A salute to Dr. Rajkumar

( Pic Credit : Rediff.com )

Dr. Rajkumar, the veteran actor of Kannada cinema, passes away. 2 years short of his 80th birthday. What a celebration that would have been.

It’s a great loss not just to the Kannada film fraternity but also to people of Karnataka.

Dr. Rajkumar was the superstar in the Kannada film firmament but he also possessed rare qualities that shone through like beams in darkness – his simplicity & humility. Perhaps, to the common man, these were his most endearing qualities; apart from his total dedication to his family.

He remains special to me for the reason that throught his career and subsequently, he stayed clear of politics with all its attendant problems of jingoism, chauvinism and parochialism. My respect for him increased enormously after his release by Veerapan, when he refused to indulge in any blame-game and draw political mileage out of the whole issue. Lesser mortals would have pounced on the opportunity.

I remember one instance of coming across him during a film shooting. He was dressed in the Khaki uniform of a police officer and that particular shot meant that he run from his jeep towards a fixed point. Though this shot took less than a few minutes, he was gracious enough to allow retakes. Once all was done, he mopped his brow, smiled at the people watching him and left in his van.

In this post of mine, I’ve reminisced about those glorious days throught the 70’s and early ’80’s when listening to Kannada songs on the radio was such a pleasure and how songs from Dr. Rajkumar’s films, apart from others, ruled the airwaves.

Today all of them are just a memory. Still, shining ones.

Annavare, you’ll be missed!


11 Comments so far

  1. Thejesh GN (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

    Sure we all are going to miss namma bangarada manushya

  2. rubic_cube (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 8:17 pm

    An iconic personality known for his great virtuous qualities, he had a great impact on the life of the common man in Karnataka. With his death, Karnataka has lost an illustrious personality. A son of the soil!

    Heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family!

  3. shub (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 9:37 pm

    I can’t imagine the scenes in Bangalore…may his soul rest in peace.
    As you said, I’m so glad he steered clear of politics..
    Nice post!

  4. Suyog (unregistered) on April 12th, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

    Dr.Raj had such an impeccable reputation that I wonder anyone else in Karnataka will be missed so much as he will be. He is lost to us but will always reside in our hearts..

  5. nevermind (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 5:21 am

    we used to be his neighbours not so long ago! he was the salt of the earth, a cultured, gracious, unfailingly courteous, old fashioned gentleman.

  6. usha (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 8:54 am

    Nice post ravi. I can understand the sadness of the people of Karnataka as their day to day life was so intrinsically linked to his voice. My own early memories of Bangalore are all laced with tunes from Rajkumar’s films when P.B.Sreenivas used to sing for him. Later it was his own melodious and expressive voice be it film music or Raghavendra swamy songs. And in all the films of his that I have seen he has never been one who performs impossible feats but a guy we know – a devoted son, a loving husband, a reliable friend or a nice father all of which he played so convincingly – that is why he became the “annavaru”, a big brother whom we know, understand and love. For me he is not gone as he will live for ever through his immortal voice and timeless songs.

  7. karthik (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

    hi ravi,
    after all that has happened over the previous 48 hours, i hope peace will be restored in bangalore. raj kumar deserved a better farewell.

  8. Pnaik (unregistered) on April 13th, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

    In a vicarious way, it’s good that Rajkumar moved on. Now until the next big hero worth worshipping comes along and dies, there won’t be much damage to property and lives in the city. Who’s next?

  9. Sreenath (unregistered) on April 14th, 2006 @ 12:02 am

    I guess that wud be Devegowda! And since he is into hard core politics, i fear worser scenes on his ***** !!

    Anyways, i guess Dr Rajkumar, the peace and humanity loving man that he was, would be very happy with the kind of fans he has!

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but i have nothing against this great artist. Every artist is unique, and our Dr Raj was one of the best. I am also a fan of him, having watched conutless movies of his. But i am civilized enough to sit at home and watch the funeral in TV, cos i know that is where i get the best view. I dont have to run around on the streets with burning tyres, throwing stones and hurting innocent people to prove that I am a fan of our Annavaru and I am protecting kannada.

    They didnt even allow his last rites to be performed ritually. This incident is very sad and shall never be forgiven. And on top of that, 6 other people have died in the mobs over the natural death of an 80 year old man. Does that mean that Rajkumar must never die? Who are they rioting against – mother nature?

    This is a very sad incident and our pride of bangalore, Dr Rajkumar’s image has been charred with this bad day after he has passed away. And im very much sure, it will be a long time before this wound heals.

  10. Nagendra R P (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 6:08 pm

    Annavru was more than a film star, for us, Kannadigas. He represented the culture and was the voice of Kannadigas for a long time…
    This is a loss that cannot be compensated…
    Annavre….. You will be missed forever..

  11. BangaloreGuy (unregistered) on April 25th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    sreenath, 6 people were killed in police firing. One of those persons was on the 3rd floor. It wasnt mob violence that killed those people.
    The mob did lynch the cop though. Most of the violence was because the administration just slept through all of it. Law and Order were left to the common people to follow/implement.

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