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Ajith Kumar is a superstar. The above statement cannot be gainsaid. His legion of fans can easily take over the world in terms of sheer strength of numbers. And they are all so crazy about him it is not even funny. Moreover, everything the man does make news. If he happens to cook up a batch of pasta or whip up some biriyani, that inconsequential event is deemed headline worthy. In recent times, the craze for Ajith keeps on increasing. Every tired, boring bit of information about his upcoming films is dredged up and circulated among his fans, who ravenous for news about Ajith, just devour it up and demand more. The hysteria and frenzy generated on account of Ajith seems to be catching up with Rajini fever.

Although, Ajith has been a huge star for a while now impervious to hits and flops, this ascent to a whole new level of celebdom seems a little inexplicable. When he first started out as an extremely skinny youngster with the charming smile, it must be admitted that there was little indication that a star was born. In fact, in the early 90s it seemed like the dude simply could not catch a break. Racing was the great love of his life, and he had been taking on odd jobs to indulge his passion. Modeling happened to him at the time, thanks to his incredibly high cuteness quotient and fair complexion which was big then as it is now.

Naturally, acting was only a hop, skip and jump away and Ajith made his debut with a Telugu film. He followed it up with his first Tamil film, Amaravathi and soon he had done a few supporting roles. Then Aasai, happened and Ajith really got noticed. Soon he established himself as Kadhal Mannan with a string of romantic capers that scored at the box office. With Vaali, Ajith really came into his own as an actor and his legacy began to grow. Films like Villain and Varalaaru established his acting chops some more and Ajith also successfully made the transition from his chocolate – baby – romantic – hero avatar to a larger – than – life macho, action hero. Ajith’s persistent lover – motor racing, tried to steal him away from the big screen and his back injury, the result of a racing accident flared up again. But the silver screen clung tenaciously to its beloved son and when he returned to the spotlight where he belonged, super – duper stardom awaited.

Thus far, Ajith’s career has not differed greatly from his contemporaries like Vijay and Suriya who also started off slowly before finding their feet in the industry. And yet, Ajith remains the unique one. What is it about him that sets him apart? An obvious fact is that he had no prior connections in the industry and he made it all by his lonesome self. Moreover, every flop he gave seemed merely to pave the way for that one film which would go on to become a massive hit and make the failures pale in comparison.

Perhaps the main thing is that his average fan feels like he knows Ajith intimately on the strength of the struggles he has weathered. Most celebs have an aura of untouchability about them that underlies the difference between them and mere mortals. Ajith despite his reclusive ways comes across as someone, the fans can identify with. The guy messes around with fast cars and bikes, hurts his back and has to have umpteen surgeries to patch himself together. And every foolhardy, adrenaline junkie, Michael – Schumacher wannabe which is literally everyone on Indian roads can identify with that senseless need for speed and danger. As for the women out there, their motherly instincts are stirred when Ajith pulls daredevil stunts like this and they want to mother him or if lady in question is actually a tween, then she gets into lover mode and wants to kiss his pain away. Besides when the guy is not able to work out and maintain his formerly fit physique because of his nagging back injury but still insists on doing his stunts himself, it is impossible not to respect him. And of course, his troubles with his weight gets him in solid with all the individuals out there who have their own fat demons to battle with. The point is, Ajith is a beacon of hope for all those who have niggling injuries as well as for fatties everywhere.

Finally, even his worst detractors will have to admit that he has style and that increasingly elusive thing called class. It is apparent from his reputation for courteousness, or his refusal to pander either to the public or the media or even his own fans. And most importantly, Ajith’s innate courage shines through when he refuses to kowtow to injury or political bigwigs who have a tendency to muscle in on the star power of celebs in order to use it for whatever misbegotten purpose, politicians are known to have up their sleeves. In the eyes of his adoring fans and even the average spectator with a marked preference for Vijay/Vikram/ Suriya this makes him a hero in real life as well.

And the funniest thing of all, and the strongest evidence about his overwhelming star power is that all this has been written up by someone who never was and still isn’t a major Ajith fan. In fact, this writer has often been his harshest critic and an outspoken one at that. Perhaps it is that killer smile of his or his devil – may – care persona or just the fact that he can cook up a storm when the mood hits him. Whatever it is,  it just gets you - every, single, time.

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