What Rajni missed when he went out to smoke

Photo Caption

On his 60th birthday, school children in Bangalore hold up notebooks of the City’s most famous cinematic export: Shivaji Rao Gaekwad also known as Rajnikanth.

The books were supplied by the Rajniji Seva Samithi (RSS).


The website First Post has published excerpts from a new biography of Rajnikanth by the film scholar Naman Ramachandran, with this passage of his relationship with Kamal Haasan.

“In the beginning, in 1975, just how big a star Kamal Haasan was, today’s generation does not know,’ says Rajinikanth. ‘He was an even bigger star in 1975 than he is now. Old or young, a new artiste had never shaken all of India like he did. I had just entered the cinema industry then.

Apoorva Raagangal, Moondru Mudichu, Avargal, these were all my guru K. Balachander’s films—I became a hero with these three films. After that the films that came, big films like 16 Vayathinile, Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu, Aadu Puli Attam, Aval Appadithan—these were all hit films.

“For those films, if Kamal had said, ‘Don’t cast Rajini,’ nobody would have taken me. I got Ilamai Oonjal Aadukirathu solely on Kamal’s recommendation.

“So I acted in all these films and then, after I became a big actor, one day Kamal called me and said, ‘Rajini, only if you act alone will you get your own space. If you say no, the cinema world will use us, and you won’t be able to grow.’

“I listened to all that he said. After that I worked on my own.

“Then, after I became a big man, Kamal called me again one day and said, ‘Rajini, you have to be cautious in Tamil cinema. I have seen from a young age—MGR and Sivaji, though they had no rivalry between them, the cinema industry separated them. And because the industry separated them, their fans also separated. That shouldn’t happen with us. The producers and directors I work with, you should work with them too.’

“I don’t know how to thank him.”

Rajinikanth adds, ‘In other industries, people like Mammootty, Mohan Lal, Venkatesh, Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan and even Dilip Kumar look at me and are amazed how I managed to make a name for myself as an actor in an industry where Kamal Haasan exists. The reason is simple. I grew as an actor just by watching Kamal Haasan acting. I had the good fortune of being able to observe Kamal Haasan from close quarters.

During the shooting of Avargal I was sitting outside when K. Balachander noticed this and got angry. He sent word for me to return to the set and asked me, ‘Did you go outside to smoke? Kamal is acting; observe him. Only then will your acting get even better.’

“From that time, when Kamal acted I wouldn’t go anywhere; I would just sit there and watch. This is the honest truth.”

Buy the book here: Infi Beam

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: A stylish lesson in humility from namma Rajni

11 similarities between Rajni and the iPod

A hit, yes, but why does Rajni have such a hold?

The most testing day in the life of Rajnikanth

Don’t tell us you didn’t know this one about Rajni

How Rajnikanth caught the lion

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10 Responses to “What Rajni missed when he went out to smoke”

  1. Deepak Says:

    Rajni and Amitabh are the true megastars? Why? Not because they are good actors – because they are humble, down to earth and are people whom you can truly look upto and idolise! Same case with Dr.Raj too. That’s the reason Rajni is great – his simplicity!

  2. Balasubrahmanyan Krishnaswami Says:

    pure spin we lap it up and also circulate these.Pity. bala

  3. KM Says:

    This is the magnanimity of the man – and really separates him from other actors. He is still humble and simple – and think outside him. Kamal just is full of himself and his greatness that he has to be the be all and end all in all his movies – Anyone remember the ego trip of Dasavatharam?

    Anyways, this is not about Kamal but about Rajini – Any man with half a knowledge of Tamil cinema would thank director K. Balachander for two extraordinary finds – Krishna Gundu Rao and Shivaji Rao. Gundu Rao, is of course, Nagesh who was a true phenomenon in Tamil cinema. Shivaji Rao was a man who gave some memorable performances and could have been a formidable “actor” and not a superstar in a different industry. (ex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PL7ImYghVU)

    Again, its his humility and the ability to listen to others regarding what they want and keeping them happy separates him from others!

  4. Guru Says:

    1. Rajinikanth killed the Dead Sea.

    2. When Rajinikanth does push-ups, he isn’t lifting himself up. He is pushing the earth down.

    3. There is no such thing as evolution, it’s just a list of creatures that Rajinikanth allowed to live.

    4. Rajinikanth gave Mona Lisa that smile.

    5 .Rajnikanth can divide by zero.

