With his latest film Sivaji- The Boss still rocking the box office even six months after its release, this birthday could be a special one for Tamil superstar Rajinikanth who turns 57 today.
While fans across the state are gearing up to celebrate their 'Thalaivar's' (leader) birthday, the star is set to go into "hiding".
"Rajini sir, in all probability, won't be in town this year too. Usually, he doesn't meet his fans on his birthday. It will be no different this year," a source close to the actor told PTI.
However, his fans have plans to celebrate the day in a grand manner. "This birthday is special for both our Thalaivar and us as Sivaji is set to complete 200 days in over 50 theatres in a week's time. So, we have planned to celebrate the day in a great way," said J Ramki, co-founder of Rajinifans.Com, a portal dedicated to fans of the superstar.
He said the site would carry out many welfare activities around the world. "We will organise a grand function and a music nite to celebrate Rajini's birthday in Dubai and Malaysia, where there is a sizeable chunk of Tamil population."
Elsewhere in Tamil Nadu, fan clubs will celebrate the day by distributing sweets, performing special prayers at temples and churches and undertaking various philanthropic activities.
In Chennai too, the fans are set to start the day by performing poojas at temples, donating blood and providing food to orphanages in the city.
"We have planned to give three meals to all the students of an orphanage in Anna Nagar tomorrow on the occasion of Rajnikanth's birthday and most of the fans would donate their blood," Ramki said.
Rajinifans.Com has also decided to provide water tanks to four schools in Courtalam in Tenkasi district. Rajnikanth, who has a huge fan following across south India, was introduced to the silver screen by veteran director K Balachander in 1975 through Apoorva Raagangal, in which he played the role of a cancer patient.
The movie which gave Rajnikanth a wide recognition was Moondru Mudichu (1976), where he played the role of a cruel womaniser and continued to do negative roles in films like 16 Vayadhinile and Gayatri.
It was in 1977 that the actor first played a positive role in Bhuvana Oru Kelvikuri, as a villain in the first-half and a 'good' person in its latter half when he accepts a woman with a child abandoned by her lover.
After the film's success, the actor's career graph went on an upswing and Rajinikanth started doing more positive roles as the audience accepted him as a "star".
In the 1980s, the actor adapted himself to do more and more action oriented family entertainers like Velaikaran, Manidhan, Dharmathin
Thalaivan, Siva and Mr Bharath.
Almost all his films in the 1990s were hugely successful, thanks to hard hitting dialogues on the society, a must in Rajini movies, which kept the audience guessing whether the actor will make a foray into politics.
to his latest film
, Rajinikanth has never compromised in his style and dialogues -- traits with which people have always identified him.
The actor made his first political statement when he openly announced his support to the Congress after meeting the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao.
When late Congress leader G K Moopanar split from the Congress, formed Tamil Maanila Congress, and signed a poll pact with DMK, Rajnikanth announced his "full-fledged" support to the front and campaigned for it.
He also courted controversies during the 2004 Lok Sabha elections when he opposed PMK's "violence" and announced his support to the AIADMK-BJP combine quoting the saffron partys support to interlinking of rivers as the reason for his decision.
But, in 2002, his much-awaited 'Baba' bombed at the box office. Immediately, he bounced back in his next film
, a remake of Malayalam blockbuster 'Manichitrathazu' that did well at the box office.
But, the actor's critics say he never stepped out of his trademark style, punch dialogues and do challenging roles like his long-time friend Kamal Hassan.
Rajinikanth, who has acted in more than 170 films, including Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi, has been honoured with many awards such as Filmfare, Tamil Nadu State Government Awards and Cinema Express.