiences were introduced to a powerful person called Rajinikant and we loved the way he delivered his dialogues. He is best known for his mannerisms and tried different body languages in every movie, which became an instant hit. Basha was the movie which gave him a demi-god status and it remains one of his best movies of all time. Majority of his movies were remakes, but he added his personal charisma to it and made it look much better than the original. In the late 80s, his transformation from an antagonist to protagonist was brilliant, though he fitted both the roles perfectly. The Padma Bhushan awardee has not received many awards in his real life, but will always have the love of millions of fans all over the world (may be all over the universe too).

Rajinikant has a class of his own that he carried from one movie to another. We never demanded him to take different roles because we loved him the way he was. Unlike his co-stars, Rajinikant never experimented with his scripts and always gave what his fans wanted. “Entertainment” is the only word to describe thalaivar’s movies. Rajinikant movies had everything to entertain us for three hours and as a fan, you wont be disappointed with any of his films. He will speak in English, walk in English and laugh in English. He will fly and kick the baddies and will drive a car on a building. He will shoot with his finger and turn into a giant anaconda that swallows a helicopter. Everything he does is style and we like it. He walks, flips his jacket, pops a cigar and delivers a punch dialogue “naa oruthadava sonna, nooru thadava sonna madiri”. A mere remembrance of that dialogue gives one goosebumps. That’s the power of Thalaivar’s voice. We never complained when he did gravity defying stunts, but enjoyed them in awe.

Unlike his on-screen aura, Rajinikant is an ordinary person who is down to earth, boy next door types. Though Rajinikant had started showing the effects of aging rather prominently in the last 2 decades, he never tried to morph into a younger persona off screen. As young kids, we had a hard time accepting the real Rajinikant because we thought he looked like Manick Basha even in real life. Simplicity is the only adjective that I found to describe Rajinkanth’s off-screen life. The secret of his success is his character to look back at his past and never forget the path he traveled.

A typical theater atmosphere during a Rajini movie will be with fans shouting and dancing, whistling for every dialogue and outside, the drums and fireworks fill the scene, which is an experience not to be missed by every true blooded Tamil cinema fan. To conclude a non-concludable paen on the ‘Thalaiavar’, suffice is to say that we will continue queuing all night to get tickets for all Rajini films till he is a doddering old man and enjoy the pride of watching his first day first show.

As the joke goes, When Graham Bell discovered the first phone, he already had two missed calls from Rajinikanth. Mind it!

Thalaiva, we love you forever!

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