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On Superstar’s birthday, fans face a no-show

Swathi Moorthy Chennai | Updated on January 09, 2018

RAJINIKANTH   -  The Hindu

A mega-sized mosaic portrait of super star Rajinikanth made of 6,700 bite-sized Buttons cupcakes in Chennai on Tuesday   -  M_VEDHAN

As Rajinikanth turns 67, no glimpse of him, no word on politics entry

In the Tamil film Baba, released in 2002, Superstar Rajinikanth’s signature punchline — translated as “I may come late, but will be the latest” — was widely read as an intimation of his intention to enter politics.

Even 15 years later, however, the Superstar is running ‘late’ on such an announcement, leaving his millions of fans disappointed and wondering if he will ever take the plunge.

On Tuesday, Rajinikanth’s 67th birthday, more such fruitless waiting was in store for his fans who had gathered at the swank Poes Garden neighbourhood where he lives.

The tree-lined avenues reverberated with full-throated roars of ‘Thalaiva’ (chief), but the hundreds of fans from across the State who had gathered to greet ‘Rajini Sir’ had to return disappointed without so much as a glimpse of their idol. He is believed to be staying at an undisclosed location.

Raghu Ram, 28, camped outside his favourite star’shouse since midnight, lamented: “I came from Visakhapatnam just to see his face. Now we have been asked to leave.”

Ram’s feelings echo those of hundreds of others. Although Rajinikanth himself has always been tightlipped about his entry into politics, anticipation on that count has been building up.

VM Sudhakar, Secretary, All India Rajinikanth Fans Welfare Club, met the fans and requested them to disperse as the actor would not be meeting them.

N Muthu, who had come from Madurai with his wife and two young kids, said: “I wish they had mentioned this earlier. We would not have come all the way. We came because we could not take pictures with Superstar earlier and only wanted to see his face.”

To people like Muthu, the megastar is a real-life hero, whose life is a source of inspiration: a rags-to-riches story of a bus conductor becoming a matinee idol. For Muthu and others like him, it is as if one among them had risen to starry heights, quite literally.

And for the past 15-plus years, fans have been waiting for word of his entry into politics with the same breathless anticipation they summon up ahead his box-office releases.

Rajinikanth had met his fans in May, at a week-long event. At that time, he had invited his fans from each district in Tamil Nadu, and had addressed them. He even posed for pictures with them in small groups.

Again, without explicitly announcing any political plans, the actor asked his fans to be ready for a ‘war’ at an appropriate time. On the possibility of his entry into politics, he had commented, “If god wills it, it can happen even tomorrow.”

Many had hoped that Rajinikanth would make a formal announcement about his political entry on this birthday. Numerous posters anointing him ‘future Chief Minister’ and graffiti memes visualising him taking the oath of office peppered the city walls.

Social media platforms like Twitter were abuzz with wishes from his fans and fellow actors. MK Stalin, DMK Working President, tweeted: “HBDSuperStarRajinikanth I, very sincerely, wish you a long, contented, happy and healthy life.” #HBDSuperStarRajinikanth was the most trending hashtag for the day.

In 2018, Rajinikanth has a double treat lined up for his fans, with two mega movie releases. 2.0 is expected in the first half of the year, followed by Kaala.

And yet, those keen to see him in politics may have to wait longer: they may perhaps have to derive solace from another of his punchlines, from Padayappa:En vazhi thani vazhi” (My path is a distinctive path).

Published on December 12, 2017

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