I first met S S Rajamouli while making the documentary "Exploring Shiva After 25 Years" in 2014. It was a point to point call. I got an appointment, met him, completed the interview within the given time, took a snap with him and left. He was busy in the making of Baahubali-The Beginning then. He might be just humble but came across as 'very humble' to me. My proximity and acclimatization to the not so humble RGV could be the reason.
My next encounter with him was in a dark party area during the success meet of Puri Jagan's Temper.
Last evening was the felicitation event for the Dadasaheb Phalke Awardee K Vishwanath. I was waiting at the entrance of the venue along with some hosts of Telugu Film Industry. Someone got down from a not so high end car. Suddenly, there was brightness on the faces of everyone standing there. He was Rajamouli. No bouncers around him....nobody else with him, he was all alone. He greeted everyone humbly but didn't go inside the venue. He joined our semi circle line waiting for the arrival of Shri. K Viswanath with folded hands. His gesture was welcomed by everyone with respect. He waited for almost 15 minutes. Then, to my delight and surprise, he recognized me with my name. I greeted him and said, "Sir! Every new release is looking like a short film to me after watching Baahubali-2 and not even feeling like attempting to watch". He smiled uncomfortably and all that I could see is a bright light of modesty in his eyes. This time he was very very humble.
As Shri K Vishwanath arrived, he greeted him along with everyone and accompanied him inside the venue.
As Rajamouli entered the hall, there was a tumult, a glee and a crazy atmosphere. Everyone was taking a chance to click selfies with him. He was offered a big sofa in the front row to sit. He sat for a few moments, stood up, looked around, came and sat in the 3rd row. To my double delight, that place happened to be just beside me.
Well, wherever he sat, that place was becoming more precious than the first row. All eyes and cameras were turning towards him like Sun Flowers turn towards the Sun. Yes, I compare him with the Sun as there is no one brighter than him in Indian film industry at present. But, while the Sun in the sky is burning everyone with hot waves currently, Rajamouli is showering his modest rays of humility everywhere. That's the difference.
It is very difficult to keep the arrogance of success away from one's own behavior. It cannot be hidden as well. If attempted to hide, then it lurks out in body language for sure if not in speech.
Success speaks of talent, but modesty of the most successful man speaks of his soul. I only heard and read about the modest Rajnikanth so far. But now experienced Rajamouli to take a piece of wisdom in my life. I am in love and awe for him.
One who lives an uncompromising audacious life irrespective of the world around him is RGV. One who lives an unintended modest life irrespective of the Baahubalian success is Rajamouli. I have seen Rajamouli unaffected with success and RGV unaffected with failure. For me, both are inspiring, both are surprising, both are inimitable and both are lovable.