Tamil Nadu's iconic superstar Rajinikanth was hospitalized again recently. And this time there's no effort from the people around him to play down the gravity of the situation.
Close friend the Rana co-producer Dr. Murli Mamohar speaking exclusively to this writer on Tuesday revealed that it was a recurrent fever that was putting Rajinikanth back into hospital repeatedly.
"And this time we're determined to keep him there until we get to the bottom of it. The fever, we realize, is not the illness. It's a symptom. Rajini-ji has been suffering from fever, fatigue and loss of appetite. To make matters worse, he just doesn't seem to take his health seriously. And we can't blame him for that. He has not been off his feet for even one day. For a healthy agile man to be put in a hospital bed is not easy. He is restless."
In hospital, Rajinikanth spends time reading the Bhagavat Gita and...making friends with the patients!
Laughs Dr. Murli, "He is all over the wards finding out what's wrong with the others. He's the most compassionate and spiritual superstar you'll come across. This morning when I met him he gave me a quote from Bhagavat Gita to take home."
One reason why hospital has been seen to be preferable for the superstar is the location of his home. Rajinikanth lives on the same street as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. During a medical emergency, it is impossible for anyone to be rushed through the security cordon.
This time Rajini remains in hospital until the cause for his fever is detected.
Says Manohar, "He has been treating hospital like home, doing all the normal things. He even visited his favourite temples from hospital every day. This time he won't be allowed all this liberty. He has to understand that he needs to take a proper break before he resumes work."
The next schedule of Rana has been tentatively kept for the end of June.
Explains Dr. Murli, "It's a very strenuous schedule. And we don't want him to return to shooting until he gets his strength back fully. Besides, Deepika Padukone's dates are also not available before that."
In the meanwhile, Rajinikanth's elder daughter Aishwarya called to express concern over what she described as the regular medical bulletins that were being published. "We wonder how doctors at the hospital could be giving out these details. Some of the medical reports about my father's health are not even correct. What's more, these reports are causing unnecessary panic among his fans in Chennai. They all love my father and can't bear to see him in hospital. When alarming reports on his health condition come out, the fans go berserk. They flock to the hospital demanding to know if my father is well."