It isn’t everyday that you get to attend a wedding in a celebrity’s family. And can there be a bigger celebrity than The Superstar himself! I went for Soundarya Rajinikanth’s engagement last Thursday.
Rows and rows of serial lamps hanging on both Raja Muthaiah Hall & Rani Meyammai Hall, lots of policemen outside the halls, many people, still on their two-wheelers, on the opposite side of the mandapams craning their necks hoping to catch a glimpse of what’s going on inside – this was how the scene was outside the venue where the nischayathartham of Soundarya Rajinikanth was happening.
Having received the pass having the venues where the car can be parked, along with the invitation, my dad and I first tried the Air India campus adjacent to the mandapam and finding it full, we had to go to Raja Rathnam Stadium and park the car there. A van was there to take people to the mandapam.
As the van entered the gate to the mandapam, I saw a red-coloured board with the text ‘The Rajinikanth’s welcome you’. Coming down the steps leading to the hall was actress Sukanya.
Entering the mandapam, I heard somebody singing swarams in raagam Atana. It was mentioned in the invitation that there would be a concert by Bombay Jayashri. Hearing the Atana swarams having what I would call an aggressive touch to it, I knew it wasn’t Jayashri who was singing it. Aruna Sairam, accompanied by H.N.Bhaskar on the violin, J.Vaidyanathan on the mridangam and S. Karthick on the ghatam, was singing. Bala Kanakamaya Chela was the song.
And then I saw Rajinikanth! There he was on the stage standing next to the couple, along his wife, daughter Aishwarya, Y.G.Mahendran, Madhuvanti Arun, Ravi Raghavendra among others. Rajini, simple as always, silently acknowledged anybody who wished him.
A long queue was waiting to wish the couple. Since photos were taken only with celebrities, the queue moved pretty quickly and the waiting time for us was less than 15 minutes.
Aruna Sairam had by then finished bala kanakamaya, a song on Raghavendra and then moved on to Todi alapana. Todi didn’t leave me even there. 🙁
While the wedding was happening in Raja Muthaiah hall, Rani Meyammai hall had been converted into dining hall! There were screens showing the happenings on the other hall. Dining hall wasn’t crowded much. Food was surprisingly bad! I came to know later that Arusuvai Arasu Natarajan was the caterer.
After the Todi song Taaye Yasoda, Aruna Sairam said that Rajini’s kula deivam was Tulaja Bhavani, so she was going to sing a song on some Devi next and she will be following it up with Muruga Muruga in Saveri since Ashwin’s family had asked her to sing that. We left at that point.
We didn’t see many celebrities. Vijayakumar, Manjula and their three daughters, N. Ram of ‘The Hindu’, Pyramid Natarajan, Vyjayanthi Mala who was sitting in a corner on the stage, Padma Subramanian and her nephew B.Kannan, the veena player, Boney Kapoor, S.P.Muthuraman, Vasanth Kumar of Vasanth & Co, singer Mano, Mridangam legend Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman. Hey but then I saw the biggest celebrity himself! 🙂
Outside the gate many fans were asking the police to let them inside. As we reached the road, someone actually came running behind us and asked us to give him the invitation! The craze that people have for Rajini! Wow!