A Rajinikanth film is no less than a festival for his ardent fans. As the megastar gears up for the release of Annaatthe (elder brother in Tamil) almost two years after his last theatrical release Darbar (2020), his fans too have pulled out all stops to ensure that the run-up to the movie is just as grand.
Continuing with their tradition of years, the Maharashtra State Head Rajini Fans Welfare Association (MSHRFWA) – a leading fan club of Thalaiva in the city which is based out of Chembur – has lined up celebrations at a Sion multiplex as early as 3:30 am on Thursday, following which they will watch the film first day, first show.
However, the proceedings will start on a sombre note — in keeping with Rajinikanth’s wishes, the fans have decided to follow all the necessary precautions due to Covid-19.
Dr Thalapathi SK Athimoolam, president, MSHRFWA, reveals, “We will start the proceedings with a Satyanarayan puja inside the multiplex premise. Thalaiva recently underwent a surgery and the puja is kept specially for his healthy and long life. Generally we do the puja at the Mariamman temple in Sion-Koliwada, but this time around we are avoiding it due to the restrictions. Even Thalaiva has directly requested us not to gather in large numbers and celebrate keeping in mind all the SOP’s (standard operating procedures).”
Athimoolam further adds that they will be donating sewing machines and sarees to needy women. “Thalaiva turns 72 next month and keeping that in mind, we will be donating 72 sewing machines and 72 saris to some women who we have selected from the local community after the screening. Thalaiva does so much for the community and this is the least that we can do for him,” he said.
A 72-foot tall cut-out of the superstar will be positioned outside the theatre on Wednesday evening. He states, “We have made a special 45-foot long garland for the cut-out. We have requested fans to avoid the ritual of pal abhishekam [milk offering]; they can donate milk to the poor instead. Before the movie we there will be song and dance performances by his fans. We have arranged for a banjo and some band who will play Thalaiva’s song. A few of his fans will also perform a coconut breaking ceremony where they will break 72 coconuts for the prosperity of Thaliava. The screening will be followed by another puja at the theater itself.”