It was 1995 when we first met Manickam AKA Manick Baasha, an auto-man, a don, a brother, and a formidable figure who ruled the underworld in Mumbai. It was 22 years ago when we first heard, “Naan oru thadava sonna…” Suresh Krissna’s Baasha released again on March 3 amid much fanfare. 22 years later, the film starring Rajinikanth, Nagma, and Raghuvaran, is being screened in a digitised format.
Men, women, and children flocked to the recently renovated Rohini Theatres near Koyambedu on Sunday evening to watch the superstar in action. To some, it sounded like Diwali come early; to others it was the beginning of impromptu dance sequences when the 5,000 wala was brought out. Followed by a troupe performing the traditional drums, everyone danced and sang wearing their favourite Rajinikanth t-shirt. If it wasn’t for the scores of millennials, then it was the old people dancing amid firecrackers and the ongoing paal abhishekams (milk bath).
The ardent fans also waited to meet their superstar’s wife who paid a visit. Latha Rajinikanth, and the film’s director Suresh Krissna reached the theatres late, but that didn’t deter the crowd from getting excited. “This is so much better than the mayhem that happened during Vedhalam‘s one-year celebration,” we heard someone say. The crowd had women fans leading the celebrations too.
The movie, 22 years later, still has a lot of takers with shows running housefull since its re-release a few days back. Those who couldn’t get their tickets on time participated in the celebration happening outside. “It’s an emotion for us,” declared an ardent Rajinikanth fan, vowing to watch as many shows of Baasha as he can.