As superstar Rajinikanth turned 69 on Thursday, his fans gathered at his residence to wish him and organised special poojas at temples and community feast at various places across Tamil Nadu. The Thalaiva, however, was not home on his special day as he is shooting for "Darbar", directed by 'Ghajini'-fame A R Murugadoss.
Thanking all the well-wishers, Rajinikanth tweeted, "To all my fans, well-wishers and friends from different fields of work, my colleagues from the film industry and political leaders..my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you for wishing me for my birthday today".
The superstar's wife Latha Rajinikanth distributed sweets to fans who had gathered at his Poes Garden residence since morning. Wishes flooded on social media platforms from his huge fan base which includes actors and politicians. #HappyBirthdaySuperstar, #HBDThalaivarSuperstarRAJINI and #HappyBirthdayRajinikanth were trending on Twitter.
DMK chief M K Stalin said, "My hearty greetings to a dear friend who is celebrating his birthday today. I wish him a healthy and long life."
Actor-politician and long-time friend Kamal Hassan also extended his greetings to Rajinikanth. "Dear friend, I wish you very good health and success to continue in your life," he said.
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar wished Rajinikanth in Tamil. "Happy birthday sir. Your onscreen style and off screen humility makes you the 'Thalaiva' in every Darbar," Tendulkar tweeted.
Darbar Director Murugadoss said, "Happy Birthday Thalaivar @rajinikanth sir. I wish you success, health and happiness throughout. You are a constant source of inspiration for us. I am happy and blessed to be a small part in this wonderful journey of yours."
Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty, who is sharing screen space with Rajinikanth in "Darbar", said, "Happy bday Thalaivaa. Working with you on #Darbar has been one of the biggest highs of my career and the lessons in humility, discipline and simplicity shall remain with me for life! May God bless you sir with lots of love, health & happiness".
Others who wished the actor included Anirudh Ravichander and media baron Kalanidhi Maran.
The political circle in the state is abuzz with speculation of the actor entering the poll fray, especially after his statement in 2017 asking his fans to "prepare for a war". It was seen as his hint towards a political entry.
The actor has already floated 'Rajini Makkal Mandram' which is believed to be a platform for making his entry into politics. Members of the mandram conducted various special programmes and special poojas, seeking the blessings of the Lord for their leader. Around 12 couples entered into wedlock at a temple marking the birthday celebrations of the actor.
Some members distributed school uniforms and wheelchairs to a school in the city. Rajinikanth was honoured with the "Icon of Golden Jubilee Award" at the International Film Festival of India in November.
Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan presented the award to Rajinikanth in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant during the 50th edition of the film festival.
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