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Rajinikanth condition stable, says doctor
Chennai, May 19 (Agencies):
Published on 19 May. 2011 11:27 PM IST
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As legions of anxious fans offer prayers for the fast recovery of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth, who has been in and out of hospitals in the past one month, the Tamil film industry is worried the actor’s ill health can derail the production of one of his most ambitious projects.
A doctor attending to the actor, whose larger-than-life on screen image inspires fanatic devotion from fans from around the world, assured on Thursday that the star’s condition is stable and he will be shifted to a normal ward from the Intensive Care Unit soon.
The 61-year-old icon of Tamil and Hindi cinema is being treated at the Sri Ramachandra hospital in Chennai for a gastrointestinal disorder that led to a respiratory problem.
“Rajini was moved to the ICU because it is a sterile place. He is getting complete medical attention there. He had an infection. We are taking good care of him,” his wife Latha said.
Chairman and Director of Cardiac Care Centre of Shri Ramachandra Medical Centre Dr S Thanikachalam said that Rajini has been cheerful and also cracked jokes. He also spoke to his family, said Dr Thanikachalam.
“A team of doctors is looking after Rajini. Rajini is a hale and healthy man. A gastro-intestinal infection led to gastric and respiratory problem. Rajini had a normal meal today of two idlis and a wada,” he added.
While a section of fans took to offering prayers at temples, eating rice off the ground and holding a vigil at the hospital for the star’s early recovery, there were others who started tags on Twitter to convey their distress.
“I (C)see (U)you in my heart! #icu #rajinikanth - Always our #thalaivar” read a tweet on Wednesday that was promptly retweeted by many as people exchanged news and shared news stories on arguably one of India’s most loved filmstars whose reputation as an action hero contradicts with his unassuming, traditionally dressed and balding image in real life.
Rajinikanth fell ill on the first day’s shooting of his new film ‘Raana’ at the end of April. After the mammoth success of his sci-fi mega venture ‘Enthiran’ (The Robot), which is also incidentally the costliest film ever made in India, he has signed up for Raana that also stars actress Deepika Padukone.
Rajinikanth has starred in more than 175 films in a career spanning 30 years. His tough-guy image and cigarette tossing stunts have catapulted him to superstardom in the past three decades and many have forgotten his humble beginning as a bus conductor in Mumbai.
However, his two visits to the hospital come at a time when a projected Rs 150 crore is riding on Raana that sees Rajinikanth again in the superlative, playing three roles opposite stars half his age.
Industry observers believe the movie may have to be shelved if the superstar’s health remains critical. His iconic presence in South Indian cinema is often crucial to carry over a film to success despite a thriving culture of jokes and one-liners based on his stunts that border on the ridiculous.
Movies and entertainment website Galatta reported that most frames of Raana cannot be shot without the superstar who plays three lead roles.
The film is co-written and directed by KS Ravikumar and is jointly produced by Ocher Picture Productions and Eros International. It has music by AR Rahman. Deepika Padukone who plays a key role in the film, and was initially supposed to shoot with the star, went ahead and shot for a solo song sequence in his absence. She is scheduled to do the second installment of her shoot for Raana in June-July.
Industry insiders are hopeful that the superstar will have recovered by then, though his health will be under constant watch.

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