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By Ad-Lib

Ajith is all set to inherit the mantle of the new generation superstar after Rajnikant and Kamal Hassan. But it wasn't all that easy for this charming actor to reach this point. His journey to date is like an exciting film script. Ajith, a school dropout became a race-driver, but after two accidents, he had to give up speed driving and ended up as a salesman in a garment export firm. Then he set up his own business, which also failed to take off. It was his modeling career that got him a few film offers. Ajith with his clean cut good looks found the going hard, as his films did not do well. The Tamil film industry wrote him off, they said he had typical Aryan looks and only those with Dravidian looks have proved successful. He tried his luck one last time with Agathian's Kathal Kottai, which not only won a national award, but was also a super-hit at the box-office. It seemed that finally Ajith had made it big. But this success was short lived as Ajith signed some mediocre films after the success of Kathal Kottai, which resulted in a string of flops that threw him off ground.

It was at this time his best friend decided to make a different movie with him with a young director Surya. They rehashed Darr and Baazigar and the result was Valee, released in May 1999, a month after Rajnikanth's Padayappa. Valee was a mega hit, that overnight made Ajith a superstar. After that there was no looking back for this good-looking actor. Valee was followed by Amarkalam where he was paired for the first time with Shalini. Amarkalam not only become a super hit, but also he fell in love with itís heroine Shalini, who became his wife after a breezy romance. The marriage has stabilized Ajith, who had earlier a wild womanizer reputation. In fact he was living in with his Kathal Kottai second heroine Heera Rajagopal. After his marriage he said in an interview, "I have been immature and made many blunders in my life. But Shalu (Shalini) has stabilized my life and I am having a good life now." Today, he is very possessive about Shalini and has sworn that she will never act again. Ajith admits that he does not like his wife to continue acting.

At this point in his career, the 30-year-old Ajith is one of the few actors who are paid over a crore for a Tamil film. His films have been doing well at the box-office the actor is all set for his first major Hindi film to release. Ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan has just completed a schedule with him for his magnum opus Asoka, where he plays Shah Rukh Khan's younger brother. In fact Shahrukh was so impressed with Ajith that he as the producer asked Sivan to extend Ajith's role. But Ajith has no illusions about Bollywood. For the moment he is preoccupied with Tamil films. At the moment he is riding a wave at the box-office. It looks like he is going to occupy the top slot for quite some time to come.

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