Rajinikanth's daughter Aishwaryaa recounts their life in new book, 'Standing On An Apple Box'
Some daughters may look up to their fathers as super heroes. But how does it feel to have an actual superstar for your father?
The answer is one Rajinikanth's elder daughter Aishwaryaa R Dhanush attempts to answer in her book, Standing on an Apple Box.
Being born in a superstar's house didn't make much of a difference to Aishwaryaa as she, along with her sister Soundarya, were kept away from all the glamour and glitz of the movie world.
"My father never behaves like a superstar at home. For that matter he doesn't behave like one anywhere, except in his movies," she writes. She had a very normal childhood like any other kid and the credit goes to her "Amma", Latha Rajinikanth, who brought them up "without any visible signs" of Rajinikanth's stardom.
Shweta Bachchan Nanda, the daughter of Amitabh Bachhan, has written the foreword of the book. (Shweta met Aishwaryaa for the first time at a football match.)
Shweta writes about the book: "Very often we watch our idols on screen and they take on the superhuman qualities of the characters they portray. What Standing on an Apple Box does, is lift the curtain and give you a peek at the men and women behind the make-up and the family units that helped to make them what they are."
Apple boxes are an integral part of movie sets. Hence, the title. "Used as a prop, these boxes are used to increase the height of the camera stand, to support heavy equipment, to make short actors look tall, sit on between shots, to serve tea and coffee. Come to any movie shoot and the light man can be heard shouting for it," Aishwaryaa writes in the book.
Like any other child, she used to visit places accompanied by her mother, away from the paparazzi. She remembers how she "played at Marina beach almost every second day and visited the temples at Adyar and Santhome every week".
The book takes one down memory lane as an introvert Aishwaryaa recollects several fond memories with Rajinikanth.
She recalled her 18th birthday. She was excited to learn about a club which had opened in "orthodox Madras" but had to overcome "a huge hurdle, My Appa". To her surprise — and worse than an "outright No" — Rajinikanth himself agreed to take her there.
Aishwaryaa also recollects that while she and her family were on a trip to Paris, she lost her bag. It was her father who came to her rescue and offered her his lungi to wear.
When it comes to food and eating habits she writes: "Appa would help himself to only one dish, irrespective of the number of dishes placed before him."
Rajinikanth also supported his daughters when it came to adopting a pet, whom they named "Tiger Rajinikanth".
The book is also filled with moments she had with special people in her life, her life-support, and pillars of strength — grandparents in Bengaluru and the days with them, her sister, friends and not to forget her love, actor Dhanush, whom she married at a young age.
She mentions a few incidents when Dhanush impressed her with his outlook, especially when Aishwaryaa wanted to pursue further education.
However, the book is a disappointment if a reader is looking for gossip or controversial moments from the superstar's life. She does draw a sketch of two incidents without directly indicating the protagonist. There's a love story of a married actor and young actress and a producer's quest to become a successful director.
Standing on an Apple Box by Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush; HarperCollins; Pages: 171; Price: Rs 399
Updated Date: Jan 04, 2017 11:31 AM