If you go to Tamil Nadu, all you need to know, love and worship is Rajinikanth. Temples in his honour have been built, his fans worship him like their god! But did you know that this actor who has been ruling the non-Hindi speaking state is actually a Maratha by ethnicity?
Yes, you heard it right! Rajinikanth aka Thalaiva has his roots in Maharashtra. Originally named Shivaji Rao Gaekwad after the Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji, Rajinikanth’s ancestors hailed from a village called Mavdi Kade Pathar near Pune.
So how did he end up in Tamil Nadu?
In 1956, Rajinikanth’s family moved to Bangalore after his father’s retirement. He was only six years old. That was his first move to South India.
After completing school, Rajinikanth worked as a coolie, a carpenter and a bus conductor in Bangalore and Chennai. However, he always had a keen interest in theatre which prompted him to take part in plays. Soon he took up an acting course in the Madras Film Institute and then there was no looking back. He learnt Tamil on the advice of the Tamil film director K Balachander.
It is indeed the Rajinikanth magic that has united diverse cultures on the basis of talent.