With his screen presence and unrelenting desire to deliver to fans, Rajinikanth has carved a market for himself through three decades in Kollywood cinema, during which the entire industry has evolved and gone through uncountable changes.
He is a symbol of hope and inspiration for the people of India. From coolie to a superstar to almost a God of Tamil films – journey is one of the most astonishing life story of India.
There are many people in the world who have achieved great successes, but just as Rajinikanth has created history in the absence and struggles, very few people in the whole world would have been able to do it.
Struggling Days of Shivaji Rao Gaekwad
Rajinikanth, born as Shivaji Rao Gaikwad on 12th December 1950, in a Marathi family, was the youngest of four siblings. His mother, Jijabai, died when he was very young and his family went through severe financial crisis.
Childhood of Rajanikanth – Humble Beginning
Rajinikanth’s father Ramoji Rao Gaikwad was a police constable and had a meagre income.
After the death of his mother Jijabai, Rajinikanth, the youngest of four siblings, realised that their family’s financial position was delicate and that they were suffering. Growing up, he worked as a coolie to support his family.
After completing his schooling from the Government Model Primary School at Gavipuram, Bangalore, he took up odd jobs at various places in Chennai and Bangalore.
He even worked as a carpenter and a bus conductor for the Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) before becoming an actor.
Tamil Films – Rejections and Struggling Start
The first person to discover his inherent flair for acting was K.Balachander, an Indian director working primarily in the Tamil industry. However, Balachander wasn’t impressed with Rajinikanth’s acting prowess right away. At their first meeting, when Rajinikanth auditioned, he delivered some of Sivaji Ganesan’s dialogues and copied his mannerisms. Unfortunately, Balachander rejected him and advised him to develop a style of his own and to learn Tamil.
In 1975, when Rajini made his big-screen debut in K Balachander’s movie Apoorva Raagangal, he had a very small role to play. With Kamal Hassan playing the lead role of hero, his performance as a villain was noticed by few.
This was followed by a string of small and antagonistic roles in his upcoming movies.
Rising of a Star Called Rajanikanth
For the first time, he was cast in a lead role in the Telugu film Chilakamma Cheppindi, directed by S P Muthuraman in the year 1975.
Through the 1990s, with continuous hard work and perseverance, Rajinikanth established himself as a commercial entertainer and worked on many commercially successful and critically acclaimed movies such as Thalapathi (1991), Annamalai (1992), Baasha (1995) Padayappa (1999) and the most popular Robot (2010). His dialogues and unique style lifted his status from an actor to an icon.
After blitzing through a series of successful movies, Rajinikanth starred in a Bollywood movie Andha Kanoon, alongside Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, which went onto become a big hit proving that language was no barrier for talent. His impeccable dialogue delivery and stylish walk earned him the title of “SUPERSTAR”.
Lessons to Learn from Rajanikanth’s Life Journey
1. Your success doesn’t depend upon your origins
Coming from a humble background, Rajinikanth has weathered hardships to become one of the most loved filmstars, both on and off screen.
2. In the face of failure, one must learn from one’s mistakes instead of losing hope and confidence
Rajinikanth’s career changed for the good, when he got rejected by K.Balachander the first time. Focussing on the advice lent to him, Rajinikanth developed his own style and learnt Tamil. The rest is history.
3. Perseverance and self-confidence is enough for following your passion
Even after being hospitalized in 2011 at the age of 61, he stole the hearts of millions of fans by returning to the silver screen, proving that age is no barrier for following your passion.
4. How humility and simplicity are important for success
In addition to his acting skills, Rajinikanth is loved by all for his humility and simplicity. He respects all his fans as much as they respect him. Rajinikanth has also been noted for his simplicity. Off the sets, he mostly wears a dhoti kurta.
Motivational Quotes from Rajanikanth
- “When Desire ends, Peace begins”
- “Where there is a creation, there should be a creator”.
- “You won’t get anything without hard work. What you get without hard work will never fructify.”
- “God gives a lot of things to bad people, but he will let them fail eventually. God tests good people a lot, but he will never let them down.”
- “A greedy man and an angry woman have never lived prosperously.”
- “Meditation is the key to energy.”
- “God is as powerful as your faith in Him.”
- “There is nothing wrong in dreaming a luxurious life. What needs to be taken care of is not let need become greed. Because needs can always be met, but greed can never be fulfilled.”
- “I will die poor but not as a coward.”
- “If the food you eat stays in your body, your health will get spoilt. If the money you make stays in your pockets, your life will get spoilt.”
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