Going beyond fascination for superstar Rajinikanth


Dr pannirselvan holding his very first memorabilia of rajinikanth, which he bought at lotus Cinema in petaling Jaya during the movie launch of ‘Enthiran’ in 2010.

SOUTH Indian movie star Rajinikanth is a well-known actor with a huge number of followers, both young and old, around the world.

While most fans make it a point to follow his movie releases, Dr J. Pannirselvan, 49, took it a step further by collecting the superstar’s memorabilia for over 14 years.

He recently made it into the Malaysia Book of Records for the “Largest Rajinikanth Memorabilia Collection by An Individual”.

“I have 475 items of Rajinikanth memorabilia collected over the years, and worth close to RM100,000,” he said.

Dr Pannirselvan’s adoration for the superstar began when he was just nine years old.

Rajinikanth, 73, whose real name is Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, has acted in over 150 movies.

Gold coins purchased during the movie launches of ‘Petta’ and ‘Kaala’.Gold coins purchased during the movie launches of ‘Petta’ and ‘Kaala’.

“My mother took me to the cinema in Parit Buntar, Perak, to watch Murattu Kaalai.

“I enjoyed his fight scenes and became a fan of the superstar since then,” said the general practitioner who runs his own clinic in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya in Selangor.

His interest in Rajinikanth grew deeper when he pursued further studies at Shri B M Patil Medical College Hospital & Research Centre in Karnataka, India.

The first movie he watched in India was Ejamaan in 1993.

“When I did my housemanship at Kill Park Medical College in Chennai, I came to know more about Rajinikanth who lived in the city.

“He was often in the media and was also known for his personality.

“As I grew older, my adoration moved beyond the characters he played in the movies to his real life personality.

Dr pannirselvan receiving a certificate from Malaysia Book of records officer Edwin yeoh, accompanied by his wife p. Komathi and sons Eashwar (right) and Krishna. — photos: lOW lay phON/The starDr pannirselvan receiving a certificate from Malaysia Book of records officer Edwin yeoh, accompanied by his wife p. Komathi and sons Eashwar (right) and Krishna. — photos: lOW lay phON/The star

“Rajinikanth is known for his humility and down-to-earth nature, which greatly inspires me,” he said.

Dr Pannirselvan continued to follow the actor’s career after returning to Malaysia.

In 2010, he bought his first Rajinikanth memorabilia at Lotus Cinema in Petaling Jaya.

“I went to the cinema to watch Enthiran,” he said.

“There, I bought my first mini figure of Rajinikanth for RM120.

“Since then, I have accumulated items such as T-shirts, figurines, mugs, key chains, magnets, movie CDs and movie posters.”

Dr Pannirselvan said most of these items were sourced from India with the help of his friends, Dr R. Ashok Kumar, Dr S. Lankeswaran and Datuk L. Raguraman.

“I spend a lot of time going through the Internet for these items and since most of them are sold in Chennai, I would seek help from my friends there.”

A smattering of the superfan’s figurine haul, most of which were purchased in singapore during movie launches. — photos: lOW lay phON/The starA smattering of the superfan’s figurine haul, most of which were purchased in singapore during movie launches. — photos: lOW lay phON/The star

He is also the proud owner of two custom-made figurines of Rajinikanth from the movie Enthiran 2.0.

Each figurine costs RM750 to make, making them among the most expensive items in his collection.

“I take a screenshot of Rajinikanth from a movie scene and illustrate it before sending it to a figurine artist to be reproduced into a mini figure,” said Dr Pannirselvan.

He said most of his other Rajinikanth figurines were bought from Singapore during the superstar’s movie launches.

His top favourite item is a special-edition magazine of the superstar by The Hindu newspaper.

“Rajinikanth’s birthday falls on Dec 12.

“On Dec 12, 2012, the newspaper printed a special edition and I made sure to grab a copy,” said Dr Pannirselvan who also shares his birthday with the superstar.

He is also the proud owner of gold coins and special-edition silver coins embossed with Rajinikanth’s image, which were also issued for the release of his movies.

A peek at books and magazines featuring the superstar that make up the doctor’s vast collection. — photos: lOW lay phON/The starA peek at books and magazines featuring the superstar that make up the doctor’s vast collection. — photos: lOW lay phON/The star

In 2017, the Malaysian superfan saw the superstar from a distance during shooting of the movie Kabali, which took place at PPR Lembah Subang 2.

“He was surrounded by many bodyguards.

“I had goosebumps when I saw him.

“It was a memorable moment for me,” he declared.

For his collection, Dr Pannirselvan also made it into the Asia Book of Records in August 2020 and India Book of Records in January 2020.

He hopes to be listed in the LIMCA Book of Records, a yearly reference book published in India documenting world records held by Indians.

Dr Pannirselvan said although his family was supportive of his interest, they preferred another Indian actor, Vijay.

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