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Will Rajinikanth's fans forgive Dhanush?

By SUBHASH K JHA
January 18, 2022 16:57 IST
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Subhash K Jha hopes that Rajinikanth doesn't take the break to heart.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Dhanush/Instagram

By announcing his separation from his wife of 18 years, Dhanush has risked the wrath of his father-in-law Rajinikanth's fans.

Hours after Dhanush and Aishwaryaa announced the end of their marriage, I was on the phone with a major Tamil actor.

"This is not a bolt from the blue like Samantha and Naga Chaitanya calling off their marriage. No one, not even their closest friends or even the couple's parents, had seen that one coming. This is different. Rajini's fan clubs won't like it," the actor said.

No one from the Tamil film industry is shocked. This separation was coming for a long time.

Dhanush and Aishwaryaa were heading in opposite directions for a while.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Aishwaryaa R Dhanush/Instagram

Rajinikanth's daughters did not marry into happily-ever-after partnerships.

When his younger daughter Soundarya separated from her first husband, Rajinikanth was shattered.

He pleaded with Aishwaryaa to call off her plans to call off her marriage for the sake of her sons: Yatra is 15 and Linga is 11.

Sources claim that Aishwaryaa tried hard to keep the marriage going before taking the decision to end it.

As my Tamil actor-friend suggested, "Maybe Aishwaryaa wants to re-marry, as she has every right to. It can't be Dhanush. He will never marry again. He doesn't need to."

 

IMAGE: Anirudh Ravichander discusses Kolaveri Di with Dhanush. Photograph: Rediff Archives

In 2012, I remember Aishwaryaa directed a fascinating Tamil thriller, 3. It was an out-of-the-box, experimental film that attained pre-release fame through Dhanush's song Kolaveri Di.

If the lyrics were a hotchpotch mix of English and Tamil, the singing style didn't conform to any particular style and was sung by a non-singer. Despite that, it became a super hit.

Dhanush, who lent his voice to it, says his lack of comfort with the English language helped him in choosing the words to connect with people who are not fluent in the language.

"It's just a song," he had said then.

"Just a phase. It will pass. I am one of those people, who don't know how to speak proper English. But I manage. Speaking English was initially a huge problem for me, so I knew how to connect with people like me. I knew what words to choose so that they connect with people, who are not fluent in English."

The song was composed by Anirudh Ravichander.

"Whatever silly words came to my mind, I used it in the song. It's just like any composition, nothing special. A group of us GenNext kids -- Shruti Haasan, my wife Aishwaryaa, Shruti Haasan and the composer Anirudh -- were open to ideas. The tune was done in 20 minutes. As soon as I heard the song, the words simply came to my mind spontaneously," Dhanush had then added.

IMAGE: Dhanush and Shruti Haasan in 3.

"It seems the song has become bigger than the film," Dhanush said. "But the film has a solid and novel script. Once people see the film, they'll see the song as just a part of the narration."

3 released, bombed and there were rumours that Rajinikanth had to pay off some of its debts.

Dhanush angrily responded to the rumours: "How I love the stories that are created just because I am married to a particular person's daughter. 3 has suffered no losses. Even if there are losses to be compensated for, God has been kind to me. I can take care of my own financial liabilities."

This was 10 years ago during a time when no one imagined Rajinikanth's daughters would end their marriages.

One of them has found love again.

One hopes the same for the other.

One also hopes that Rajinikanth doesn't take his daughter's heartbreak to heart.

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SUBHASH K JHA