Appearing at a public event for the first time after his return from Singapore, a rejuvenated and healthy looking Rajinikanth said he was "completely cured and fit" after his illness, which shook fans across the globe.Felicitating acclaimed film director SP Muthuraman, who received the seventh Sankara Ratna Award on Saturday, the Superstar revealed that even when he was sick, SP Muthuraman kept on calling on him. "He went on telling me to get back to work and to keep on acting," he said and then looked at SPM and said, "By your blessings, people's prayers and fans' love, I am completely cured and fit again."Though it was an unpublicised entry by Rajini, he revealed that he had quietly told SPM the previous evening that he would come for sure. "I was initially planning to come at the last minute, but there are already too many punch-dialogues about how no one knows when or how I will come!," he joked.Besides the 25 films that the actor-director duo had made, there is a two decade-old connection between Rajinikanth, SP Muthuraman and Sankara Nethralaya, that was renewed quietly that evening. Very few may remember an eye donation advertisement made by the actor in the 80s, directed by SPM, but for Dr SS Badrinath, Chairman Emeritus of Sankara Nethralaya, it was a landmark. It is perhaps this connection and more that prompted the institution to recognise him, amid a sea of felicitations from the industry's most revered personalities.Veteran director K Balachander, producer M Saravanan, politician R M Veerappan and music director MS Viswanathan spoke about their various experiences with SP Muthuraman through the past three decades or so. Actor-Director Visu hailed him as a tension-free director, and possibly the only one who had directed Rajini and Kamal simultaneously for a decade, and attributed this quality as the secret of his good health at 77.A poem in SPM's honour composed by Vairamuthu was also read out at the programme. Actor Kushboo, who was introduced by SPM was also present. While receiving the award, SPM emotionally recounted his journey in the Tamil film industry and managed to thank a large number of his crew and technicians, "without whom SPM was nothing", as he put it. In conclusion, he made a startling claim, "I am not done yet. I may be 77, but physically, I am 57, mentally, I am 27, and at heart, I am still 17!" Perhaps he will add to his tally of 70-plus films, at this rate.