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“As a performer, I think my strength lies in knowing my plus and minus, mostly minuses”, Dhanush told me this when we had met just before the release of Vetri Maaran’s Aadukalam. For a man all of 28 years, he showed amazing levels of maturity in his thoughts and the way he fielded questions.

Today when you look at the way Dhanush’s career is progressing with his different facets of creativity coming to the fore, there cannot exist a second opinion to this statement.

We have seen Dhanush shine through in Aadukalam as K P Karuppu which rightly fetched him his first National Award for Best Actor where he breathed life into his character making the audience care more for Karuppu than the story deserves. In his nuanced portrayal of a rustic, blindly trusting his mentor, every cell in his body behaved like his character. The manner in which he cruised through the gamut of emotions went on to demonstrate what Dhanush has to offer as a performer to his audience. And his two years of rigorous hard work on getting the dialect right to handling the cockerel perfectly reveal that here is a man who takes his profession rather seriously.

When we were all convinced and delighted about his acting histrionics or rather his natural performance, he brings out a few more magical tricks from his already ornamented beret. Yes, I am talking about his latest feat of turning a lyricist and a singer in brother Selvaraghavan’s Mayakkam Enna and spouse Aishwarya’s 3.

In Mayakkam Enna, the simplicity and the profundity of sentiments that are being conveyed are brilliantly simple. The lyrics instantly connect with the listeners. The expression of emotions in films is generally accomplished by lyrical prowess which when thought about makes you wonder if we all convey our feelings in such a poetic fashion in real life. Of course, it is a reel world which is far from real world and is meant to be like that.

But lines as uncomplicated as
olagame speed aa odi pogudu; en vandi panchar aayi nikkudhu
fuse pona pin bulb kana switch ah theduren
have high levels of relatability and understandability which are a sure shot recipe for popularity.  

And when we were getting intoxicated by the unfussy lyrics and the voice of its owner, there comes one more ‘kolaveri’ punch. Yeah…‘why this kolaveri di’ from 3 has swiveled all the arc lights into its direction and is the latest national rage of youth. The viral also boasts of a record hit in a day and continues its ascent and is all over the social networking sites. Again it is the straightforwardness of Dhanush’s lines and his unique voice with an accented English that lends itself to be the representation of current youth. The track is an absolute joy and again, Dhanush’s flexion with his voice evokes a smile, buoy of spirits and a steep rise in his fan base.

So, when you sit back and ponder over what had made this gentleman successful and popular because he does not fit into your traditional template of a film hero in terms of looks, the answers are as simple as the man himself and we can refer to the opening paragraph of this write-up.  Here is one actor who is well aware of his strengths and his weaknesses and constantly works in these domains. He had chosen a few wrong films early in his career which were a monumental attempt in hero building which eventually did not work but he was quick to analyze his mistakes and made the right kind of amends. He started strengthening his pluses and converting his shortfalls into advantages. His ‘boy next door’ looks with all the imperfections of a normal man have helped him a great deal to strike a chord with the youth who see themselves in him and he chose roles that perfectly suited him.

He is also careful enough to bring in variety to his repertoire and not repeat his characters. If he is capable of delivering 100%, he estimates himself to be only 60% and strives for further perfection, a quality that was characteristic of the Late M G Ramachandran.

While these are just his professional attributes, Dhanush as a person possesses a quality that is very special to him which is his humility. He is always humble, never lets success disturb him and respects his audience.  His unassuming nature is something of a rare commodity in people of his stature who has scaled great heights. But thankfully Dhanush is on terra firma which only adds up his esteem.  With all these features going strongly in his favor, he is undoubtedly an indomitable force to be reckoned with and here is wishing his kolaveri of fruitful accomplishments to continue.

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