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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

ENDHIRAN (THE ROBOT)-THE MADNESS UNLEASHED

....Continued from Endhiran (Robot)- The build up

Chennai wouldn’t sleep tonight.

But I did.

As I lay peacefully in my bed having some weird dreams, the true hard core Rajni fans were up and getting ready to go for a movie. The fanatics were up all night bursting crackers, singing, dancing and raising a toast to their God in their usual style, in a plastic tumbler with cheap rum and a banana to go with it. The wait for the movie and the alacrity that comes with it is more fun than the movie itself.

The celebration went on till 4 am - the time for the first show.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to such a theatre to witness these scenes but from what I hear, the atmosphere inside is like that of a cricket stadium rather than a movie hall. You wouldn’t get to hear a thing but the entertainment provided otherwise is totally worth it.

The Rajni craze- A garland of sweet lime
I reach office at 2 PM and meet guys who have already seen the movie twice. Half of Chennai had apparently not come to work today. I just couldn’t contain my excitement. It was Friday and I still had 2 days to go for my movie. I decided not to work and celebrate Rajnikanth.

I had the audacity to tell my HR head that I wasn’t going to work that day because I was excited about Endhiran. Instead of being reproached, he asked me, “You got tickets?” Proudly, I respond, “Yeah, Sunday” to which my HR head says, “That’s so sad! I got tickets for tonight”. The conversation went on for 10 more minutes, much to the shock of my colleagues and trainer.

You see the magic? Thinking about it now, I don’t even know where I got that kind of courage from.

Through the day, I kept hearing stories of hardcore fans and their antics, each more crazy than the previous.

I was getting restless and I am getting restless now so I’m skipping my painful wait and coming straight to THE SUNDAY, my turn to watch Endhiran.

Sunday morning...

The Chennai shared auto
FINALLY the day was here! Excitement was at its prime. M and I got ready and left well before time. Or so we thought. Just as we started, we encountered our first speed breaker - Chennai traffic decided to play party pooper. To make matters worse, we were aboard a shared taxi (the first mode of public transport that came our way), those weird looking vehicles that gives every indication of being a cross between an auto and a mini bus but moves at the speed of a bullock cart. We wouldn’t make it on time. Nothing was going right and it wasn’t a good feeling. All the anticipation, excitement, hype, extra money spent and finally ending up late for the movie seemed just wrong.  

The most exciting part of a Rajni movie is the start, right from the censor board certificate followed by the animated entry of the letters to form the word S-U-P-E-R-S-T-A-R and finally the super dramatic entry of Rajnikanth himself amidst cheers, screams and flying lungis. I really wanted to witness this.

If we continued by the shared auto, reaching the theatre on time was next to impossible, so we got off half way through and decided to hire our very own, personal auto (which is quite a luxury in Chennai).

I ask him, “Anna. Satyam?” (That’s all that is needed to get the message across). The driver gives a nod. “Evalo?” (How much?). He starts with Rs 220 and finally agrees for Rs 40 and we are off (those of you who find this weird, this is how autos in Chennai function. Meters are for aesthetics).

We were still well behind schedule, hope was fast running out and right then M uttered the magic words, “Anna. Sheegram go (Fast go). Movie. Endhiran. Rajnikanth”. I swear to God, everything went into slow motion for the next 20 seconds. Slowly, frame by frame, the auto driver turned to look at us, didn’t say a word and smiled. The smile said it all. In slow motion he turned back to drive, locked the fingers of his hand and made that crackling sound (even that in slow motion), kut kut kut one by one, and that’s when we snap out of the slow motion and also, everything else changed.

Like a man possessed, he revved his engine and drove at a speed that would qualify the auto to race at a formula 3 event. Probably the auto was a Rajni fan too. No obstacle was too big and no turn was too sharp for the driver since he was in charge of the holy duty of making sure we made it in time for the movie of his God. However, we still needed a miracle if we had to reach on time. I did something really strange (I shit you not and I swear this is not made up). I held my hands together (in the Namaste position) and prayed out loud to Rajni (half as a joke and half out of pure desperation). Taking cue, M did the same.

