Come May 1, it is time to celebrate the birthday of the King of the Box Office! Yes, it is Kollywood superstar Ajith’s, or Thala Ajith, as he is popularly known as, birthday. But this year it is different. Thala Ajith has requested his fans not to celebrate his birthday given the coronavirus pandemic, the hardships faced by people and loss of lives as a result. There will also be no news or PR activity related to his latest film ‘Vallimai’ with producer Boney Kapoor either.
Despite the tremendous success and popularity he enjoys, Kollywood superstar Ajith has always been someone who is in touch with reality and cares for the common man. His philanthropy is not something he talks about or sends out press releases on, but he is well-known for it. He was the first Tamil star to give more than a crore - Rs 1.25 crore to be exact - towards numerous coronavirus relief funds. He contributed Rs 50 lakh each to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Relief Fund and PM-CARES Fund. He further donated Rs 25 lakh to FEFSI workers who have lost their livelihood. In fact, he also gave Rs 2.5 lakh to the Film Journalists’ Association to help them with the lockdown thanks to coronavirus.
Ajith’s humanitarian gestures have, over the years, made him even more popular especially among the youth. He disbanded his fan club some years back and told his fans to serve the people in every way they can rather than just celebrate him. His fans, in return, have remained ever so loyal to him and in fact, have made him one of the biggest celebs on social media today.
One area in life that he religiously stays away from is politics. Ajith has always been clear that he would never enter the political arena either ‘directly or indirectly’ and he has never openly supported any political party. “I have my own likes and dislikes when it comes to politics. I have neither imposed my political views on anyone nor have I allowed anyone to impose theirs on mine. I have never liked my photographs or name to be associated with any political event,” he reiterated in 2019. He further steers clear of making any political statements in his films too.
The star is also someone who has forged his own path in the Tamil film industry. He came into the film industry in 1990 and has seen his fair share of ups and downs. Today, he is one of the top action stars but in 2003, he decided to turn to another passion he has - racing. Ajith dabbled in racing for a few years before fans called him to his primary love - films. Now, he is an avid photographer and loves aeromodelling.
All these aspects have made Ajith more endearing to his fans. But it’s not just his fans who love him. Even his co-actors, producers and directors who work with Ajith, can’t stop gushing about him. Many of his co-stars have spoken about how he loves to cook for them on set while others have marvelled about how much of a gentleman he is.
It is easy for an actor to be a ‘star’ but not many can be a like a regular person when they interact with others. With Ajith, that is what is striking. There are no airs when one meets him and he goes out of his way to make sure the other person is comfortable. No one has a bad word to say about him and that is testimony to his stellar personality and character.
At a personal level, I have had the opportunity to interview Ajith numerous times. He has always been kind and gracious to give me the interview - no airs, no tantrums, always the gentleman. Once when I invited him to be the guest of honour at an event, Ajith said to me, “I’m sorry but you know I don’t attend events. But you can invite me over to your place any day and I’ll cook for you a fantastic meal.” I’m yet to hold him upto it! Here’s wishing Ajith a fantastic birthday and much more success and happiness.