Palabishegams for giant cut-outs, firecrackers, special dance performances, band music, cutting of huge cakes and lining every available space outside movie theatres with banners, might sound like the norm before the release of any big star’s films in Tamil Nadu.
Most of the times, these arrangements are made to celebrate the actor’s film release and fans usually try to outdo each other when it comes to planning such celebrations - 50 banners last time, let’s make it 100 this time.
But here’s an interesting way in which these fans decided to celebrate the release of Rajinikanth’s Petta on January 10.
A wedding ceremony was organised outside Woodland’s Theatre in Chennai’s Royapettah by Rajini Makkal Mandram South Chennai (East). “We were planning for a special show at Woodlands and so we booked the entire theatre for it. Music bands, Karagattam (folk dance), cake cutting, balloons are part of our regular plan. But this, no one has done. When I was younger, I would do palabishegam. But now, I wanted something more meaningful for Thalaivar. We decided to organise this marriage,” said Sinora PS Ashok, Secretary of the fan club, which is a part of Rajini’s political outfit RMM.
And so 29-year-old Anbarasu from Tindivanam and 25-year-old Kamakshi from Mudichur, both Rajini fans, were referred to Ashok by other fan members. “I gifted them Rs 1.5 lakhs for their wedding and around 1,500 fans were present during the wedding.” Ashok spent close to Rs 4.5 lakhs for organising the wedding event.
A pandal and stage were erected outside the theatre near the stairs. “We also had two cars parked on either side of the stage for the bride and the groom to get ready for the wedding. We called it the bride wagon and the groom’s wagon.” Hundreds of hydrogen balloons with Rajini’s face on them were also floated up after the wedding.
While TNM could not get in touch with the couple, Ashok adds that the wedding was done with the permission of their respective parents. “They both belong to different castes but it was done with their parent’s blessing. The wedding took place at 7.40 am before the first show that was to start at 8.00 am,” he says.
“We also conducted a lucky draw for all those who had come and gifted them a refrigerator and other such items,” adds Ashok.
N Venkatesh, Managing partner, Woodlands Theatre, tells us that this was indeed the first time such an event had taken place inside their premises. “It is great, something that was happening for the very first time here. It was a nice gesture by the fans to make arrangements for the couple. It happened in front of 1,500 Rajini fans, so you can imagine the euphoria around it,” he says.