    6. Rajinikanth can judge a book by it’s cover.

    7. Rajinikanth can drown a fish.

    8. Rajinikanth can delete the Recycle Bin.

    9. Rajinikanth once got into a fight with a VCR player. Now it plays DVDs.

    10. Rajinikanth can slam a revolving door.

    11. Rajinikanth once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are today called giraffes.

    12. Rajinikanth once ordered a plate of idli in McDonald’s, and got it.

    13. Rajinikanth can win at Solitaire with only 18 cards.

    14. The Bermuda Triangle used to be the Bermuda Square, until Rajinikanth kicked one of the corners off.

    15. Rajinikanth can build a snowman out of rain.

    16. Rajinikanth can strangle you with a cordless phone.

    17. Rajinikanth can make onions cry.

    18. Rajinikanth destroyed the periodic table, because he only recognizes the element of surprise.

    19. Rajinikanth can watch the show 60 minutes in 20 minutes.

    20. Rajinikanth has counted to infinity, twice.

    21. Rajinikanth will attain separate statehood in 2013.

    22. Rajinikanth did in fact, build Rome in a day.

    23. Rajinikanth once got into a knife-fight. The knife lost.

    24. Rajinikanth can play the violin with a piano.

    25. Rajinikanth never wet his bed as a child. The bed wet itself in fear.

    26. The only man who ever outsmarted Rajinikanth was Stephen Hawking, and he got what he deserved.

    27. Rajinikanth can talk about Fight Club.

    28. Rajinikanth doesn’t breathe. Air hides in his lungs for protection.

    29. There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Rajinikanth lives in Chennai.

    30. Rajinikanth kills Harry Potter in the eighth book.

    31. Rajinikanth does not own a stove, oven, or microwave, because revenge is a dish best served cold.

    32. Rajinikanth has already been to Mars, that’s why there are no signs of life there.

    33. Rajinikanth doesn’t move at the speed of light. Light moves at the speed of Rajinikanth.

    34. Rajinikanth knows Victoria’s secret.

    35. Water boils faster when Rajinikanth stares at it.

    36. Rajinikanth can throw the Thackerays out of Mumbai.

    37. Rajinikanth kills two stones with one bird.

    38. Google won’t find Rajinikanth because you don’t find Rajinikanth; Rajinikanth finds you.

    39. Rajinikanth gave the Joker those scars.

    40. Rajinikanth leaves messages before the beep.

    41. Rajinikanth once warned a young girl to be good “or else”. The result? Mother Teresa.

    42. Rajinikant electrocuted Iron Man.

    43. Rajinikanth killed Spiderman using Baygon Anti Bug Spray.

    44. Rajinikanth can make PCs better than the Mac.

    45. Rajinikanth puts the ‘laughter’ in manslaughter.

    46. Rajinikanth goes to court and sentences the judge.

    47. Rajinikanth can handle the truth.

    48. Rajinikanth can speak Braille.

    49. Rajinikanth can dodge Chuck Norris’ roundhouse kicks.

    50. Rajinikanth can teach an old dog new tricks.

    51. Rajinikanth calls Voldemort by his name.

    52. Who do you think taught Voldemort Parseltongue? Rajinikanth did.

    53. Chuck Norris once met Rajinikanth. The result – He was reduced to a joke on the internet.

    54. Rajinikanth got small pox when he was a kid. As a result small pox is now eradicated.

    55. Rajinikanth’s calendar goes straight from March 31st to April 2nd, no one fools Rajanikanth.

    56. Rajinikanth grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage.

    57. The last time Rajinikanth killed someone, he slapped himself to do it. The other guy just disintegrated. Resonance.

    58. Rajinikanth once had a heart attack. His heart lost.

    59. Rajinikant is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

    60. Rajinikanth can run at speed of light around a tree and screw himself.

    61.Rajinikant can lick his elbows.

    62. Rajinikant once ate an entire bottle of sleeping pills. They made him blink.

    63. Rajinikant does not get frostbite. Rajnikant bites frost.

    64. Rajinikant doesn’t wear a watch. He decides what time it is.

    65. Rajinikant got his drivers license at the age of 16 seconds.

    66. When you say “no one is perfect”, Rajinikant takes this as a personal insult.

    67. In an average living room there are 1,242 objects Rajinikanth could use to kill you, including the room itself.

    68. Words like awesomeness, brilliance, legendary etc. were added to the dictionary in the year 1949. That was the year Rajinikanth was born.

