Gallons of milk will go down the drains and roads of Chennai on Friday morning as Rajnikanth fans prepared to usher in his latest multi-crore film Sivaji. During the opening on Friday the sachets would be emptied atop the multitude of Rajnikanth cut outs erected in and around the theatre.
Readying a plastic drum to store the milk sachets near Albert theatre Murganandam, a painter by profession, asserts that it is a tradition that he and his friends have followed religiously for every Rajni movie since 1980.
Asked why waste so much milk on painted cardboard which could otherwise be given to poor children Muruganandam shot back, "For us Rajnikanth is God and if milk can be used as abhishekam in temples why not here? As for the poor we will provide free lunch on behalf of the local fans association on Sunday."
Rajendran, the manager of Albert theatre, himself an ardent Rajnikanth fan, had put up a poster urging the fans not waste milk and money in this fashion. When no one paid heed to his request he quietly removed the poster. "The last thing you can curb is the enthusiasm of the Rajni fan," he shrugged.
Elsewhere in Tamil Nadu crazy fans have resorted to all sorts of practices, imported from the state's religious ethos, to pray for the success of Sivaji — Rajnikanth's 100th Tamil movie. One set of fans in Salem pulled a small chariot with a Rajnikanth photo by wries attached to their backs by hooks. In Madurai one group ate 'man soru' — where rice is served on the bare ground and eaten directly without use of plates.
Meanwhile industry watchers are waiting with bated breath if the most expensive Tamil movie — with a budget of over Rs 50 crore with Rajni himself commanding a fee of Rs 17 crore — will bring in the desired moolah. With 460 Tamil prints being released worldwide the producers — AVM Studios — are confident that the movie would recover its costs in the first four weeks itself.