Today superstar Rajnikanth turns a year older, and the legend continues to enthrall his fans worldwide. Take this opportunity to wish this phenomenal star on his 58th birthday!
India’s highest paid actor, the movie star with probably the world’s highest number of official fan clubs, the actor who commands a God-like veneration from millions of fans….If you are busy raking up names of Bollywood bigwigs, stop in your tracks and head southwards. The Man in question is the one and only Rajnikanth.
Born to Maharashtrian parents as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajni eked out a living as a carpenter and bus conductor before striking gold in Tamil moviedom.
When thousands of Tamilians forego their meals to appease the Gods, dunk cardboard cut-outs with gallons of milk, and wait anxiously for hours on the streets, what do you think the occasion could be? A major religious festival? Attempts to avert a natural calamity? Nope! These are the usual rituals accompanying the release of every Rajnikanth movie! Rajnikanth enjoys phenomenal popularity and is a cult figure down south. The best indicator is the moolah he commands per movie - an unprecedented equivalent of 4 million dollars, much more than what the Big B earns. His last release, Sivaji - The Boss, hit the big screen with 700 prints and has smashed all box office records. His fan clubs transcend boundaries of language and region and extend to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, and Japan.
So, what is the magic behind the Rajni-mania? Is it the thespian’s inspiring rags-to-riches story? Or is it the fact that he has breathed life into some fine entertainers like Billa, Badshah, Dalapati and Arunachalam. Probably the hero-worship has something to do with his unique style - a toss of the cigarette, a flip of the sunglasses, gravity and logic defying stunts, and some ingenious punch lines thrown in for effect? His down-to-earth persona and passion for humanitarian causes have added to his charm.
Chance or charisma, design or destiny - the debate can go on forever. Die-hard Rajni fans couldn’t care less. For them, there is only one ultimate truth - Rajnikanth is their Thalaivar, the unquestioned leader.
Are you a Rajnikanth fan? What do you think of this kind of adulation? Is it mere infatuation or a spirited form of art appreciation? We’d love to know your views.
Don’t forget to post your birthday wishes for Rajni!