>> Thursday, February 10, 2011
The story of the brand called Rajinikanthh is unique and heart warming. It’s a classic example of the famous rags to riches story. If you were a frequent traveller on route 10A of the Bangalore local bus transport many years ago, chances are that Rajnikath may have sold you your bus ticket. A modest beginning and in his own impeccable style all he says is this - “Yesterday I was a conductor, today I’m a star, tomorrow what I’ll be only He knows!”.
A Rajni movie releasing is an event that’s marked in peoples calendars. Every social and business appointment stands cancelled on the release date because if you are a true fan of the big boss, you got to be there First day first show. The release of Shivaji- the boss, showed me what it actually means to be a fan. Problems with the release in Bangalore didn’t stop the fans from travelling to the remotest parts of Tamil Nadu just so that they were sure they would manage a ticket!! I came across 2 such people in office and it took me a while to digest how one man could generate such a loyal and enthusiastic fan following!
There are over a 1000 of the evergreen Rajni jokes on the internet and you could read them over and over again and never stop laughing! They are a tribute to the man and the great things ONLY he can do. Politics, social work, controversies – he has been part of it all – taking Tamil Nadu politics to newer heights and lightning up a few lives by the gift of giving, such superstars are indeed rare.
So here’s to the man who stood by it all – good times and bad, hits and some rare flops, awards and controversies, and is undoubtedly one of the biggest ever stars of his time!
- Although known as Rajnikath, he was born Shivaji Rai Gaekwad on Dec 12th, 1949. He was named Rajnikanth by his mentor and well known director K. Balachandar.
- He has acted in a total of 171 movies, the last being Ethiran in 2010.
- For his role in Shivaji, he was paid a whopping 26 crore rupees and is the highest paid Asian actor after Jackie Chan.
- Ethiran in 2010, paid Rajnikath a 45 crore rupees.
- Receipient of the Padma Bhushan award in 2000.
- His first movies
- Tamil : Aboorva Raagangal(1975).
- Kannada : Katha Sangama (1976)
- Malayalam : Allauddinum Albhutha Vilakkum (1979).
- Bollywood : Andha Kanoon(1983).
- Bengali : Baghya Devatha(1980's).
- English : Bloodstone(1988).
- The film Chandramukhi ran for a total of 800 days, the longest ever for any Tamil film in India.
- The only movie in which Rajni sang a song for was Mannan in 1992.
- 12 of his movies are remakes of Amitabh Bachan movies.
- In 2008, a few of his fans started their own political party for the man himself and called it the Desiya Dravadar Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (DDMMK).
- In 2007, he was named NDTV Indian Entertainer of the year and was honoured with the Raj Kapoor Award.
- His film Muthu was dubbed into Japanese and Chandramukhi was dubbbed in German.
- The Tamil superstar ironically did not know to speak Tamil, until he was advised to learn the language by director K. Balachandar.
- Rajni's long time friend and driver of the 10A route KSRTC bus played a small role in his film Valli.
- Bairavi(1978) was the first Tamil film to cast him as a solo hero.