The name is Rajinikanth ?

Is there anything Rajini 'kant' do ?

'The Name is Rajinikant' is not a documentary on the superstar but is a book (an unsupported biography) by an ophthalmologist Gayathri Sreekanth. Since the book is about a cinematic icon I thought it fit to express my views. Yes, I read the book and was possibly among the first few Bangaloreans to read it. Let me admit I am no expert on this icon.

Shivaji Rao Gaekwad's journey from Bangalore to super stardom as Rajinikant in Chennai is the tale covered in this book culminating in the success of his latest blockbuster 'Sivaji". The movie has garnered over INR 300 Crores and has reinforced Rajini's standing as the highest paid actor in India (and Asia too I think along with Jackie Chan). His next film "Robot' by Shankar and starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is reportedly being made for INR 100 Crores. There was a time when he had retired from acting and was renouncing the life he lead and going to the Himalayas. There was a time when rumours were rampant that he is entering politics. There was a time when he allegedly was offered a chance to lead politics in Tamil Nadu and become the Chief Minister. His friction with the political supremo Jayalitha is well know to south Indians. There was also a time when his film did so badly that he returned the money the film distributors had paid up. The story of a toughie turned bus conductor turned millionaire superstar is a fantasy for many and therefore the interest in this hardbound (INR 495/-) first edition is understandable.

The book gives you the childhood of Rajini, his early years, his youth with comments from various people who knew him, notably his friend Raj Bahadur a bus driver in Bangalore's own BTS (now BMTC). Old Bangaloreans travelling the 10 and 10A bus number routes will know of Rajini for he became famous for his unique style and body language as a bus conductor.

Sadly, the book while being a collection of various tales of Rajini (which if you know any Rajini fan, you would have heard of) does not enter into the soul of the persona of Rajinikant possibly because it is a biography and not an autobiography. The book has repeated grammatical errors and factual errors such as the names of places in Bangalore etc. It is obvious that the author's research is limited to here-say and there has been no walk through like most authors would do. While I understand that criticism is easy and I respect the efforts of the author I do not see the passion for cinema and the efforts justifying the magnitude of the personality that is Rajini showing in this book. The storytelling is disjoint and contains numerous cliches. Dr Sreekanth, couldn't you have put some more efforts? And what was the editor from the publisher (On Books) doing ? Maybe they were all in awe of the subject.

Sadly, this is no way to do justice to one of the greatest Cinematic Icons of India. The book does give interesting tales. Fortunately for me, I have heard some of these tales during my years of growing up and I have an office colleague who seems to be an ardent fan of Rajini. These tales and more are there in the book. How did he get his name Rajinikant ? Why was he part of a cycle chain wielding gang in Bangalore? Is it true he slept on the footpath in Chennai during his initial days ? How did he meet his wife ? Why did he choose to give up acting and go to the Himalayas ? What was his flirtations with politics ? Does he move about in disguise? What was his friendship with another cinematic great Dr. Rajakumar? All these and more tales that generate awe, inspire you, and create complex dilemmas in your mind are there in this book.

"Na oru thaddava sonna, nooru thoddava sonna madi" (If I tell once, it is like I have said a hundred times), his famous line from Basha (I think) does not apply to this book, unfortunately. Rajinikant is an enigma and remains so even after this book. Can there ever be a book written that explains the phenomenon that he is ? I think not. Meanwhile lets just be amazed by the man, and the actor. As for the author, better luck next time. Do some justice to the subject chosen madam.What hurts most is the lack of passion and purpose!


find.manoj March 30, 2008 at 8:54 PM  

Hi to all the fans of one and only super*

You would remember those days when we saved from our pocket money to buy posters and stickers of Rajini and then we grew up to buy his CDs and DVDs. Now is another opportunity to pay tribute to the most deserving person by buying the book about Him.
The book records every emotion of Rajinikanth`s life: the joys and sorrows, the pains and ecstasies, loves and betrayals. The book tells us the essential truth about Rajinikanth that has thus far remained unknown to even us. It's more of a fan's admiration of Rajinikanth,rather than his biography.

You get the best offer for this book on You get a 10% off on the book and also get the DVDs of "Baasha" and "Thalapathi" Free. You can use the link below to reach this site

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