Kamal, Rajni and the proverbial Mango!
There is a mythological story that kids in south India are told, about Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga aka Karthikeya.
The story starts with Lord Shiva and Paarvathi in possesion of a mango. They call both their sons and being typical south Indian parents, they decide that there is no fun in just cutting the mango into two halves and giving it to their two sons. So as is customary, they tell their kids that only one of them can have the whole mango and make it into a little test. Whichever kid cracks 800/800 in the Math section of the SAT will get the mango. No, I am kidding. What they really said was something more simple. Simple for little god kids that is!
Whichever one of you, goes around the world three times gets the mango!! they declared.
Muruga, the hot headed athletic dude, decided to hop on his pet peacock and started flying around the world three times. He was clocking Mach 8 on the mythical peacock and looked like a sure winner, but....
The nerdy Ganesha scratched his head with his trunk and said "Hmm.. I cannot compete with my brother and his flying peacock. All they gave me was this pet mouse which is no good for such contests!". Just as that thought had flashed in Ganesh's head, the mouse, worried that he might get a kick in the butt from his master for his physical inabilities, scurried behind Lord Shiva and Parvathi!
The fact that the mouse chose to run around them clockwise, gave Lord Ganesha a brilliant idea. He jumped up with joy and said "a^2 +b^2 = c^2! the hypotenuese.. the hypotenuse.. why didn't I think of that before!" The celestial crows heard this and started course correcting to their destinations along the shortest route! The greek gods promptly took note.
Ganesha folded his hands in prayer, winked at his parents and walked around them three times. Shiva and Parvathi looked at him and said "Duh. So?"
"Don't you get it mom? Don't you get it Dad?" cried Ganesha. "I am trying to say that my parents are my world at this age and walking around you three times is the same as walking around the world! Now, cough up that mango!"
Shiva and Parvathi were stumped. They knew that the precocious kid was not easy to deal with. He had come up with things like Boolean Logic, Fuzzy logic and Eigenvectors all at the tender age of three and the humans were already building temples for him in every street corner!
They asked young Ganesha to go wait outside while they had a parent conference.
Shiva: What can we do now?
Parvathi: We could wait till Muruga comes back and declare him the winner for genuinely circling the globe three times!
Shiva: But what kind of message do we send to the rest of creation?
Parvathi: What do you mean? Hard work always triumphs! That is the message you send.
Shiva: Come on now girl! When was the last time you or me did any hard work around here. We delegate. That is what we do. We work smarter, not harder!
Parvathi: You have a point there. I forgot that I am now in Universal management! We have to send the right message here. Smart Ganesh knows how to get the mango! He is a role model for the earthlings on how to get things done.
Shiva: I only have one problem with giving him the mango. The earthlings might suck up to him more than they suck up to us. After all, he is going to be their role model for taking the short cut!
Parvathi: Overall, it might be a better move to give it to Ganesha. We never know what he will come up with next!
So it happened! Ganesha got the mango. When poor Muruga returned, with his hair all messed up in flight, only to realize that his parents were tricked into giving up the mango, he got real mad, tonsured his head and sat on top of the Pazhani mountain to meditate.
Ganesa, who had still not had a chance to "echchai" the mango, was worried! He knew all too well from Tamizh movie stars and American rock stars that when they threw a temper tantrum, they usually got what they wanted! Muruga, a celestial heartthrob, could still sway people his way.
Yet again, Ganesha scratched his head with his trunk and went to Cafe Kailash, a popular tea joint, where the gods were busy spreading the latest gossip about the Mango incident! Making it look like pure coincidence, he went and sat next to Narada, who had a controlling stake in Narbook, Narspace, Nartube and MyNarad, not to mention Narkut!
"Did you know the real reason why he tonsured his head?" he asked Narada.
"He was angry and wanted to call attention to himself. Isn't that the reason?" said Narada, as he instant messaged a dozen gossipmongers on SameNarad.
"It is such a pity that only 6.25% of celestial beings understand Aerodynamics! All this free floating in free space has spoilt us. We are worse than American kids who cannot point to "I"raq on the world map!" Ganesha retorted.
"Aero what ?" !!! said the small crowd of gods who had gathered around in response to Narada's message.
"Aerodynamics!! Muruga did not win because his hair kept flailing around and created a drag effect and slowed him down. His peacock's feathers didn't help with the flying either. That is why he tonsured his head, so he can do better next time. He is meditating on the hill, because he is contemplating defeathering his peacock!"
The crowd pondered for a second and said "Ganesha is soooo smart! No wonder he won the race, with his aerodynamic trunk and his clean shaved mouse!" and walked away.
That is the untold version of the Mango story. The official pictorial version is here.
"Now, what has this got to do with Kamal and Rajni?!" you ask?
K.Balachander told them both that, when they have the Tamizh movie audience eating out of their hands, they will get the "box office" mango.
While Kamal went on to play ten roles in the same movie, and took two three years to make the movie, where he acts as a thin, tall, short, bald, old, young, fat, black, brown, white, Iyer, Iyengar, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, athesit, scientist, beggar, doctor, priest, fisherman, dentist, terrorist, secret agent, police, cab driver, etc. etc....., Rajni quickly thought to himself, looked inside his pockets, found some cigarettes, cooling glass, toothpicks, coins, paperweights etc., oozed some style, did some clever antics with the stuff from his pockets and won the box office mango!
In all sincerity, do hope Kamal gets the mango this time with Dasavatharam!