Indian superstar Rajinikanth recently landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and people went berserk both on social media and in real life.
According to Gulte.com, both the Captain and Second Captain of the Malaysian Airlines plane took up the opportunity to snap a selfie with the superstar. Soon after he arrived, he had a very short photo session with the press and his security quickly ushered him to his limousine through the thronging crowds.
And that was just the beginning. Since he landed, countless numbers of people have snapped selfies with the superstar for their social media profiles and within minutes, the hash tag #kabaliInMalaysia began trending on Twitter.
The actor is here in Malaysia to shoot for his upcoming film Kabali. Although the actor has a cult-like following here in Malaysia among other places, there are still quite a large number of people that don’t know him.
So to avoid feeling left out and confused as to why this man is such a big deal, here’s a list of things that you need to know about the superstar.
1. He comes from humble beginnings.
He led an impoverished life as a child after losing his mother at the age of 5, and he often had to carry out odd jobs as a coolie in his community. Soon after he finished his elementary education at the public school, he worked as a bus conductor in Bangalore Transport Service.
In fact, playwright Topi Muniappa discovered him while he was issuing tickets as a conductor.
2. Kabali is his 159th film.
He began his journey as an actor by playing a small role in a Tamil film called Apoorva Raagangal in 1975 and since then he’s acted in numerous films in various dialects.
He even became the highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan after earning US$6.5 million for his role in a movie called Sivaji in 2007.
Since he first began, he has acted in over 150 films and Kabali would be his 159th film to date.
According to The Rakyat Post, the movie is based on a story about an Indian mob from Chennai that will be predominantly shot at Malacca, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Carey Island, Penang and Langkawi before moving onto neighbouring countries.
3. Saying he has a “cult-like” following is an understatement.
He’s one actor that’s managed to develop a huge cult-like following. His fans conduct rituals on huge cutouts of him just before the launch of his films for goodwill and success.
According to a mini biography submitted on IMDB, directors avoid killing off his character in movies because they are afraid that disheartened fans would burn down the movie theatre and prevent the movie from being played in other theatres.
He doesn’t just have a huge following in India but he also has a huge cult-like following here in Malaysia, Japan, among other places.
Apparently there’s even a Rajini fan club in Japan.
4. His website doesn’t run on Internet.
It runs on “Rajni” power! When you visit allaboutrajni.com, you’re kindly asked to disable your Internet before entering the website. You’re only allowed to check out the content on the site without any Internet.
The site provides you with trivia about his life, his movies and also his “special skills.” If you reconnect to the Internet while browsing his site, your access to the site will be restricted.
Given the novelty of the site, quite a few questions have been asked on Quora about how it’s able to function without Internet. The simple answer to the question is that the site works on flash.
5. He’s the Indian Chuck Norris.
Given his mannerisms, special abilities and dare I say swagger, he probably resembles Chuck Norris than anyone else.
And just like Chuck Norris, his amazing abilities and awesome power is forever commemorated in jokes.
A lot of jokes.
- When Rajinikanth looks in the mirror the mirror shatters. Even the mirror is not stupid enough to come between Rajini and Rajini.
- Rajinikanth killed the Dead Sea.
- Rajinikanth can strangle a man with a cordless phone.
- Rajini’s calendar goes straight from March 31 to April 2. (No one fools Rajinikanth)
- Rajini can run so fast he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.
- Rajinikanth knows Victoria’s secret.
- Rajinikanth leaves messages before the beep.
- Even when Rajinikanth makes an error, it’s called an invention.
- Rajinikanth doesn’t wear a watch. He decides what time it is.
6. He could be awarded a datukship.
Rajinikanth had his first official lunch with the governor of Malacca Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob yesterday. Although his entourage didn’t disclose the details of the meeting to the public, people have been speculating about whether he’d be honoured with a datukship.
In fact in February, his fans launched a short-lived online campaign on change.org petitioning the Malaysian government to honour him with a datukship title. This was done after Datuk Jackie Chan was awarded with the title in conjunction with Federal Territories Day. However the hype soon died down.
Given that he’s going to be in the country for the next 3 weeks, he might just end up becoming a Datuk. I mean, such an idea isn’t far-fetched.
7. Is it Rajinikanth or Rajnikanth?
His name is rather confusing because it seems to be either spelt Rajinikanth or Rajnikanth. According to most news articles, ‘Rajinikanth’ is used, but he is referred to as ‘Rajni’ on his own website.
According to an article by The Times Of India in 2008, the director of the film Sultan – The Warrior, who is also his youngest daughter, “The actual spelling is Rajinikanth, and in the South it’s spelt that way. But in the rest of the world it’s spelt Rajnikanth. It’s actually Rajinikanth.”