    69. The statement “nobody can cheat death”, is a personal insult to Rajnikanth. Rajni cheats and fools death everyday.

    70. When Rajnikanth is asked to kill some one he doesn’t know, he shoots the bullet and directs it the day he finds out.

    71. Rajinikant can give pain to Painkillers and headache to Anacin.

    72. Rajinikanth knows what women really want.

    73. Time and tide wait for Rajinikanth.

    74. Rajinikanth sneezed only once in his entire life, that’s when the tsunami occurred in the Indian ocean.

    75. As a child when Rajinikanth had dyslexia, he simply re-scripted the alphabet.

    76. Rajinikanth collects Honey from his private Moon – HoneyMoon.

    77. Rajinikanth can answer a missed call.

    78. Rajinikanth doesn’t need a visa to travel abroad, he just jumps from the tallest building in Chennai and holds himself in the air while the earth rotates.

    79. Rajinikanth’s brain works faster than Chacha Chaudhury’s.

    80. Rajinikanth doesn’t shower. He only takes blood baths.

    81. To be or not to be? That is the question. The answer? Rajinikanth.

    82. The quickest way to a man’s heart is with Rajinikanth’s fist.

    83. Where there is a will, there is a way. Where there is Rajinikanth, there is no other way.

    84. Rajinikanth’s every step creates a mini whirlwind. Hurricane Katrina was the result of a morning jog.

    85. Rajinikant doesn’t bowl strikes, he just knocks down one pin and the other nine faint out of fear.

    86. Archaeologists unearthed an old English dictionary dating back to the year 1236. It defined “victim” as “one who has encountered Rajinikant”.

    87. There is no such thing as global warming. Rajinikanth was feeling cold, so brought the sun closer to heat the earth up.

    88. Once a cobra bit Rajinikanth’ leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.

    89. Rajinikanth is a champion in the game “Hide n’ seek”, as no one can hide from Rajinikanth.

    90. Rajinikant proves Newton wrong all the time. Every time he performs an action, he simply eliminates anything and everything that can provide the reaction.

    91. Rajinikant is a weapon created by God to use on doomsday to end the world.

    92. Aliens do indeed exist. They just know better than to visit a planet that Rajinikanth is on.

    93. We live in an expanding universe. All of it is trying to get away from Rajinikanth.

    94. If at first you don’t succeed, you’re not Rajinikanth.

    95. Rajinikanth’s first job was as a bus conductor. There were no survivors.

    96. Rajinikanth does not style his hair. It lays perfectly in place out of sheer terror.

    97. When Rajinikanth plays Monopoly, it affects the actual world economy.

    98. Rajinikanth is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

    99. Rajinikanth’s house has no doors, only walls that he walks through.

  5. Suresh Panje Says:

    I was told that whenever Rajnikant visits Bangalore, he makes it a point to meet the driver of BTS bus with whom he partnered as the conductor on a particular route. Indeed, a worthy gesture to let the world know that he hasn’t forgotten those days, perhaps one of hand-to-mouth, when he worked as a bus conductor.
    In this context, one can draw a parallel between Rajnikant and Johnny Walker, who also happened to be a conductor in the BEST at Bombay before making his presence felt in the tinsel world to regale the Hindi movie-goers with his comedy. It is also said that Jhonny Walker was humble and never touched alcohol although he could act as a tipsy drunkard! The credit for spotting Johnny Walker goes to Balraj Sahani and of course, Gurudutt as for naming him by the famous scotch whisky.
    And this brings to my mind about two other down-to-earth Bollywood actors. The Pran Sikand and the late David. It is an oft-repeated adage that many parents during the 50s and 60s refused to name their children Pran since he played the roles of villain until Manoj Kumar offered him a gentleman’s role. A well-known film critic in Bombay had told me that Pran happens to be a first rate gentleman unlike the roles portrayed on the screen.
    One wishes that the present clan of so-called heroes and heroines learn a lesson or two from Johnny Walker, David, Pran, Kamalhasan, Rajnikant.

  6. Vindy Says:


  7. karthik Says:

    Truly RAJANI is not an actor but a phenomenon…. what rajani is today is solely by his great personality……… long live rajni…

  8. chidu22 Says:

    It’s only the fools who think the tinsel town heroes as some sort of demigods. Much worse, they still beleive in this stone and age.” jana maralo jathre maralo”?

  9. Kesi Says:

    Majority of posts praising this tinsel hero demonstrate the extent to which the degeneration has set in to this third world country

  10. arun Says:

    Simply Great… Humbleness has one and only synonym that is Rajinikanth… Thalaiva you are a role model to many people like me.

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