Born on 12/12/1950, to Ramoji Rao Gaekwad and Ramabai as fourth child, Shivaji Rao Gaekwad (Rajnikanth) had a tough time in his early days. He dad to take up all sorts of odd jobs before starting his career in the film industry. He served as a bus conductor for Karnataka state transport corporation in Bangalore. It was during this time that he nurtured his acting interests by performing in various stage plays. He has reached to this stage mainly because of his commitment, focus, hard work, self confidence, support and blessing.
Rajni,the real mantra of Tamil Nadu. Rajinikanth, the carpenter-turned-coolie-turned-conductor-turned Super Star says: "I couldn't have asked God for more."
A bit of a recluse, Rajni may be. But everyone who's had the privelege of a darshan with the thalaivar has come away with a spring in his step and a warm glow in the heart. Warm, friendly and affable, he's the sort who deserves all the superstardom he's earned. Such men, indeed, are rare...
The evergreen unique actor and the Superstar of Tamil industry, Rajinikanth was introduced by the renowned director, K.Balachandar in the movie Aboorva raagangal as a co-artist. It's been 25 years, believe it or not, since the Super Star made his debut with an inconsequential role in a Tamil film. From villain and antihero to blockbuster supernova, the gifted actor has made the most of every outing. And he's deserved every bit of the success. SCREEN analyses why...
It's a wide angle shot. A man is seen opening a gate, dressed in rags and smoking a beedi. A terminally ill disease writ large on his face. Precisely on that frame appears the Sanskrit term shruthi bedham, coupled with an off screen voice, an undoubtedly inauspicious start to any debutante's first screen appearance, especially in the maiden frame.
The film was Apoorva Raagangal (1975). The film itself was thick in controversy, and nobody took notice of the young newcomer, who was on screen barely for fifteen minutes, muttered a few apologetic words to the wronged woman and ultimately died an unsung, unheroic death.
No one in the audience, even in his wildest imagination, would have thought this nondescript man, who had won the least attention in the film would ever win over millions of hearts in Tamil Nadu. Or ride the state like a colossus. Or even that his sway over the masses would be so intense that he could rewrite the fate of Tamil Nadu politics, exactly two decades after the release of his first film.
K Balachander, the director who has an uncanny knack of creating stars, first met Rajnikant at the film institute, where he was a student. Balachander glanced at the dark young man and crisply asked him to meet him in his office the next day. When Rajnikant walked into his office gingerly, Balachander informed him he was going to act in his next film. Overwhelmed by the sudden offer from a big director, Rajnikant just could not believe his ears. It's a feeling Rajni still recounts whenever in the mood of reminiscence.
Later, Balachander confided in his close friend and associate Ananthu, Watch out! There is a fire in the young man's eyes. One day he will take Tamil Nadu by storm. How true the prediction turned out!
Producers went all out to capitalise on this new wonder called Rajnikant, and a string of films projecting him as an anti-hero, with all his stylish mannerisms in full swing, were released in quick succession. Gayathri had him shooting blue films of his wife without her knowledge, Bhairavi, Shankar Salim Simon and the like. Rajni had, by now, become an indisputable star in his own right, a force to reckon with.