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Photos: Rajinikanth meets fans on birthday

Tamil cinema icon Rajinikanth, idolised by millions, turned 62 today on a day of special significance for his fans, who have lined up a slew of programmes for the 'special' date of 12-12-12. Actor-director Raghavendra Lawrence and music director Vijay Antony have come out with a special musical video dedicated to Rajinikanth, even as TV channels will telecast a series of programmes on him, including airing some of his biggest hits. Radio FM channels were not far behind in celebrating his birthday.

Born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, he transformed his simple life from a bus conductor in Bangalore to a much followed superstar a decade later, with a larger than life style and mannerisms in his films. Discovered by celebrated director K Balachander, a recipient of Dadasaheb Phalke Award, and cast along another top star of Indian cinema Kamal Hassan in his Apoorva Raagangal in the mid 70s, Rajinikanth shaped his initial career with negative roles, including Moondru Mudichu, which also starred Kamal Hassan.

The duo, often referred to as pivotal points in Tamil cinema after the MGR-Sivaji era, shared space in a number of films before each carved a place for themselves in the industry. With his gimmicks and dialogue delivery instantly touching a chord with the younger audience, Rajnikanth delivered some of the biggest blockbusters, including Thalapathi directed by Mani Ratnam, Annamalai, Basha, Padayappa and the more, also recent Enthiran, a sci-fi thriller.

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