“You add the digits in his birth date (12. 12. 12) this year; the digits in the number of years since he entered Kollywood (36); those in the number of years he has been married (27); those on his car’s number plate (5004); and finally reverse his age this year (63). It all boils down to nine, a number as unique as the man,” said V.C. Ranjeeth Kumar, an ardent fan of superstar Rajinikanth, who celebrated his 63 birthday today. The fact that this date will not occur in another 100 years seems to have furthered the surreal quality of Rajini’s persona - onscreen and off screen.
In the run up to the iconic date, huge banners sprouted at key junctions in the city; and fans belonging to over 12,000 fan clubs in Tiruchi district readied themselves for the biggest show of their love for Rajini.
While Rajini fan clubs everywhere always celebrate his birthday, the day he entered Tamil cinema, his wedding anniversary, and the release of each Rajini starrer, this birthday will never leave the pedestal. “This year we decided to release a new fan club flag for Rajini sir, because the colour combination of the older flag (blue, white and red) has been usurped by a few political parties in the State,” said Mr. Ranjeeth, who is also the president (Tiruchi urban) of Sri Rajinikanth Fan Club. The new flag, which has already been accepted by many fan clubs in places like Madurai, Tiruchi, Tiruvarur and Chennai, uses the colours - blue, orange and yellow.
Apart from the regular, ‘annadanams’ and special pujas at temples, distribution of free uniforms, notebooks, tricycles , and sewing machines, and blood donations that are organised every year, the release of the Rajini-starrer Sivaji in 3D gave fans another venue to take the party to: the Sona Mina theatre. A 30 feet cut-out of Rajini was garlanded, and offered ‘milk abhishekam’ and ‘aarthi’; and a frenzied fan crowd made the film’s release the day’s high point. “Ticket prices has been hiked to Rs.120, while they usually cost Rs.50 or 80; and all the four shows in the day have been dedicated to the film,” said O. Raghu, a fan outside the theatre.
With nearly 50 varieties of posters and flex banners of various sizes adorning the city, some of the biggest gainers seem to be printers. “We started receiving orders right from November end and we have printed banners and posters that cost anywhere between Rs.2,000 and 10,000,” said B. Latha, Manager, Om Trisul Digital.
Auto drivers, who form a significant chunk of Rajini’s fans , also displayed flexes and posters about the actor. “I printed the flex 15 days ago and on thalaivar’s birthday I will be distributing chocolates to all my passengers,” said auto driver D. Prabhu, shaking a box.