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Rajinikanth meets fans, answers questions on his future plans

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AMID HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Actor Rajinikanth arriving at a marriage hall at Kodambakkam in Chennai to meet his fans on Monday.
AMID HIGH EXPECTATIONS: Actor Rajinikanth arriving at a marriage hall at Kodambakkam in Chennai to meet his fans on Monday.

Meera Srinivasan

It is all a question of time and circumstances, says the actor

CHENNAI: It was a meeting that his fans were yearning for. When he made his entry around 10.05 a.m. on Monday, Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam thundered in applause and cheer with the fans screaming “Thalaivaa..!!” and “Nalaiya mudalvar.”

Actor Rajinikanth proceeded to the dais in his typically swift gait and sat on the sole black chair, smiling at his fans. As he came up to the podium, the applause grew louder, with fans getting almost hysterical at the very sight of the ‘Superstar.’

Attired in a brown-grey kurta, the actor was there to answer questions from the fans across the State. His friend V.M. Sudhakar read them out one by one.

“It would be foolish to think that one is successful in politics due to sheer capability, experience and hard work. It is all a question of time and circumstances. If the time is not right, nothing can help,” he said responding to a fan’s question on his entry into politics. “Something that is forced upon an individual will not work out. Everything is in the hands of destiny and God’s will. I will go only by that.”

“The media often accuses you of not having a stable mind. They say you are perpetually confused. I feel bad, thalaiva. Why do you give room for this,” a fan asked.

“Everything is an experience and we learn from experience. I am aware that one has to think of the repercussions of a statement before making one. Sometimes, I tend to speak my mind. I say what I believe is true, but it could possibly be read differently if seen from different perspectives. However, I have not said or done anything with selfishness.”

“There have been different reports about your response to the severe criticism on your remarks on the Hogenakkal issue. Did you actually express regret or an apology,” another fan asked.

“I wish to go forward, but you won’t let me proceed, is it?” he responded in jest, before explaining: “Be it any issue pertaining to Tamil Nadu, the first repercussion seen in Karnataka is at theatres screening Tamil films. I am also a human being and I got quite angry while I spoke at that meeting. When I said we should beat them up (udaikkanum), I should have qualified the statement as ‘beat up those who are creating trouble at theatres’. Since I didn’t, it was misread. I later expressed regret, not an apology.”

Responding to a question on Kuchelan’s failure, he explained the processes that led to decisions on distribution and added: “All this apart, if the destiny of the film was such, we cannot help it.”

On his future plans, the actor said he was currently focusing on Shankar’s ‘Enthiran’.

“It is a very good project. No such film has been made in India. I am sure that the whole nation will talk about it once it is released.”

Another question read: “I have been you fan for years together. What have you done for me?”

After a thoughtful smile and a pause, Mr. Rajinikanth said: “You see, when I entered the industry, I was keen on doing off-beat films and weighty characters alone. I studied at the film institute and came under the guidance of KB (K. Balachander) sir. In most of my initial films, all my roles were like that. Later, you wanted me to fight, I did action films. You wanted me to dance, I danced. You wanted me to try out comedy, I did that too. As an actor, haven’t I done my duty by giving good films and pleasing my fans?”

Family first

To questions on the actor’s plans for his fans’ associations, he said: “I will definitely let you know what I intend doing.”

The actor said he would later meet fans at exclusive meetings for fans from each district and promised to take photographs with them individually. He would organise such meetings with fans every year from now, he added. “Remember that it is always your family first. Perform your duties well and expect appropriate returns,” he said.

A section of fans who expected major announcements from their ‘thalaivar’ seemed a little disappointed that none was made.

“Anyway, we got to see him and be with him for nearly an hour. I can’t ask for more. He will tell us what to do at the right time,” said D. Rajini Selvam, a fan from Chennai.

A few others proceeded to the stage after the actor left and took photographs with the chair he sat on. “I could not take a picture with him. Let me at least take one with his chair,” said another ardent fan.

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