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I wish we had this chapter while we were in school. ..
(Friday, 30th May 2008)

CHENNAI: English textbooks may have had lessons on grammar, some poetry, essays and stories. Now, an English textbook brought out by the Oxford University Press for class VI students has a superstar component, too.

Come June, class VI students going to schools opting for this textbook will learn about actor Rajinikanth, his life, and how he grew to become one of the top actors in the country.

The textbook is part of the publishing house’s ‘New! Learning To Communicate’ (NLTC) series, a revised edition of the ‘Learning to Communicate’ series.

When the author Paul Gunashekar suggested featuring Rajinikant in this book, the publishers endorsed the idea and introduced it in the revised edition.

Managing Director of Oxford University Press, Manzar Khan says: “We have chosen to feature Rajinikant in the NLTC Course Book 6, aimed at Indian students in the age group of 12 years. Rajinikant’s achievement of superstardom from absolute humble beginnings makes him a pan Indian icon that can inspire children across the country.”

Speaking on the content, he adds: “The story of his friendship with the bus driver Bahadur and the latter’s noble sacrifices add a touching appeal to this biographical tale.”

Chinmaya Vidyalaya is one of the city schools which has opted for this series of textbooks. Principal of the school’s Chinmaya Nagar branch P. Vijayalakshmi says: “We will be using the book. However, since I am yet to read the lesson, I will not be able to comment on it.”

While it is still early to find out how students would respond while reading about ‘The Boss,’ fans of the actor are clearly thrilled. Says Shravan Ramnath, a college-going student and a hardcore fan: “How I wish we had this chapter while we were in school. I would have scored really high in the English paper.”

High school student S. Aparna also says she would have really liked to read about the actor. “In fact, I’ve been waiting to read his biography that was launched recently. Success stories of people from modest backgrounds finally making it big are always fascinating to read.”

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