Why is our Superstar an inimitable phenomenon?


By Kaushik L M

Today being Superstar Rajini’s birthday, we decided to go down memory lane and come up with a few facets of the legend, which makes him a cut above the rest.

That he is a god fearing man is known to the whole world. Rajini used a few of his movies to openly propagate some of his beliefs and even his punch dialogs would echo his philosophies. Many of his landmark movies had names of the Almighty, be it Annamalai, Raghavendra, Arunachalam, Baba, Padayappa and even the upcoming Kochadaiyaan.

Rajini’s style quotient is again a phenomenon which has seeped into the far corners of the world. The way he walks, talks, laughs and the way he dresses are some of the factors which add to his style quotient. But, it is his hair which will always be his USP. He had such an enviable crop of hair all through the 70s, 80s and early 90s. Youngsters and kids would visit saloon shops and demand a ‘Rajini cut’. The man popularized many styles in the state, be it the funk, the ‘paratta’, the centre partition, the side partition and more.

Rajini is a major factor in popularizing the simple ‘kurta-pyjama’ attire in the state. He would invariably sport a white pair in his public appearances or resort to the even simpler white shirt-dhoti routine. Only on rare occasions such as the Enthiran audio launch, during fasts, public protests or on the day when he received NDTV’s ‘Entertainer of the Decade Award’, did Rajini fall back on a formal shirt and trouser.

When an actor is referred and eulogized even in movies of which he isn’t a part of, then he truly has to be a phenomenon. Right from aspiring stars to the ‘King Khan’, the Rajini wave has swept them all. The latest instance being the much-debated but wildly popular ‘Lungi Dance’ which was designed as a tribute to Thalaivar.

Speaking of Thalaivar and other such tag lines, two of the popular monikers of the current age, Thala and Thalapathy, have a direct connection to Rajini. Thalapathy continues to be a much-loved Rajini movie till date, while ‘Thala’ is a shorter derivative of ‘Thalaivar’.

The demand for Rajini’s rousing yesteryear hits in the remake market is all too well-known. There have been some memorable remakes like Billa and some forgettable ones too, such as Murattu Kaalai and Guru Sishyan. Even now, the big stars keep revisiting some of Rajini’s old hits with an eye on remaking them. Rajini’s yesteryear titles are again a phenomenon be it Padikathavan or Polladhavan.

Appreciating other stars sometimes at his own expense is another of Rajini’s glowing traits. No one can forget his humble and moving speech at the event to commemorate Kamal’s 50 years in cinema. He spices up his speeches at such public gatherings with anecdotes and tales from his extensive reading of philosophical literature.

Though age has taken a little toll on his health and some of his physical traits over the years, Rajini has to be among the few stars who have maintained their weight and body shape. No excess flab to be seen!

Rajini has also displayed the maturity and levelheadedness to admit to his foibles and some of the bad habits that he had in the past. This idea of letting go of the past and looking ahead to the future, is one worth pursuing.

It’s fitting to end this with what the great man said at an event last year, a day after his birthday

"My health problem is due to my own fondness to tobacco and alcohol. There was a time I used to drink a lot. It's important to have a good friend, more than God and a good wife. Because of bad company, I got into drinking and as more money came in I tried all expensive drinks. As someone who has enjoyed and 'experienced' it all I tell you, please give up smoking and drinking"




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