On 12th December, 1950, fourth child was born in Gaekwad (Maratha) family. They named him Shivaji. Ramoji Rao Gaekwad, a police constable, lived in Bangalore at that time. Thus, Shivaji was brought up speaking Marathi at home and Kannada outside. After completion of his school, Shivaji performed jobs of a coolie and carpenter in the cities of Bangalore and Chennai. He finally was recruited in Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) as a bus conductor. While performing the job of bus conductor, Shivaji started taking part in stage plays. And while doing the stage plays, he got a new name Rajnikanth.
Today, Rajnikanth is a god. His parents wouldn’t have imagined that their son will become a god one day when he showed his interest in joining Madras film institute. That’s why they didn’t support him fully. Rajnikanth began his career in 1975 and by now, he has done films in almost all languages spoken in south India. He has done lot of Hindi films as well. Today, his impact is such that whenever his film releases, companies in south India declares holiday on the release date. This has been done for a reason. Companies has experienced absenteeism and downfall in the productivity due to the release of Rajnikanth film. His every film is celebrated like a festival in south India. I don’t think any Bollywood actor has such kind of fan following.
In southern part of India, people don’t go to theatres just to watch Rajnikanth’s movies. People go to theatres to worship Rajnikanth. As soon as, Rajnikanth appears on the big screen, people start offering payers, they throw garlands and flowers on the screen, people whistle through out the movie. No other movie star has this kind of image or reputation in the country. Despite of having godly image, Rajnikanth is very humble, modest and down to earth person. He is the living example of simple living and high thinking. In this glamorous & fame crazy world, he is seen in lungi with bald head at almost every high-profile event. Where other stars go for skin operations and hair transplants, he prefer to show his real personality to the world.
Being a 90s kid, I am attracted towards his simplicity and the way he handles the stardom. Rajnikanth don’t promote any brand because he thinks that he can’t induce people to buy any brand or product which he is not using. Movies like Sivaji – The boss and Linga gives the strong message that, Rajnikanth is not worried about the money his movies earn, he is worried about the message they give. Robot (Ethiran), despite being a path breaking commercial movie, it shows the victory of good over evil. Rajnikanth has created this persona on the pillars of simplicity, modesty, humility, kind heartedness, dedication and the aura he creates on-screen.
For 90s kids, Rajnikanth is not only an on-screen hero but he is a real hero off-screen as well. He offers a lot of learnings to 90s generation. Being a 90s kid, I salute this successful yet simple superstar. I would suggest all the movie stars to follow his footsteps because this man (through his work) is trying to make this country a better place to live.