It was a carnival of sorts at the Chennai Airport late Wednesday when actor Rajinikanth returned from Singapore after undergoing over a month-long treatment. Hundreds of fans waited eagerly in anticipation of his arrival. The excitement reached a crescendo when the superstar reached the city around 10:15 p.m. by a Singapore Airlines flight.
Sporting T-shirts bearing the actor's images, these fans from across the city, suburban areas and even from neighbouring districts, danced merrily with joy, as bands played various musical hit numbers of the actor. Policemen from the Chennai airport police station and neighbouring police stations were deployed in large numbers to regulate the traffic.
Actor Rajinikanth had been unwell for a few months before he left to Singapore to seek treatment for kidney-related complaints. It was on the last Friday of April, during his shoot for the K.S. Ravikumar film ‘Rana', after a bout of vomiting, that Rajinikanth was first admitted to St. Isabel Hospital, Mylapore. He was treated for dehydration and exhaustion, and discharged the same day.
However, he had to be readmitted to the hospital less than a week later on May 4, when he complained of breathlessness and fever. This time, he had to spend a few days in the hospital as an inpatient, being treated for his condition.
After a brief period of recuperation at home, the Superstar was once again admitted to a hospital, this time, Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre, again on a Friday (May 13). He had complaints of fever and fluid retention, following acute gastro intestinal and respiratory problems. He was moved to the ICU about a week later, and started on dialysis, and ultra filtration, to alleviate problems caused by the fluid retention. He recovered sufficiently to fly to Singapore on May 27 (again a Friday) for further treatment.
Recently, the media received a copy of a hand-written note for his fans, from the superstar himself in which he expressed his gratitude for their love, and declared that he would get cracking on Rana as soon as possible.
But it was this day that many fans were waiting for. N.B. Gopi, haling from Puducherry said that the admirers had come to the airport to show their happiness at their matinee idol returning safely. “Humility, nobility and spirituality are the hallmarks of the superstar,” said M. Suresh Kumar from Kodambakkam, a fan of the actor since class 2. The superstar, said S. Kamaraj, was a role model for the youth.
The admirers also expressed the hope that the actor would recuperate soon and start work on next project.