Superstar Rajinikanth, who made his debut with "Apoorva Ragangal", recently completed 38 years in the film industry.
Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, a bus conductor from Bangalore, was introduced as Rajinikanth to Tamil cinema by Balachander. The veteran director gave Rajinikanth his first opportunity to star in his film "Apoorva Raagangal" (Rare Melodies), co-starring Kamal Haasan, Srividya and Jayaudha.
Since then the actor has starred in several films and performed varied roles - from villain to hero and comedian. He has been part of several hit films and some of them are memorable including "16 Vayadhinile", "Anbulla Rajinikanth" (actor appeared his self), "Sri Raghavendra", "Baasha", "Padayyappa", "Chandramukhi", "Sivaji" and "Enthiran".
The massive success of "Enthiran" ("Robot") catapulted Rajinikanth to the international arena. Despite enjoying immense popularity worldwide, the superstar is known for his simplicity. He completed 38 years in Indian cinema on 18 August. On the same day, film historian Mohan Raman spoke about Rajini's meteoric rise from a common man to a superstar, at an event as part of the Chennai Heritage Talk in ITC Grand Chola, Chennai.
The actor gave anecdotes and spoke of lesser-known facts about Rajini. "His first job was as an office peon. He also tried out several other jobs, before he became a conductor," Mohan was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The event was attended by Balachander and director SP Muthuraman. Speaking at the event, Balachander said, "I did not change his name (Sivaji Rao Gaekwad) for the sake of it. There was already a giant called Sivaji at that time and so, I wanted to change this young man's name. For the new name, I chose Rajinikanth, a character from my own film, Major Chandrakanth," according to the news daily.
An audio byte from Rajinikanth was played at the event. In the audio, the actor revealed that he loved his learning phase more than anything else. He also said that he is in a spiritual quest and is seeking peace.
Rajini, who has acted in more than 150 films, will next be seen in "Kochadaiyaan", an epic drama directed by his second daughter Soundarya. Fans are waiting to see their demi-god appear on the big screen once again. The superstar was last seen in 2010-blockbuster "Enthiran" appearing in dual roles - as a scientist and a robot.
In his upcoming film, Rajini will once again feature in two roles - father and son. Apart from the legendary actor, "Kochadaiyaan" has Deepika Padukone, Aadhi, Jackie Shroff, Nassar and Shobana in supporting roles. The film is claimed to be the first Indian film to use 3D motion capturing technology in the likes of Hollywood films "Tin Tin" and "Avatar".