RARE: Original LP of Sivaji Ganesan’s “Gauravam” (1973), in which he plays a character called Rajnikanth!

This week, we bring from you yet another gem from the TCRC archives. Given that the Prakash Raj-produced, Radha Mohan-directed “Gouravam” has just released, we thought it would be fun to revisit the original “Gauravam” starring Sivaji Ganesan, Nagesh and ‘Major’ Sundarrajan, which was released in 1973. Interestingly, in the old “Gauravam,” Sivaji plays the role of Rajnikanth, a senior lawyer. When seen against that fact that superstar Rajnikanth’s original name is Shivaji (Shivaji Rao Gaikwad), the nomenclature system seems to come fulls circle! Given below is the photograph of the original LP set of Sivaji Ganesan’s “Gauravam”:

"Gauravam"  |  LP Record  |  Tamil  |  1973

“Gauravam” | LP Record | Tamil | 1973

“Gauravam” was directed by ‘Vietnam Veedu’ Sundaram and the music was scored by MS Vishwanathan. “Vietnam Veedu” was Sundaram’s first  stage play for Sivaji Ganesan’s theatre company Sivaji Nataka Mandram. The play was staged for the first time in 1965 and was a massive hit. It was later turned into a movie as well.

The Superstar as a Conductor | A lovely Rajnikanth tale

In the late 1960s, the conductor of the Bangalore Transport Service (BTS) bus that plied on route No 10A from Srinagar to Majestic via City Market was a certain Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, a Kannada-speaking Maharashtrian. He was a stickler for rules. His dos and don’ts for commuters were simple: don’t board a running bus; always alight and board only at bus stops; don’t travel on the footboard; present exact change for tickets. One morning, he noticed a pig-tailed college girl jump into his moving bus, and snarled, “Ilee ree, ilee ree” (get off, get off). He had the driver stop the bus and made my aunt Vasanthi—the passenger—disembark.”

We at TCRC loved reading this lovely Open magazine story about superstar Rajnikanth (click on the image to read the full story).

Our archives have numerous rare images of Rajnikanth over the years and we are currently digitizing a number of those images. So, do watch this space for updates!