In 2010, PC Balasubramanian authored his first book Rajini’s Punchtantra, along with Raja Krishnamoorthy, which went on to become a national bestseller. It was followed by another book Grand Brand Rajini, along with Ram N Ramakrishnan, and released on December 12, 2012, to mark the special birthday of the south Indian superstar.

A decade later, the entrepreneur-cum-author has come out with his third book Rajini's Mantras: Life lessons from India’s most-loved Superstar.

In this interview, Balasubramanian tells BusinessLine on what made him write another book on the actor, if the brand Rajini is still relevant among youngsters, target audience of the book among other things. Edited excerpts:


You have already written two books on Rajinikanth. What prompted a third one? 

It all started during the lockdown time. Apart from official work, I had some time to focus on other things. That’s when I started writing fiction, which would have been my third fiction book. I got a call from the commissioning editor of Jaico Publishing House, who wanted me to write another book on Rajinikanth because she loved my earlier book (Rajini’s Punchtantra: Business and Life Management the Rajinikanth Way). So, the interest was high from a publishing point of view. She wanted to know if I could work on a biography on Rajinikanth but I was not mentally prepared to write a biography.

Since she loved Rajini’s Punchtantra, I thought a similar book with a different background would be very interesting. That’s how Rajini's Mantras came about.


How different is this book from the earlier ones? 

The first book, Rajini’s Punchtantra is all about Rajinikanth’s signature statements on the silver screen. Those are dialogues which audiences have hooted, clapped and screamed while listening to them from his cult movies such as Baasha, Annamalai, Muthu and others. I gave a different flavour to those powerful dialogues by saying, if you apply those lines to business management, you can derive a lot of essence from it. That was the narrative of the book. Besides becoming a bestseller, the book has also travelled to about 70 destinations including business schools, corporate houses, clubs through audio-visual medium.

The next book, Grand Brand Rajini: Brand Management the Rajinikanth Way, speaks about the power of branding right from the launch of a product or service till it becomes a cult brand. Brand Management, as a subject, is boring but if you club it with a personality like Rajinikanth, it becomes more interesting.

The latest one, Rajini's Mantras is all about life philosophies, life lessons captured through his statements, interviews and speeches. These are off-screen speeches of the actor delivered over the years.


How did this idea come about? 

We all know that whenever Rajinikanth speaks, it’s not just his fans but even common people love to hear him. He is a very natural speaker and whatever he says has a profound impact. He also has the knack of putting even complex topics such as spiritualism and philosophy in an easily understandable manner and that’s why his messages are reaching the masses.

So, I thought why not do a book by putting together some of his off-screen speeches on philosophies, life lessons and many other topics so that the narrative will help the reader to relate to some of the things that he has said.

Some chapters also talk about management concepts borrowing from Rajinikanth’s dialogues.

I run a company and manage a lot of people. I also deal with various stakeholders including customers and clients. In many instances, I used to wonder if I could have handled a particular situation better and we all have such experience. So, to some extent, it also reflects my experiences both professional as well as personal.


Who is the target audience of the book? 

The book talks about leadership qualities such as gratitude, courage, handling success and failures, people management, being an inspirational and influential leader with humility. The book is focussed on youngsters who are very sensitive, impulsive or react in a knee-jerk manner. It will be motivating for the youth or people who are going through midlife crisis personally or in their career. It will also be an inspiring guide for self-employed, entrepreneurs or any career-oriented individuals. For people who are very emotional about failures, this book will help them a lot.

There are chapters which talk about embracing failure, how to handle failure and how to bounce back. We all know that Rajinikanth himself has gone through all of this and still managed to stay successful, happy and relevant.


Talking about youngsters, do you think the actor still holds sway over the youth? 

Not just the youth, even children of this generation, who would have seen only his last 3-4 movies, are attracted to him. That is his charisma. Rajinikanth has been a superstar for almost 40 years now and that itself is a global phenomenon. He had just launched a new movie (Jailer) at the age of 71 and there is so much hype around it and it’s mostly from the youth.

There is a difference between admiration and craze and I would say there is still a lot of craze, admiration and love attached to the brand ‘Rajinikanth’.


But some of his speeches/statements also ended up becoming controversial. Does this book mention any such statements?  

I consciously stayed away from anything that was political because the intent of the book is not to stir any controversy but to spread positivity.    


The third book on Rajinikanth comes a decade after the second one. What kept you occupied all along?   

I never thought I would write a third book on him but this happened to be a trilogy on him. After my first two books on Rajinikanth, I wrote two fictions, Ready.. Steady.. Exit and A Drizzle in the Desert. During the lockdown, I released my third non-fiction Jujube, a term that is often used by Rajinikanth in his films.

So, Rajini’s Mantras is my sixth book but I am very glad to share that Rajinikanth features in all the six books I have written.


Is there more scope or dimensions left to write about him? 

His spiritual side can be looked at if somebody wants to understand how he transformed into a spiritual being. We all know he is spiritually-inclined but there is not enough information on what others could learn from his spiritual journey.  


Will you attempt a biography on Rajinikanth? 

There are already 2-3 biographies about him so I will not attempt one. But, I wish he writes an autobiography. Or, he can also write a book about 25 characters that he loved performing. There are several cult movies like Billa, Thillu Mullu, Baba, Baasha. Many directors and producers have spoken about his role in those movies but it would be interesting to read if he himself writes how the role came about, how he prepared for it and so on.  

Check out the book on Amazon

Title: Rajini's Mantras: Life lessons from India’s most-loved Superstar
Author: PC Balasubramanian
Published: Jaico Publishing
Price: ₹350 (Pages: 277)