Aishwarya Rai touches Rajinikanth’s feet at Ponniyin Selvan trailer launch

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Finally, the moment had arrived for all Mani Ratnam fans. The trailer of the much-awaited Ponniyin Selvan: 1 is out. On Tuesday, a gala trailer launch event was organised in Chennai where the who’s who of the South film industry were present. While Rajinikanth was the chief guest at the event, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Naseer, Mani Ratnam, and other cast and crew of the film were present at the launch. As a sign of respect, Aishwarya touched Rajinikanth’s feet, took his blessings and hugged him.

Rajinikanth also disclosed that a reply by late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa to a reader of a publication is what got him interested in reading the Tamil classic, Kalki’s ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, which has now been made into a film. “I read a lot of books. But I have a habit of asking how many pages a book contains. If they say the book is around 250-300 pages, I read it. So, when people told me about ‘Ponniyin Selvan’, I asked them about the size of the book. ‘What pages? It is a collection of five volumes, running into over 2,000 pages’, they said. I was shocked and said this was not for me,” he said, evoking laughter from the audience.

“However, back in those days, a popular vernacular magazine had a question and answer segment titled ‘Government answers’. In this section, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa would answer questions by the people. In one such edition, a reader had asked the late Chief Minister who she thought would be the best person to play the character of Vanthiyathevan in Kalki’s classic, ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ if it were made into a film.

“Jayalalithaa had replied, ‘Rajinikanth’. When I learnt this I was overjoyed. I wanted to know what this novel was about and asked for it to be brought to me. I began reading it. As I began to read more and more, I was overawed. By the time I finished, if the late writer Kalki had been alive, I would have gone to his place and prostrated before him for writing such a brilliant novel,” the actor said to a thunderous applause from the audience.

Ponniyin Selvan: 1 is all set to hit theatres on September 30. AR Rahman, who had composed the music for the film, performed the songs live with his orchestra.

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