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Fans offer pooja for Rajnikanth
June 15, 2007

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Rajnikanth's Sivaji released today, June 15, and his fans seem thrilled. They had plans of performing a pooja at Mumbai's Aurora theatre at 8 am. I was asked to cover it along with my colleague Matthew Schneeberger.

I told my brother that I have to reach the theatre at 7am. This meant that I had to wake up at 5 am. My family thought the hype was madness. I was no movie buff, but then I had a job to do.

On our way to the station, Matthew and I heard firecrackers and spotted quite a few flower vendors. They explained that they were for a celebration after a pooja offered by Rajnikanth's fans.

The scene at Aurora was hysterical. There was a huge crowd, and everyone was in a festive mood. Some were dancing to music from mrudangam and nadaswaram, some had dyed their hair blond (like Rajni in the film), there was crackers, snow sprays... A group of people performed milk 'abhishekam' on a big poster of the Superstar.

Inside the theatre, people were screaming, whistling and dancing. As the film started, the rush of adrenaline in the theatre was very strong. It was bigger than watching a cricket match at Wankhede stadium. I always thought Amitabh Bachchan was the biggest superstar but today, I have changed my mind. Rajnikanth is far, far bigger.

Text, video: Reuben N V

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