Rajini fans who were planning to watch their idol on screen tomorrow will have to wait till May 23

Keep aside the pumpkins and coconuts — you could use them while cooking for now. Stash the crackers to be used at a later date. Aarthis and abhisekhams can wait too.

For, come Friday morning, the city will not wake up to Kochadaiiyaan as expected. Fans who have awaited a Rajini film for four years will have to wait for the experience for a couple of weeks more.

On a gloomy Wednesday morning, Rajinikanth fans in the city were getting ready to welcome Kochadaiiyaan, their idol’s return to the big screen, though in a digital avatar. At the centre of all this was Saidai G. Ravi, a die-hard Rajini fan, who has been running a fan club since 1988, which now functions as a head office for around a 1000 fan clubs in and around Saidapet. He was running from pillar to post to make sure that the banners were ready and the 100-ft cut out has been erected at the theatres screening the film. After the uncertainty over the release ended, he had made elaborate plans at three theatres – Parangimalai Jothi, Kasi and Udhayam – that included setting up an LED banner, beaming images of Rajini from the past and present, worth Rs 3 lakh, and a fireworks display. “We planned to start our celebrations at Parangimalai Jothi theatre by 4 p.m. and were scheduled to go to Kasi theatre. We then planned to reach Udhayam theatre, where we were set to organise a small fireworks display. We have also erected a 100-ft cut out of our idol,” he said.

But all these plans went for a toss when the makers pushed the release to May 23 “to cater to the demand for multiple language and the 2D and 3D versions to release the same day.” “We are disappointed. This has never happened as far as I know,” said a fan, who was eager to watch the first day first show (FDFS) of the film.

People who were planning to catch the FDFS have already made other plans for Friday. But, what’s special about watching a Rajini film on the release day? Well, they say that a Rajini film is never just a film. It’s an experience.

The fun, frolic and frenzy surrounding that is exactly what Amish Kumar, who has done several albums, wished to capture when he set out to film his latest video. “A couple of years ago, I was fascinated with the 12/12/12 phenomenon and decided to do an album celebrating Rajinikanth,” he recalls, “I’d included a fast-paced song titled ‘Koottam Seru, Kosham Podu’ in that.” As the release of Kochadaiiyaan kept getting delayed, Amish decided that he’d do a music video with the song to keep the interest afloat. “I wanted to say, ‘The release is around the corner. Let’s start the music.’”

To do that, he headed to Bangalore, where the Superstar actually spent a major part of his life as a bus conductor. “We wanted the video to be grand,” says Amish, “However, we didn’t want to choreograph or stage anything. So, we let all the locals just react – just react as if they were in a Rajini film FDFS. The point was not to come up with a perfectly-choreographed video; it was to show the emotion behind the movie-watching experience.” Amish even got in singer Velmurugan to feature in the video and add to the celebrations.

For now, even as many movie-goers who’ve already booked tickets expect their money back, some die-hard fans are heaving a sigh of relief. Take Saidai Ravi and his friends, for instance. They’re happy that they will get more time to plan things for the big day, which is still two weeks away. “We were short for time because theatre owners were not letting us put up flex boards until the confirmation of the film’s release. Now, we wait for a bigger celebration on May 23,” he said.