function to celebrate 40 years of the Directors’
Association was held at the Nehru Indoor Stadium
in Chennai on Saturday, 23rd Oct. The event
was attended by almost all the directors of
the industry and was also illuminated with
the presence of many of the top stars. The
event consisted of a formal morning session
which featured mainly talks and interactive
sessions amongst the directors. But, the latter
half of the event was colorful and energetic
with performances from stars of different
The entertainment half of the function was
noted for the screening of a documentary on
the works of Bharathiraja, currently the President
of the Directors’ Association. The documentary
was directed by Vasanth and featured clippings
from many of the unforgettable hits of the
director like 16 Vayadhinile and Alaigal Oyvadhillai.
This was followed by a dance performance by
Anagha (Sindhu Samaveli fame), evergreen hits
of the Bharathiraja-Ilaiyaraja team and some
extremely well choreographed dance performances
by Sameera Reddy and Charmi. Superstar’s
arrival at the function set the tone for the
Endhiran songs to set the stage on fire with
Sameera Reddy wowing the audience. Charmi
followed suit and won a huge round of applause.
But, it was not only the new generation of
heroines who danced with nimble feet. Yesteryear
heroines too proved that the years have not
dimmed their skills. Roja was close to her
best as she danced away, showing that not
even her entry into politics can dim her artistic
talents. Devayani also showed that she is
not too old to shake a leg. And, the arrival
of the famous yesteryear on screen teenage
couple of Karthik and Radha lit up the stage.
The entry of Ilaiyaraja into the function
lifted the mood of the evening a notch higher,
so did the arrival of Vijay. The loudest cheers
were however reserved for Superstar who seemed
to be in very high spirits as he enjoyed the
performances and interacted with others present.
The high point of the event was when director
K Balachander called Rajinikanth up on stage
to ‘interview’ him. The director
said that these were questions that had been
on his mind for a very long time. Presented
to you here as a transcript.
KB: What do you feel you have lost
out on because of the fame cinema has given
Rajni: I cannot be an ordinary man, move
around like people do, go out eat in a restaurant
or take a walk. Perhaps, this is what I have
KB: Tamil cinema has elevated you
to such great heights, what would you offer
Rajni: I will definitely do something that
Tamil cinema can be proud of.
KB: Have you ever felt jealous?
Rajni: Yes, upon seeing some people during
my visits to the Himalayas. They seem to have
an inner peace and tranquility that we do
A few questions tested Rajinikanth’s
diplomacy skills – but he came out with
KB: You have achieved so much in
cinema. When can we expect a National Award?
Rajni: (Laughs) That is not with me. It
is up to you directors to give me roles that
might fetch awards.
KB: Your favorite politician!
Rajni: Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, he has
overseen the development of that city. (Now,
there was no answer more ‘politically’
correct than that one. Some people probably
expected him to say Bal Thackeray after the
recent statement that he made.)
KB: Your favorite director
Rajni: (without pausing to think) Mahendran
(no diplomacy here)