Chennai based ophthalmologist Dr Gayathri Sreekanth has hit a gold mine that every Tamil film fan would give an arm and a leg for…. Turning the official biographer of Superstar Rajnikant. Her book “The name is Rajnikanth” was released last week..
She looks like a college kid when I meet her at her residence in T Nagar, but she tells me she is a mother of two. From prescriptions to penning Rajni’s official bio is a bit of a change in script I tell her, and she laughs.
Here’s the Q & A :
Q: Were you Rajni or Lata’s friend?
A: No, but when I was given Shah Rukh’s bio “Shah Rukh Khan—still reading Khan’’ I thought of Rajni at once. So, armed with a two-page request, went to his residence—that took time. I met Lata first, and she said “why on Rajni? There is so much on him already,’’ and I replied, “But none in Englsih.’’ She said “Ok’’ ad I went ahead.
Q: When did it start?
A: I started in March. Rajni was in Holland at that time, but people were very helpful. I met dozens of people, went to Bangalore ..even flew down to Singapore to meet with his fan club.
Q: So, what did your publisher pay you as advance? Rs 1 crore?
A: Nooooo..it is not about money….they have not paid me anything , though I am sure they will.. but I am so happy.. you know, like everyone else I was also in love with Rajni. And the work is very satisfying.. of course I had to send some patients to my hubby (same field) but then he was sweet about that as well as with the chaos of my travels, scripts, interviews etc..
Q: So, how was it, meeting Rajni?
A; Supperrr… he is so gentle that you are amazed.. I mean, how can you be such a rage and still be so simple?/ Beats me… of course I left my first draft with him and told him “read it, don’t put it away’’ and he promised…(laughs)
Q: It is a glossy production, but many glaring errors..
A: You telling me!! Look the final copy was ready in Feb and we wanted to release on March 1 (Dayanand Saraswathi was available only then), so publishers Om International had to rush it through. I cose them, though Penguin and Harper Collins may have been interested, so can’t complain. I can understand the Delhi-based company screwing up Tamil words (like Bhuvana oru kelvikkuri).. But there is a glaring error—Rajni’s grandson Yatra has been changed to a grand daughter because apparently they thought Yatra is a feminine name !!!! Corrections are being made in future prints.
Q: How is it selling?
A:It’s going off the shelves like mad. Initial print run was for 20,000 and they are already into reprint…. So there.. (smiles)
Q: What is the one surprise element?
A: Loads of it.. but Rajni fans calling me “anni’’ and sending me flowers and shawls!!!!!
Q: What next?
A: Just chill for a while and then back to work .