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The story behind this autograph from Superstar Rajinikanth - Reporter Dhanya Rajendran
(Tuesday, 15th June 2021)

Today is #14YearsofSivajiTheBoss and we have interesting story from a reporter, Dhanya Rajendran, who shares her memorable time with our Thalaivar a day before the release of Sivaji The Boss. Below is the extract of her write up for your reading pleasure.

As we were looking for my cheque book today, stumbled upon this autograph given by Rajinikanth to Vignesh Vellore. And strangely this happened on June 14, 2007. This is a story I like to tell everyone, so here goes.

June 18, 2007 was when I was supposed to marry Vignesh Vellore. June 15, 2007 is when Rajinikanth's Sivaji was to be released. Boss Arnab Goswami made it clear that I had to cover the movie release and get a Rajinikanth interview or well... Now don't ask me why I listened to him, I did because I was also obsessed with news. So I stayed back in Chennai even as my poor dad was hyperventilating if I would reach for my wedding.

I was not too concerned about getting a Rajini interview, because he never gave anyone, so there was nothing to be worried about. I just wanted to cover the first day's madness and leave. But for my utter bad luck, NDTV got a small interview with him as he was leaving his hotel in Hyderabad. All hell broke loose, Arnab was screaming at the top of his voice (he actually sounds polite on TV, compared to the shouting when off air). I could hear him screaming whenever anyone from the desk called me. I texted Deepthy Menon and my boss Vivek Narayanan saying I am switching off my phone, and asked them to trust me, I will somehow get Rajini. Somehow.

By then Rajini had come back and was in his house at Poes Garden in Chennai. I took my cameraperson JP and went there around 3 pm. And umm, don't get me wrong, I believe in a lot of 'charms'! I told JP and our other crew to cross their fingers and stand. They did for hours! 🙂. Then I just started focusing on this one window on the first floor of  the house and kept looking there for HOURS! I also called my aunt, who believes in telepathy. I started focusing on Rajini's mind and told him to come to the window. (Man, I was crazy).

Well, I don't know if telepathy worked (I am pretty sure it didn't), and by then a senior journalist informed Rajini about my plight, maybe that worked. Anyway, someone came to the window around 8 pm. Ten minutes later, his assistant came out and said sir does not like people waiting, please leave. I said no. I need to go get married, please ask him to come out. The guy went and told Rajinikanth the exact same thing and within 5 minutes I was called inside.

The first thing Rajinikanth asked me was when my wedding was! When I explained to him that I NEED THE INTERVIEW, he looked thoughtful and he said okay sit. I could not believe it. Like sit? NExt to Rajinikanth? Inside, total mann me laddu phoota. He sat down and gave me a nice interview, perhaps the first time he did that for the new crop of English channels. He was very sweet, answered all my questions and after the interview quickly asked me about my fiance. Then I told him please write an autograph for my fiance who was the BIGGEST Rajini fan, and who was also worried whether I would reach Palakkad on time. Before Arnab's show at 9 pm, I had my interview and I switched on my phone.

The next day I covered the movie release and then realised a small issue, I hadn't booked train tickets! And I didn't want to borrow money for a flight from Vignesh. Somehow got waitlisted tickets for June 16, an MP's office got an emergency quota released and I reached a day before the wedding.

Now when I write all this, I feel like, was it really worth it? After all it was one interview! But I cannot explain the adrenaline rush one gets on this job. And I would perhaps do this all over again- but I don't want the cruelty of that newsroom anymore. I would do it because I want to, not because the editor screams.

Next post maybe I will write about my infamous Nityananda intv.

Reporter Dhanya Rajendran interview with our Superstar Rajinikanth (Watch from 2.20)

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