From faraway Japan
to watch Rajninikanth's Chandramukhi
from Japan displays her saree pallu bearing
Rajnikanth’s film title Chandramukhi.
CHENNAI: A monk, a Buddhist one at that, is all
spiritual? Completely detached from worldly affairs?
Certainly turning his back on the silver screen?
Perish the thought. For here comes Hase Kawa from
Osaka, a die-hard fan of superstar Rajnikanth and who
has come all the way from Japan to watch Chandramukhi.
The medium-built but broad-shouldered Kawa, clad in a
T-shirt and jeans, says airily: ‘‘He’s a fantastic
hero. He sweeps us all off our feet. What if I’m a
monk, I enjoy his films, and I am willing to go to the
other end of the world to watch them...And so are my
friends here with me...’’
Ever since ‘Muthu’ hit the Japanese theatres a decade
ago, Kawa had actually travelled to Chennai at least
eight times to watch as many Rajni films as possible
and hopefully meet him too. He has not succeeded so
far. But that would not deter him from coming here.
A rendezvous with their idol, even if they have to
content themselves with seeing him on the screen, is
still a cherished moment for them.
The five flew in on the eve of the release of ‘Chandramukhi’.
Well, on the opening day, they didn’t exactly succeed
in their efforts to get tickets.
They moved from one theatre to another, but to no
effect. Only ‘Houseful’ boards greeted them
everywhere. Even the ever-trustworthy black market let
them down badly. There was no ticket on the offer
When this reporter caught up with them in the
afternoon, they were a bit downcast.
‘‘We didn’t want to wait till the film is released
there. Hence we flew in, but no luck....Oh what
efforts we had taken...What excuses we had offered to
get away...Hmm,’’ the five sighed longingly. But as
they sat sipping their tea in a restaurant, a local
contact of their came running to them, all excitement.
Of course he was waving a bunch of tickets, and they
all broke out in unison, ‘‘Hurrah.’’ Yeah, they would
now see their favourite hero’s film the next city. The
rendezvous had only been postponed.
Miyura, a software engineer, had told his office back
in Osaka in Japan that he had a family errand to
attend to in India. Swinging to Rajini’s evergreen hit
‘Autokkaaran’ from ‘Basha’, played in the hotel, he
said, ‘‘You see, I have come with a lot of expectation
just to watch our hero’s film. I am sure he will not
disappoint me.’’ Sima, a film critic in the group,
explained: ‘‘People over there like his frillless,
simple, straight acting. They indeed find him better
than even Hollywood heroes, refreshingly different
from the flock they are used to. Ever since ‘Muthu’
was released as an experimental measure in the
nineties, believe me he has become a rage, among
different sections…there are eight fan clubs for him
in our country...’’
Oonishi, a fashion designer, displaying a childlike
glee with her saree ‘pallu,’ carrying Rajnikanth’s
image and the ‘Chandramukhi’ title, said in broken
Tamil: ‘‘ I do not know any language other than
Japanese. But I have been learning Tamil for the last
few months just to watch Rajni movies.’’
She went on to sing a few snatches of ‘Devuda Devuda’
from ‘Chandramukhi’. ‘‘I cannot wait to watch the
movie, I bet it will be a hit.’’
Pressed further on what she found in the actor so
fascinating, Oonishi gushed: ‘‘Oh, what else but
style. So much élan and such agility in his movements.
He simply throbs with life..,’’ she said, adding with
a blush ‘‘He is sooo sexy.’’
One look at them would suffice to make you understand
that they had gone gaga with the Tamil superstar. Be
it their bracelet, chain, T-shirt, everything about
them seemed to bear the legend ‘Chandramukhi’ or
Rajni’s face. ‘‘We will keep shopping for more and
more memorabilia,’’ they declared while flaunting
their ‘Chandramukhi’ badges too. Construction
contractor, Kuwa Bara said: ‘‘I have a collection of
his film DVDs and now I have come here to watch the
movie in a theatre for that unique experience.’’
They had met each other through Subramaniam, a Tamil,
running a restaurant in Osaka. He explains: ‘‘I had
posted details about ‘Chandramukhi’ on the Internet
and these people came rushing to me pressing me for an
opportunity to watch it here in Tamil Nadu, fresh from
the oven, as it were...and so I’ve brought them
Incidentally, Subramaniam, who also teaches Tamil in
Japan, disclosed that many people over there were
actually learning the language just to be able to
follow better Rajni’s films and enjoy them more. And
the last word should go to the monk of course. Asked
whether he would pray for the new film’s success, Hase
Kawa retorted, almost impatiently: ‘‘I don’t have to.
You see, he has some special spiritual powers and that
will ensure the film’s success.’’ Amen.