Rajinikanth says he quit smoking, drinking because of his wife

Chennai: Actor Y Gee Mahendra's popular stage play 'Charukesi' is all set to be made into a movie. Tamil superstar Rajinikanth made this announcement at the 50th show of 'Charukesi' at Vani Mahal in Chennai. He also kickstarted the project with the customary 'clap'.

Rajinikanth said: "In 1975, when I went to see the play 'Ragasiyam Parama Ragasiyam', I was not allowed in. But now I am here as the special guest at the 50th show of 'Charukesi'. This is all an act of time.

He added: "Popular actors, including Nagesh, Jayalalithaa, Cho, Visu, and so on, are from the UAA theatre troupe. It is a disciplined troupe with many educated people and experts from various fields."

Rajinikanth noted that had Nadigar Thilagam Sivaji Ganesan been alive, 'Charukesi' would have been another 'Vietnam Veedu'."

He continued: "As far as this drama is concerned, the story, screenplay, characters and dialogues are all well placed. The cinema industry has not used an actor like Y Gee Mahendra to his full potential.

"I am confident that this play will be a huge success when it is made into a film. Vasanth will write the screenplay, which will add more strength to the film."

On a personal note, he said: "Y Gee Mahendra was the main reason for my marriage. At one point in my life I was almost addicted to smoking, drinking and non-vegetarian food. I used to pity vegetarians. It was my wife Latha who changed me with love."

He urged all those gathered at the auditorium to quit smoking and drinking. In his speech, Y Gee Mahendra said: "There is only one Makkal Thilagam, only one Nadigar Thilagam, only one Mellisai Mannar, only one Kavignar Kannadasan, and there can be only one superstar, who is Rajinikanth."

Venkat has written the story and dialogues for 'Charukesi', which is based on a thought given by the late dramatist Crazy Mohan. The play is directed by Y Gee Mahendra. The story revolves around the life of a musician suffering from Alzheimer's.

'Charukesi' will be adapted into a movie by SARP (Sri Agraharam Rajalakshmi) Picture Production. National Award-winning director Vasanth S. Sai will pen the screenplay and double as the creative director. Y Gee Mahendra is playing the lead role, besides directing the movie. Details about other actors and crew will be announced soon.

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