Thursday, December 29, 2011

What is it Rajni Cant?

So what is it that Rajni ‘Can’t’ ?

Raghudon has always wondered why people were crazy about ‘Superstar’ , ‘Thalaiva’ Rajnikanth. As a child , whenever I visited Chennai I used to be welcomed with posters of Rajnikanth at the Chennai Central station , and other places as well ( autos, bus stands , paan-shops and so on!). Prior to the release of Rajni’s much awaited ‘Enthiran’ I received showers of ‘Rajni can-Rajni can’t’ mumbo-jumbo be it through text messages on my mobile or through social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter ( I bet everyone would have!) To name a few-’Outer space exists because it’s afraid to be on the same planet as Rajnikanth’ ; ‘Rajnikanth’s house has no doors, only walls that he walks through’ ; ‘Rajnikanth grinds the coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage’ and many more . Initially , these one-liners were entertaining and humorous, however, after a point of time they became repetitive and stale. The question here is- What is the reason behind this ‘Rajni rage’ ? It is obvious that there can be no smoke without fire. Similarly there must be some reason behind Rajnikanth’s immense popularity and huge fan-following.

As one enters a cinema hall screening a Rajni movie everything from outside the filmy world is forgotten. One is swept through the other side of the world, a world where Rajnikanth is no less than a ‘demi-god’. This is a world where his fans are devout soldiers, who can but humbly kneel in the deepest respect and admiration for this superstar. Every single dialogue, action stunt and dance number that the towering figure called Rajnikanth makes is welcomed with whistles , boisterous cheers and hootings. Anyone who is an ‘outsider’ to the Rajni world would either be astonished at the site, laugh their guts out, or get annoyed with the fans. Soon the hue and cry surrounding the movie settles, and the most obvious question pops up again – Why is Rajnikanth so popular? What does this superstar have in him that makes him what he is? Why is it that when he throws a cigarette in the air, lights it with a revolver and catches it , the crowds go absolutely crazy?

However, two reasons that can be traced for this craze are his unique style and his down-to-earth personality. Most of Rajnikanth’s popularity has risen out of his unique mannerisms, stunts and style of dialogue delivery. Rajni is perhaps the only superstar in cinema who can get away with gravity defying stunts such as causing a mini-tornado with one foot and killing a goon miles away by throwing a pistol in the air. Such stunts have been trademarked as ‘Rajnikanth stunt’ by the general public.

Rajnikanth, born Sivaji Rao Gaekwad, had worked as a bus conductor. That could be another reason why his fans can connect with him. He was one of them, and still is, in spite of all the fame and money.Almost all show-world success stories in India appear the same. What sets individuals apart is the approach and the attitude once they reach the top. No one can resist a rags-to-riches story. It is every common man’s dream. But Rajinikanth’s story is irresistible. He continues to be an enigma to both his fans and contemporaries. He is simple Shivaji Rao Gaekwad who, by way of luck and hard work became a superstar, and continues to remain on top notwithstanding the vagaries of time. He is not a superstar because of his acting skills, but because he represents the common man , his aspirations , and above all simplicity.

Being an ‘outsider’ to the Rajni world I do find his stunts funny , impossible and at times silly, but I cannot deny the fact that Rajni’s simplicity and humility are the reasons behind his success , after all there is always beauty in simplicity, which is probably why there is nothing that Rajni ‘Can’t'!


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