I will tell you about the Rajnikant we knew when I was doing my bachelors in Ethiraj College, Chennai. His wife Latha was my contemporary, senior in college. I was a Science student whereas she belonged to English literature department .
Latha was also our college treasurer, when in the final year. One semester during her first year, regarding our college magazine she was chosen to interview Rajnikant, an upcoming star.. Kamalahaasan was already famous by then. Her sister, Sudha, was married to actor Y. G.Mahendran, so Latha had access to film personaliies and hence the interview was easily possible.
After asking various usual questions she asked him about his marriage. His prompt reply was “As soon as I find someone like you”. He even added “why would a highly educated person like you marry an illiterate like me?” The rest is history.
During those courting days he very often came to college in a Fiat car. He drove it himself and parked the car inside the campus on the left side of our main gate. There was gate there too for cars to come in. He used to come earlier before 4 pm and stand leaning on the car. We girls often saw him as a dark but okay looking person. But he did not look like star material.. He wasn’t huge, tall, fair or in flashy clothes. He wore usually dark or black bell- bottomed trousers and some dull coloured checked shirt, with top two buttons unfastened. He was clean shaven and had thick hair on his head,which he often pushed with his fingers.
We watched him from the office building, across the small garden. He never looked all around. Usually he looked up at the sky. This was in contrast to actor Suman who sometimes came to pick up his mother, who was a Prof in the Botany dept. Suman looked around and smiled at girls.
It was obvious even from far as we were curious as young girls to see who Rajnikant was, how he was, was he matching Latha. We girls saw him, but none of us ran to him for autographs like my Ethirajians usually did to Kamal or Kapil dev . May be because we all knew he came to pick up Latha and our conservative society looked down on girls running behind men in a relationship. Besides we all had great respect for Latha as a our senior, treasurer, singer and an excellent student of our college. Only later we found out that they were already married (in Feb, ’81, unknown to media or anybody in college), before she completed her PG studies