It is universally agreed that 2011 was a plus year for the film industry but it could so easily have been one of the worst in decades. One of the biggest superstars in the country gave heartburn and palpitations to the industry, and the country. Rajinikanth, much as his family strived to downplay it, had a major health issue when he was taken to a hospital from the sets of Rana, for which it was the first day of shooting. From breathlessness to infection to cold and cough, the family offered many explanations for Rajini’s medical indisposition but it never let the severity of the superstar’s condition leak to the media. However, Rajini was ill, seriously ill, and the picture cleared only after he was rushed to Singapore, went through the required surgery and stayed in contamination-free atmosphere for many weeks. He still hasn’t resumed shooting (except for that brief appearance in Ra.One), but no one is worried about Rajini anymore. It may come off better in Tamil but the fact is, all of us believe that ‘no bacteria/germ/virus has been born that can harm Rajini’.
Rajini was ill, seriously ill, and the picture cleared only after he was rushed to Singapore.
The fans certainly thought so, for, there was no major panic anywhere, including the South which is Rajini God’s own country. Of course, prayers continued and when the superstar finally returned from Singapore, thousands shaved the hair off their heads in gratitude, at various temples for divine intervention.
Rajini, Ghajini Aur Dhoni
Another moment in national life that delved on Rajini’s invincibility was during the Cricket World Cup finals between India and Sri Lanka when, halfway through the match, Rajini was spotted on a stadium balcony watching the match in the company of Aamir Khan. Immediately the buzz around the country was ‘Anhoni ko honi kar de, honi ko anhoni, ek jagah jab jama ho teeno, Rajini, Ghajini aur Dhoni’. At that moment the country believed that India just couldn’t lose the finals, not with Rajini watching from above; he, as God, wouldn’t, everyone believed, let India lose. Of course, India won the World Cup.
Rajinikanth is well enough to move around and he will shoot when he is good and ready; after all, he’s a superstar, he sets his own time table. And the way the Rajini legend goes, he probably sets the GMT clock too.