The Name is Rajinikanth

The book on the table gives a Rajini glare !
It is with some level of interest that ‘The Name is Rajinikanth’ by Gayathri Sreekanth is being read here! It is a hagiography on the tamizh super star, who has had a stellar rise to super stardom ( yes, bus conductor ..etc etc ). The book caught the eye at a bookstore, but it was only when a senior IIM-A professor pulled this book out, in response to a question on what he was reading, that ensured a hastened to pick it up !

The book is a simple read, and it chronicles the rise & rise of Rajini through the years. This book of course, provides a run through like a neighbour who has peering eyes on your window. Standing afar but ‘knows’ whats up with you ! And in parts, appears rather hagiographic !

Whats more important is that it gives the average ‘English’ Rajini fan, a glimpse of the life and times of the Superstar ! If you overlook the flaws in the book, that is. Alternating between the ‘then’ and ‘now’, the book gives you numerous incidents. And if you are able to string your thoughts on the same & draw your own balanced views, well, it helps !

One other key reason for me to dive into the book is the intrigue that rests in me, about Rajinikant himself. What caused his meteoric rise ? How did it all happen ? Where did he find traction ? How does he carry on ? The book has various anecdotal references and tells you that he sleeps on the floor with no air-conditioners, travel in an old ambassador car, has no ego etc etc, but that, to me is data that is ab axial.

What perhaps is more important is the setting of a context to the data. That, is left to the reader !?!

So there. A collection of various incidents in his life, by an evident fan ! Thats that, on the book !!

Today Kuselan is released. 20 roles for the superstar they say. If he is supposed to be present in the film for only 25 % of the time, and he is supposed to don 20 different roles in that 25 % time, it is hoped they arent talking of costume changes !

And of course, there is considerable celebration around the release in itself. A theatre that closed down (to be converted into a mall) has reopened here in Mumbai. Am sure the fans will do their bit with aartis and pal abhishekam ( milk offerings), like the last time around, to his images.

Die hard fans will unilateraly declare a holiday and be at the theatres ! The star himself was present in yesterday’s news, for other reasons !

So, whats this all about ?

The book quotes someone call him a phenomenon. He sure is. Nothing else explains the Rajini magic that enguls Tamizh Nadu ! With fan clubs, and an army who twitch cigarettes and mouth his dialogues, because they were done by the star himself !

My hypothesis !?!

The sophisticated world has English Premier League. Formula 1. Were there is synchronised marketing and mass appeal built around an enigma. For the average tamizhian on the street, Rajinikant was is not only Formula 1, but also the only formula !!

PS : Early reviews by fans ( who went in for the 6.00 AM show have been very positive ). He is supposed to be playing himself. That explains the 20 roles !

I hope to know today evening !