May 01

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Happy Birthday “My Dear Thala Ajith”

Thala-ajith-fans.jpgA Man who lives life on his own terms

In a world in which one’s bread and butter depends on how well one masks who he really is, it is nearly impossible to find someone who is genuine. I say nearly impossible because in just such a world exists a man called Ajith Kumar. He has multiple titles such as Ultimate Star (which he recently gave up), Thala (used by ardent fans to express their love and respect for him) and a few which the roles he played earned him such as, Asai Nayagan and Kadhal Mannan. However I believe everyone irrespective of whether they are fans or not will agree that in an industry where the ‘acting’ never stops, this man deserves the title of Mr. Genuine.

It’s been said, when you want to know the true nature of a man ask his wife. She’s (Shalini) been asked and her prompt response was, “He is a perfect husband”. Now every married man knows that it is easier to get the whole world to respect and appreciate you than getting your wife to do so. It doesn’t stop here. They say a picture speaks a thousand words and one only needs to see to know how Anoushka’s (Ajith sir’s daughter) eyes sparkle in the presence of her father.

Standing tall in the midst of fellow actors some famous for their dancing skills, some for their six pack abs and others for their national awards, is a man who is known for his character.  His colleagues (both male and female) choose to describe him as the perfect gentleman, down to earth, honest, generous to a fault, intelligent and talented. It’s not uncommon for a colleague to turn into a fan as seen in a recent interview given by Billa 2’s villain Vidyut Jamwal in TOI. In the days that he spent shooting with Ajith, the actor claims he has become a fan of his. “He can talk about everything under the sun. He has a good knowledge of food, fashion and health.” It’s well known that many of the younger actors in the industry swear by Thala.

In an industry like ours which thrives on hero worship, it is not uncommon for a hero to slap his thigh or point his finger at the camera and say, “I am not afraid of anything” or “My way his unique”. However, these words are largely limited to the silver screen. With way less drama, clad in a white veshti and sattai, Ajith sir addressed some of the most powerful people in the country with his characteristic honesty and forthrightness on a topic no one was willing to touch with a long stick. Though unintentionally, that evening Thala demonstrated what real heroism means.

Despite all the success Ajith sir has had in the form of box office records, awards and an ever increasing fan following, he manages to remain grounded. In an interview not so long ago when an audience member asked him how he would rate himself as an actor he said, “four” because he believes he has a long way to go. After a couple of experimental outings post Billa, Thala was back to floor the audience with what one could term, “a rocking performance” without exaggeration. The confidence, conviction and wicked charm with which he played this role made even the harshest critic sit up and say, “Where was this Ajith hiding all this time?” Sans six packs and make up he managed to make the men in the audience say, “Wow” and the women blush. Even Thala’s peers could not help but appreciate the man who carried off a mad Joker like twirl and a wicked smile with such panache. He did not utter lengthy dialogues but every dialogue he uttered went viral spreading through cyber space at the speed of light. One wouldn’t be exaggerating if one said, “the sky is the limit” for a man like Thala who believes learning and self improvement lasts a life time.

To some people he is a puzzle, to some a star but to thousands he is a leader who they passionately support whether they are officially recognized or not. People wonder how his fan base remains unaffected by the flops or hits he gives.  If asked, every fan will say, this is because Thala as a human being is a super duper hit and everything else pales in comparison. For many including myself, Thala is a role model and why wouldn’t he be? Beginning with the grace and maturity with which he responds to the angry and bitter outbursts of his ‘enemies’. We’ve heard, “With great power comes great responsibility” however for many this remains a saying whereas Ajith sir exemplifies a man who lives by this. He lives his life being fully aware that all the good things he has is a blessing from God and takes nothing for granted including his fans. When a star shows his fans that much respect how can one expect his fans to show anything less? Thala’s fans have been accused of pushing the boundaries when it comes to the way they express their affection for him, perhaps even causing him to wonder at times, “Why all this craziness?” However this is our way of saying, “We love you Thala”.

Sir, forty years of a life well lived have passed and as your fans we wish you many, many more years filled with all the blessings heaven can afford to give. Some are heroes only in front of a camera but you’ve been one even when there were no cameras around. As your fans we have one request that you continue to be yourself honest, bold, down to earth and genuine. For millions you are a STAR both off and on screen because you are a wonderful human being. This is just the beginning sir, I am sure there’s a lot more to come.


– A Fan

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