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My life should not end as an actor, says Rajinikanth

The veteran answered a series of questions by the organisers of Natchathira Vizha, an event organised to generate funds to build the office of the Nadigar Sangam.

Manigandan KR

Stating that he had entertained people so far, Rajinikanth said he does not wish to end his life just as an actor. 

He was speaking at Natchathira Vizha, a fund-raising event organized in Malaysia by the South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA) in an effort to generate funds for building an office for the association. Formed in 1952, SIAA is a union for film, television and stage actors in Tamil Nadu.

Rajinikanth, who joined over 300 actors, technicians and celebrities from the Tamil film industry for the event, answered questions by its organizers, much to the delight of the gathered fans and audience.

The conversation began with the actor being asked about his first love, to which he replied, "Yes, I have fallen in love. I had that experience while studying in a school in Karnataka. I cannot forget it. Everybody's first love stays in their hearts. Many have succeeded in their first love and many have failed in it. I failed in my first love."

When asked about his experience of working in the film industry, Rajinikanth said, "In my 42-year film career, I have done my best to entertain people. Likewise, I have done my best to put across good thoughts and ideas."

The most identifiable feature that Rajinikanth has sported over the years is his hairstyle. He was asked whether he himself had developed the hairstyle or did it come from his mentor director K Balachander. "I continue to be what I was. Even when I was working as a conductor in Karnataka, other conductors would take half-an-hour to issue tickets. I would finish issuing tickets in just 10 minutes. In Karnataka, the front portion of a bus is for women. I will distribute tickets to the men first and then proceed to the front where I would wait for passengers to board the bus at the next stop. At that point, I had lots of hair and I would often have to brush it with my hands to keep it in place. When I entered cinema, Balachander sir saw my style and the speed with which I worked. He liked it and said, 'People in the film industry will ask you to change your look. Do not change. This is what is new. Everybody will like this. Stay as you are'," Rajinikanth replied.

Even with the god-like reverence that the actor is treated with, he has had a few things on his wish list too. "My smallest wish was to own a scooter and a home in which I could have a bedroom for myself. My biggest wish is to serve the people of the country and the people of Tamil Nadu, who have made me prosper. My biggest wish is to make the people live well and happily," he said.

The star was then asked to name situations that made him sad and happy. To this, he replied,"If my films do well, I will be happy. If they fail, I feel sad. In my life, there have been instances, where I have broken down and shed tears." Referring to the opportunity that had come his way to become chief minister in 1996, the organisers asked, "Have you ever regretted having missed out on an opportunity that came your way in 1996?" To this, the actor said, "I have not regretted that for even a second."

The organisers then raised another question pertaining to his family. They asked him if whether one's family was a gift or a burden to one who intended to enter public life. To this, Rajinikanth said, "One cannot generalise. It depends on the individuals and their families concerned."

When asked what he would like to tell his fans who lived all across the world, Rajinikanth said, "Mother, father and family are what is important. Your mother and father are gods. If you revere them, everything else will follow you. The youth in particular, must keep their families happy. God will keep you happy."