Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rags to riches, thanks to Rajni

This story of a simple man who has grown idolizing his reel hero’s actions in various blockbuster films was very moving when I got to know of it. So I wanted to meet this man who has grown in financial status as well as social echelon. Though he kept growing he had not forgotten his past and his old friends, which he continues to hold even today.

Taking a cue from his boss’s role in the film Annamalai (1992) V Harsha, President of Rajni Fans club at the Airport Road in the city, has transformed his personal life to align with that of Sivaji (2007).
For Harsha, Rajni flicks are not just any movies. They have taught him many lessons and inspired his tremendously.
Before attaining his current status, Harsha walked the streets of the city as adoor-to-door beedi and cigarette salesman. But the movie Annamali changed his fate forever. Success came to him gradually as he followed the principals of his on-screen ‘guru’.
Says Harsha, “The demolishing of various structures, the mannerisms, his attitude towards the depressed class and willingness to serve the needy people have moved me. Since then, I have been following his reel life values in my real life too. Today, all of my friends are like Rajni’s friends. All my cars have the same numbers as that of Rajni’s cars. I have even named my daughter Aishwarya, which is also the name of Rajni’s daughter.”
Each of Rajni’s movies has pushed him up the ladder of success. “When Basha was released in January 1995, I bought a small two-wheeler. Later I bought myself an even better two-wheeler after the release of Muthu in December 1995.

After the release of Arunachalam in 1997, I bought my first car. Later, during the release of Padeyappa in 1999, I bought another car. Today, I own a fleet of six cars. Couple of years ago when Chandramukhi was released, I got a Scorpio and now with Sivaji I am buying a Skoda” exalts Harsha.
The regular release of his boss’ films has provided him with enough time to implement the values of his icon as depicted on screen. “Following those methods and principals I have earned well and reached my present position. Now this is the right time to pay the master who changed my life.”
So far Harsha has spent more than Rs 50 Lakh for publicizing Rajni’s films in the city. Harsha has spent around Rs 4 to 5 lakh on every film. For Sivaji alone, Harsha has spent more than Rs 7 lakh. Sivaji’s release as he claims is like his daughter’s wedding. His club plans to arrange free tickets for women and children. Besides, he has also promised to give away free multiplex tickets to auto drivers, plumbers and other daily wage workers. All theaters which screen Sivaji in the city will get free buntings and flags from Harsha’s club.

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