Long live Rajni!
There was chaos in Mumbai, and no, it didn't have anything to do with politics.
Image: A king size Rajni poster outside Aurora
Bunking work for Rajni
And the fans -- ranging from local chaiwallas, autorickshawallas and taxi drivers to elite corporate executives who bunked work and even a 76-year-old lady -- came in droves to catch their favourite star in action, at Mumbai's Aurora Theatre in Matunga.
Image: Priests at a temple pray for Endhiran's success
The Rajni Fan Club
The preparations started on the eve of the release itself. Posters and billboards were put up and a huge cutout of Rajnikanth measuring 50 feet was erected.
All this was initiated by the only registered fan club in Mumbai -- The Maharashtra State Rajnikanth Fan's Welfare Association, which is located in Dharavi, Mumbai's western suburbs.
Image: Kids pose shutterbugs
A very narrow alley leads to the head of the association's house, Anandraj. As soon as you enter his place, you see Rajnikanth posters from Endhiran/Robot and Sivaji staring at you.
Anandraj and his friend Joseph sit at one side of the room stapling Rajni pictures on to paper badges which were being kept ready for distribution.
Image: Anandraj and Johnson
Procession from temple
Anandraj is all geared up for the day. He is 100 per cent confident that any movie of his idol will and should be a super duper hit.
His only regret is not being able to go on a procession, something he normally does when any of Rajni's films release, because of the security reasons in view of the Ayodhya verdict on Thursday.
Image: Fans go on procession from temple to the theatre
Dancing for 'Thalaivar'
But other rituals associated with the release of a Rajni film went without a hitch.
There was the blessing of the film's reel which was taken from the theatre to the temple. Then the procession back to the theatre to the accompaniment of the nadaswaram, flute and miridangam.
All this while fans carry kalash (holy vessels) filled with milk on their heads. No procession is complete without dance, whistle, shouts and chants of 'Thalaivar'.
Image: Fans wave at the media
The madness doesn't end here. As soon as the crowd reaches the gates of the fully decorated theatre, there are shouts of 'Thalaivar Vaazhga' (Long live Rajni) as they pour milk on the posters and cutouts.
Just before they enter the theatre they burst fire crackers and make their grand entry.
Image: Fans dance to traditional South Indian music
Age no bar
Once inside the hall, you grow deaf from all the whistles and shouts which only grow louder as the initial credits of 'Super Star Rajni' in bold appear on the screen.
As soon as Rajni appears on the screen, flowers rained down on him. This continues throughout the movie everytime he appears on the screen till the end with the final unanimous shout of 'Super Hit'.
And so it will be.
Image: 76-year-old Lakshmi walks out happy after watching Endhiran