Wednesday, January 03, 2007
shivaji rao gaekwad, a maharashtrian, was a bus conductor with karnataka road transport corporation(ksrtc) in bangalore in the late 60s. he used to participate in dramas organised by the employees' association and showed promise of a great acting career.on the persuasion of some of his friends and wellwishers he moved to madras seeking pastures in the madras filmworld.he was spotted by k balachander who found great talent in the youngster. soon he became the darling of the cinegoers. and was competing with the likes of gemini ganeshan, kamal hasan and sivaji ganeshan. today he reigns supreme in the film firmament.his latest film 'chandramukhi' is considered to be a superhit. he mesmerises the audience with his machismo and panache. he is none other than rajnikant.
you would have justifiably thought that the highest paid movie star in india is the' big b' or srk the new anchor for kbc. you are absolutely off the mark. rajnikant gets the highest paycheck in indian filmdom and his fans are delirious.the under-production film 'sivaji',the budgeted cost of which is rs 70 crores, has fetched him rs 16 crores.the film will be released simultaneously in chennai and tokyo. after jackie chan,he becomes the second highest paid movie star. in 2005 'chandramukhi' became indian cinema's biggest grosser. the tamilian star- struck fans who refer to him as "thalaivar"(head) get their bang for their bucks when they see a rajni movie.big b and srk may be well known in the middle east but they are not well known in japan. the only indian star popular and admired by the youth and elderly in japan is rajnikant. the movie called 'muthu' got him japanese glory. it was rechristened 'odoru maharaja' (the dancing maharaja) and it grosssed $3million, the highest for any indian movie. that is a unique distinction for the southern superstar.he has also acted in several hindi films. 'andha kaanoon' was a superhit.
in his recent visit to japan,prime minister manmohan singh warmly referred to rajnikant,the dancing king, and the positive impact it has had on indo-japanese relations while addressing the japanese diet(parliament). the applause he received was deafening.( he also mentioned how 'sushi' and 'tempura' were becoming popular in indian cities.that brought more applause from the members of the diet.)
rajnikant's role in the japanese film 'odoru maharaja' is that of a coachman who sings"kaiyil konjam kaasu irundaal,nee dhaan adhirku ejamaanan,kazhuthu varikkum kaasu irundaal,adhu daan unakku ejamaanan". what it means is that if you have a little cash in you hands,you are its boss. if you are upto your neck in money,that becomes your boss.after the burst of the internet bubble,that appeared to be an apt message for the japs.