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A city celebrates the Superstar

21 July, 2016 11:57 AM
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First day shows, team outings, film-inspired food… SRINIVASA RAMANUJAM taps into all things Kabali

By the time you read this, many Kabali groggy diehard fans would be readying themselves for a first-day-first-show of the film. Others would plan the day as a tribute to their Thalaivar.

MetroPlus chronicles places in the city that are celebrating the frenzy surrounding the star.

An IT employee bored with Dot Net Codes decided to venture into the food business. He had no clue how it worked, but was passionate about it — and so he zeroed in on a pizza outlet in OMR in 2013. And decided to make it a Rajinikanth-themed restaurant.

Fans loved NSS Ramanathan’s concept (“they drove in from as far away as Chengalpet”) but the distance from the city was always going to be a deterrent.

So, after a couple of years, he decided to check out a few other locations — and zeroed in on a prime spot in Besant Nagar.

After clearing many hurdles in the last couple of months, Ramanathan is finally ready — to launch the restaurant on the day his Thalaivar’s latest film releases.

Inside Superstar Pizza, you can find some cool Rajini posters, wire art of the actor’s face and a grand red wall painted with the star’s ‘punch’ dialogues.

The concept is very Rajini-ish. While the Arunachalam offer is an unlimited pizza deal, the Panakkaran pizza is the costliest in store.

“For a spicy pizza, you can opt for Neruppu Da and end it with a dessert pizza called Magizchi,” he grins. “And yes, we play only Rajini songs here.” The actor’s posters adorn the wall, but there’s one blank space left — for a photo of Rajini visiting the outlet someday, a dream Ramanathan hopes will come true.

A WhatsApp forward reads: Salman Khan decided to release Sultan on Eid because it was a holiday. Rajinikanth releases Kabali and it becomes a holiday. Today is an official holiday in a few start-ups and an unofficial one in many other companies, with many fans taking the day off to celebrate the film’s release.

Even film sets are granting permission today — actor STR has booked tickets for the entire crew of his upcoming film AAA. The cast and crew of other films, including Kuttram 23, Balloon and Chennai 600028 II have also planned to watch shows of the film on day one.

Dedicate your dinner to the actor at Grand by GRT Hotels, which has put out a special menu to capture the fan frenzy.

At their J. Hind, positioned as a restaurant with ‘progressive Indian cuisine’, you can get a real ‘taste’ of Rajinikanth films. It all started when the top management, all big fans of the star, were discussing what to do to pay tribute this Kabali season. “We wanted to connect food with the Superstar and came up with this concept where both film and food are celebrated. Take Annamalai, for instance. Our ‘Annamalai’ is curd rice tempered three different ways and served in milk cans! There are many other dishes, inspired by films right from Apoorva Raagangal to Enthiran,” says Vikram Cotah, its COO.

Gautham Prasad says hello to Rajinikanth every day. The actor, after all, has been painted on a wall very close to his workplace.

The 22-year-old, who works with the support department at Freshdesk, is a huge fan of the star. He regularly hangs out near the Thalaivar wall, an exclusive space dedicated to the actor on the walls of a cloud-based company that offers Software-as-a-Service.

“There’s Rajini everywhere in this office,” he says. Gautham is looking forward to Saturday, when he will go out with all his colleagues for his first big team outing — to watch Kabali.

Freshdesk founder Girish Mathrubootham is a huge fan of the Superstar, and like he did for the actor’s previous two films (Kochadaiiyaan and Lingaa), he is organising a special show for the office. “It’s going to be fun, with people from various departments whistling for Rajinikanth inside the theatre,” says Gautham.

If you visit the caffeine corner at The Spring Hotel on Kodambakkam High Road, you can spot about 20 ‘dot drawings’ of Rajinikanth.

It’s a small tribute to the star in a place he has fond memories of — it was the first property the actor bought, way back in 1977 for Rs. 24 lakhs. It was called Arunachala Inn then. The Superstar said during he hotel’s rebranding launch, “When I decided to come to Madras to become an actor, I asked my father for advice, and he told me, ‘On a daily basis, you shouldn’t fear about where you’re getting food — so, as soon as possible, invest in a property. Then, buy a house, a car and only then get married.”

Source: thehindu.com

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