Title for Tamil flick 'Kabali' is Mandya man's gift to Rajini

Title for Tamil flick 'Kabali' is Mandya man's gift to Rajini

Fan's dream moment

Title for Tamil flick 'Kabali' is Mandya man's gift to Rajini

The Rajinikanth-starrer Tamil film ‘Kabali’ - set to hit the screens on July 22 - has a Mandya connection to it.

Shivakumar, hailing from Pandavapura in the district, had registered the title ‘Kabali’ with the Tamil Nadu Film and Television Producers’ Guild in 2011.

He had even launched the audio CDs of the film with music by Bhoopathi at AVM studio in 2012. He owned the title till September 2014 and had been to the Guild for its renewal, when he learnt that Kalipuli Thanu of V Creations had applied for the same title for the Rajinikanth starrer, to be directed by Pa Ranjith. When Thanu approached him for the title, he was glad to lend it for the superstar.

“Rajinikanth is like God to me, how could I say no, when Thanu approached me on his behalf. One day, I was invited to meet the superstar on the sets of ‘Kabali’ and was introduced to him. As soon he learnt that I am from Mysuru region, he embraced me and talked to me in Kannada. As a gesture of love, he arranged for another title ‘Kali’ for my movie. ‘Kali’ is one of the superstar’s biggest hits of the 1980s. Now, that ‘Kali’ is Rajinikanth’s blessing for me, I am committed to live up to his expectations,” he said.

Shivakumar, son of Marigowda and Padmamma, studied in Pandavapura and was a happy farmer, but he always thought he had it in him to do a film. So, he shifted to Mysuru and did some business. He wrote the script for ‘Rowdy Ravi,’ directed the movie, acted in it and released it in 2009. The film gave decent returns and he moved to Chennai to make a bigger movie. He had 10 titles listed and finalised Kabali, or Kabalishwaran.

“Meeting the superstar was a dream come true. I was invited on the second day of shooting in Chennai. He made me sit with him, took my pictures on his mobile phone. I was a die-hard fan of his and was ready to sacrifice my life for him. And now, I was in his company,” Shivakumar said.

For ‘Kali,’ he said he had done most of the desk work, including story, screenplay and dialogues. He is directing the film and also plays the lead role. “We have almost finalised the heroine. We are particular about the quality of the film as the superstar will be watching us closely now,” he said.

He is excited about the release of ‘Kabali,’and hopes, it goes on to be the greatest-ever hit among Indian movies. After all, it was his baby, initially.

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