Three minutes left for the movie to start and we were almost there. My other friends were already in the theatre waiting for us. We could actually make it on time. Was this going to be a miracle? One minute to go and I was actually wondering if the driver in his excitement wouldn’t take the money and say that it was just a part of his duty. We reached with 30 seconds to go and driver seemed to lose all the brotherhood and asked for his money. What was I thinking? Anyway, we paid up and rushed towards the theatre hoping that we don’t miss much.

Inside, I see my other friends walking casually towards me. Have they gone crazy? Don’t they want to witness the spectacle at the start? Exasperated, I ask D, “Dude! Why the hell are you out? Hasn’t the movie started already? D starts smiling and realization dawns as I ask, “What time does the movie really start?” and a smiling D responds, “10 more minutes’ macha. I knew you would be late”.

I was annoyed and relieved; and at the same time I couldn’t help but wonder about the prayers we offered in the auto. I didn’t have much time to think about that as we walked towards the screen. We had made it. In a few minutes I was going to experience a movie experience like no other.

No, I wouldn’t describe what went on inside since a Rajnikanth movie on the weekend of its release should definitely be on your “things I need to do before I die” list. It's like a holy pilgrimage that each of you must be a part of at least once in your life time. And for your sake, I hope Rajnikanth makes another movie. If not, my condolences.

If Christopher Nolan could do it in Inception, so can I. So swear all you want, I know the feeling. I did the same after inception. 

Adios 

18 comments:

Vinith said...

Dont worry dude i think there is a project wid Shankar ...But now its a Double Dhamaka with Kamal Hassan !!! if the project kicks off na probably Whole theatre's in Tamil Nadu wud be running this movie .

Varshaa said...

"Cross btwn auto and mini bus" Haha..lol

Apart frm missing family and food, I really missd watchin his movie at chennai.

Idiots at the chicago theatre had the audacity to put up a printout of him instead of 6 foot hoarding which made me wantin to cry!

I cud picturize the whole scene..Nicely written Ash.

TinTo said...

Sounds like the Auto Anna got possessed by THE Thalaivar for those few minutes (every auto guy wants to be Manik "Basha"..:p)... Lucky U!

rahul said...

nice one dude.... i can imagine the scene.. newazz..love ur blogz..keep postin...tc

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Vinith--- Oh cool thanks for the info and that's good to know...and good for the people of Tamil Nadu because if Rajni retires, it would leave a void too big to be filled

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Varshaa--- Yeah I can imagine. I still remember how excited you were for Shivaji.

Hopefully you would be in India for the next Rajni movie.

And thank you so much :)

Ashish Kalsi said...

@TINTO--- absolutely!!! Really lucky :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Rahul--- thank you so much :D

Shanky said...

Good one bro ;) Gotta catch the next rajini movie in the opening week dude.. This one's definitely on the bucket list now!

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

I could sense the excitement in every word here .. :):)

Did you really pray to Rajnikanth ?? :D

ash said...

Good one!! Ashish,
give my hello to Harjeet, it's u phillips
thanks to him i get your posts
the excitement in reading the Blog was worth sharing the experience, even if I were in Chennai I would opt out.
What are the comments from Chennai folks???

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shanky---ha ha ha you should...hopefully we could do it together :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shals---- Ohhh you know the feeling...I know it's hard to believe but it's true :D :P

ABI said...

auto qualifying 2 race at a formula 3 event..lol.. dats a total humdinger!! and oly can u come up wid such stuff.. bum.. anodr great blog..

Ashish Kalsi said...

@U Phillips: I did convey the wishes. And I'm glad he goes out of his way to promote my blog :)
Well, the Chennai folks are more than happy to find a supporter in a non-Tamilian. They treat me like their own today.

@Abi--- thank you so much :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@U Phillips: I did convey the wishes. And I'm glad he goes out of his way to promote my blog :)
Well, the Chennai folks are more than happy to find a supporter in a non-Tamilian. They treat me like their own today.

@Abi--- thank you so much :D

Ashish Kalsi said...

@Shanky---ha ha ha you should...hopefully we could do it together :D

Shanky said...

Good one bro ;) Gotta catch the next rajini movie in the opening week dude.. This one's definitely on the bucket list now!