A lot of cine-goers do not know the humble beginnings of today’s superstar Rajinikanth. His life story is a true rags to riches script. In fact, this is the story of his forthcoming film Kathanayakudu.
Rajinikanth was born to a Maratha family in Karnataka. He was the fourth child of his parents, Jijabai and Ramojirao Gaekwad. He was named Shivajirao Gaekwad. Gaekwad is a family name among the Marathas. He lost his mother at the age of five. He did his schooling at the Acharya Paatashala in Bangalore and then at the Vivekananda Balaka Sangha. Rajinikanth struggled a lot during his early age because of poverty.
He began his career doing various jobs in Bangalore. He also attended a theatre for stage plays. Before starting his career in the film industry, he worked as a bus conductor for the Bangalore Transport Service in Bangalore. It was during this time that he nurtured his acting interests by performing in various stage plays.
He joined the Madras Film institute in 1973 with the financial help rendered by his friend Raj Bahadur, who worked along with him as Bus driver and completed a basic course in acting. In the film institute he was helped by his fellow student Chireenjevi and the Vice Principal A.Prabhakaran.
Rajinikanth’s first film was inTamil, where he was initially cast in supporting roles, debuting as a cancer patient in Apoorva Raagangal in 1975. The film was directed by K. Balachander, who is constantly referred to by Rajinikanth as his own guru or mentor.
Rajinikanth married Laatha on February 26, 1981, at the age of 31 in Tirumala – Tirupati and they have two children: Aishwariya and Soundarya. Even today the superstar does not forget the help rendered by Raj Bahadur and Chiranjeevi. All these episodes have been incorporated in the film Kathanayakudu.