Yet another year, yet another book on Rajinikanth. This time around, it aims to be different. Though quite a few books have been written on the legendary Superstar over the years, this one intends to bring the spiritual side of him out to the fullest. In that aspect, writer Seema Sonik Alimchand is quite sure about what she wants to present, and in what format.
This means there is none of the fancy stuff associated with Rajinikanth that you find in this 230 odd page book. Plain, simple and not at all frivolous, the book actually turns out to be way too bland in its presentation. While that is still understandable considering the core theme of the book, one expects the chapters that unfold to be a lot more exciting in their read. As it turns out though, the book concentrates heavily on the spiritual bent of Rajinikanth, and in the process results in diminishing its target audience with every passing chapter.
Hence, what one gets to read is about Rajinikanth's frequent visit to the Himalayas, his devotion for a Babaji and many trips to the holy places that he has taken over the decades. At times, there are some interesting moments thrown in where it is disclosed that how Rajinikant has put on various disguises and enjoyed his 'me time' during these visits with a close bunch of friends. However, at times the journey into the world of spiritualism takes the reader so much away from reality that you do wonder if the legend of Rajinikanth would make a comeback in the book.
Well, it does at frequent intervals. However, this is where Seema's hands are tied too as there is barely an anecdote or two that you haven't read before. If you have been an ardent follower of the life and times of Rajinikanth, you have practically read about it or seen it all.
This is where one ends up remembering Dr. Gayathri Sreekanth's book on the living legend - The Name Is Rajinikanth. Released way back in 2008, the book stays on to be the gold standard of biographies, not just when it comes to Rajinikanth, but any other actor for that matter who has gained a demigod status over the decades. The book scored really high on two points - a) the facts and b) the manner in which these facts were presented. Not just the events that were picked really exciting, their way of presentation through an easy and well flowing vocabulary made it all further smooth.
In that aspect, The Warrior Within struggles from the fact that most of the anecdotes have been heard before and the ones that are just introduced don't really make it the kind of book that cannot be put down before finishing. Also, from the readability perspective too, the entertainment quotient is not always there as it makes for a plain read.
Yes, there are places where you are hooked on for sure. Rajinikanth's tussle with Jayalalitha, as well as the many stories revolving around temptations pertaining to politics are well detailed. These factors do add good weight to the book. Moreover, many unseen pictures of Rajinikanth in his simple avtar add on to the charm as well, and make you wonder how the actor superstar has managed to stay rooted over the decades.
That said, one continues to miss the central subject of the affairs, Rajinikanth, coming face to face with an author and sharing inputs for his biography. He hasn't done that so far and rest assured, whenever that happens, it would indeed make for a 'dhamakedaar' read.
Till then, the wait continues!
Price: Rs. 350/=
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