Posts Tagged ‘Dilip Kumar’

What Rajni missed when he went out to smoke

12 December 2012

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

The little trick Yedi picked up from Tricky Dick

29 June 2010

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: I was resting in the Cheluvamba Park after completing my rounds when I met my friend, the Ace Political Expert (APE) just completing his sprint-cum-walk.

As we sat facing the country’s first radio station named Akashvani—so christened by Prof M.V. Gopalaswamy in 1935—I allowed APE to catch his breath and then asked him a question that was bugging me.

“Tell me APE-raayare, when does a politician start sobbing in public?”

APE considered the question from all aspects just as Christiano Ronaldo would, before making an incisive pass in the penalty area.

“It is a rather difficult and sensitive question, Ramu,” he said. “Let me answer by searching for situations when a politician may not cry in public. If a dear friend or a close family member dies, most people cry, but they cry in private. Sometimes, they hug the surviving members of the family etc. Tears are very precious. They are dropped in heart-felt situations that reflect deep loss and gut-wrenching pain. It is not meant for public exhibition.”

“I see,” was all I could muster.

“News of  a  sudden unbelievable death or a near or dear one, or a major disaster can evoke a very spontaneous response. The well can burst. Since  the news comes  like a bolt from the blue, the  response is immediate it and can happen in public or private. But such situations are very rare and are non-repetitive.”

“That’s interesting, too,” I said.

“Sometimes it could be tears of happiness—‘ananda bhaspa’—when you hear of great, unexpected news such as winning a lottery or your government being saved from the  clutches of the mining lobby. These too can spurt a lachrymose reaction, but again it is not sobbing that takes place in public.”

“Can it happen after finishing a long and arduous exam, or the completion of a two-year period of rule or misrule? You ar so relieved that…. ”

“It is possible, especially when you least expect it. Sometimes you expect to fail in a paper and through divine grace,  a grace marks of 5 takes you to the safer side. Or, you expect your government to fall after your own colleagues want you to go and suddenly the situation gets reversed and you are asked to continue. A convict saved from the gallows at the last minute may cry in public out of relief. But, mind you, a repeat of the show is very rare.”

“What do you mean?”

Charlie Chaplin with his acting skills made us laugh and cry, sometimes simultaneously. But even the best of actors like the tragedy king, Dilip Kumar, or our own Raj Kumar could never do an encore on screen or  in public. Not in the same role. It calls for a special talent. More so, when nobody really knows the reason.”

“Why is sobbing in public more and more common, these days?” I asked in all innocence.

“I wouldn’t know. In 1952 Richard Nixon, long before he became President of the United States, was accused of tainted wealth. He came on TV and cried. He was even accused of accepting a dog as a gift from one of his supporters in Texas. Nixon, finally said, ‘Regardless of what they say about it, we are going to keep it’. His dog, Checkers, in fact won the day for him and his speech was called the Checkers speech.  Nixon came back as President in 1968 but had to leave office in ignominy after his role in Watergate scandal when he faced imminent impeachment.”

“So there is some history to showing emotions in public?”

APE summed it up nicely as we got up.

“Yes, but Nixon is certainly not a good example for politicians of any hue or any country to emulate. But what I am worried he is. Karnataka is becoming home of crybabies with politicians crying in front of, or for, public,”’ said APE as we got up.

File photograph: Karnataka Photo News