There was something Rajinikanth about Steve Jobs

An early morning phone call shattered a lovely dream, what was more shattering was the news behind the phone call. “Steve Jobs is dead,” said the calm sounding voice of @gillianhooper at the other end.

When someone passes away, we hunt for emotions inside us and also some words that will best describe the departed to us. Words that we will continue to associate with the memory of that person for long. The initial disbelief and shock in a while gives way to a more logical understanding, or at least what we think is logical.

My initial reaction was a comparison between Jobs and Rajinikanth. “How cliché,” the saner part of my brain said. The overdose of Rajinikanth jokes might have gone to my head. I gave the thought a break.

A day later, when things were much calmer it again struck me. Steve Jobs was the technology Rajinikanth. More so for someone like me.

iRajini

I am an outsider to both Steve Jobs and Rajinikanth’s worlds. Never owned an Apple device and never watched a Rajinikanth movie in the language that it is meant to be. Both Jobs and Rajini has an almost fanatical fan following. I am not one. I have regard for both, but not to the level of reverence. Maybe because of, as mentioned earlier, I am an outsider.

For their fans they can do no wrong. But both of them have a number of not so successful ventures associated with their names. If it is Power Mac G4 Cube and Apple TV for Steve Jobs, Rajinikanth cannot boast much about Baba. Both are superstars in their own right, but not infallible.

A real life wigless Rajinikanth is a contrast to the flamboyant large screen image. Steve Jobs was a veritable pop icon and seemingly enjoyed his celebrity status but he was very guarding about his private life.

Rajinikanth jokes have reached the cult status similar to that reserved for Chuck Norris jokes. Steve Jobs jokes, while less circulated are as hilarious. Sample this: (on Twitter following Jobs’ resignation) Steve Jobs’ text was meant to say: “I reign as CEO of Apple” Damn you autocorrect!”

And we all must have seen at least one of these Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates.

In both Steve Jobs and Rajinikanth’s cases, the products I tested first hand (i.e not borrowed from someone or in a translated version) did try to tickle my senses but could excite much. Safari Web browser and iTunes media player couldn’t get me to make them my default programs and watching Rajinikanth’s less-than-successful Bollywood ventures I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about this man.

Both Rajini and Jobs are big names and their fame has spread much beyond their core audience. There is as much chance of a ten-year-old knowing who Steve Jobs than that of Bollywood loving Punjabi migrant in Canada being aware of Rajinikanth. Even outsiders like me, know a little about them to be able to draw a comparison.

Well, there is another, “Rajinikanth bit the apple in the Apple logo.”