Puneeth Rajkumar possessed selfless goodness: Actor Chetan pens tribute

The 2 points of Appu sir I valued most have been his willingness to study and the love he confirmed so many people even when he received nothing from us in return, Chetan writes.

Relationships within the movie trade are usually transactional — we meet at cinema occasions a pair instances a yr, chuckle right here and there, sing a number of songs, drop a dialogue or two, at greatest work collectively, after which half methods. Hardly ever does an emotional, visceral, filial chord strike. I used to be lucky to have the latter significant reference to Appu sir (Puneet Rajkumar) for 13 years who I valued not simply as good friend however as an elder brother I by no means had, who genuinely cared for and guided me even and particularly once I treaded paths he would suppose higher of.

My connection to Appu sir dates again to my childhood years in the USA of America. I’d carry out the profound mythological dialogues from ‘Bhakta Prahlada’ between father Hiranyakashipu and his son as a 7-year-old on Kannada platforms throughout the nation, garnering the nickname ‘Prahlada’ unaware who Appu sir was at the moment, not to mention that he had effortlessly essayed the position in 1985 as a baby artiste. Little did I do know that an American acquaintance of Appu sir had instructed him about my nickname after I entered the movie trade — one thing Appu sir talked about with an affectionate, comforting smile once I invited him for my marriage in 2020.

If I needed to describe one particular second that laid the groundwork for my substantive journey with him, it happened throughout ‘Amrutamahotsava’ rehearsals in February of 2009 within the wake of my second movie launch Birugaali. Round 50 of us have been sitting on the ground ready for our flip to apply our respective dance routines when Appu sir’s flip got here up. He stood up, cellphone in hand and commenced trying quizzically in any respect of us sitting cross-legged. As I sat there questioning the explanation for his delay, he came to visit to me — a newcomer not simply to the trade however Karnataka as a complete — dropped his cellphone in my lap with full ease, and turned in direction of the dance flooring. It was at that time that I understood Appu sir trusted me; it was my duty to retain that belief — not simply together with his cellphone however in life in totality.

Throughout that rehearsal week, I broached a number of subjects with Appu sir, we developed an earnest kinship, and afterward that yr I readily agreed to behave alongside him in Raam. It was on the taking pictures set in Rockline Studio that he effervescently steered I be part of his gymnasium in Sadashivnagar since my house was in an adjoining Bengaluru neighbourhood — I did so in early 2012.

On the finish of that yr, I led my first activist battle — the struggle for presidency advantages for Endosulfan pesticide victims throughout coastal Karnataka. My understanding of social actions was relegated to historical past books, so I went to Appu sir’s house for the primary time to ask his steerage. He watched the video of Endosulfan victims on his laptop computer and readily agreed to return wherever in assist of the humanitarian trigger. I used to be emboldened. Six months later, we received that battle after the Karnataka state authorities launched Rs 90 crore for the victims’ advantages. At that time, I started to look at Appu sir’s social concern, understanding that he cared sincerely for the weak.

Since then and for the previous 9 years, Appu sir and I’ve labored out in the identical gymnasium, conversed whereas working on parallel treadmills, lifted weights alongside each other, and performed yoga collectively. I used to be at all times struck by his sheer bodily health, energy, flexibility — all of the whereas with a broad smile and a joyous shout, ‘Hey, Chetan, how are you, man? — watch any good films this week?’

In early 2020, I went to Appu sir and Ashwini madam’s house to ask them as particular friends for my marriage ceremony celebration at a neighborhood orphanage. We spoke for a half hour about a variety of subjects from Bahujan thinker Narayan Guru’s contributions to the necessity for studying and social service within the present contexts. Appu sir talked about how he had understood the significance of training after internet hosting Kannada’s ‘Kotyadipathi(‘Who Needs to be A Millionaire’) and because of this, had taken up model ambassadorships for Proper to Training and Talent Improvement Board to assist uplift our rural children.

When it comes to social service, he believed that after securing one’s elementary and household necessities, it was all our duty to offer again in our personal capacities. Subsequently, throughout the first wave of the coronavirus, he contributed Rs. 50 lakh to our state authorities after which supported many working-class of us we each knew from gymnasium, yoga, and cinema all with out publicity within the second wave. He additionally by no means took cash for the songs he sang, singing them for his or her musicality and lyrics, and convincing patrons to donate to his household’s charitable organisations.

On my marriage ceremony perform on February 2, 2020, Appu sir (and Ashwini madam) arrived on the orphanage exactly on the 7.15pm time I had requested, waited patiently on stage as my dad and mom spoke and Megha and I took our self-written vows, and articulated to the group about our mutual admiration for Kannada language. I’ll at all times treasure the reminiscence of us all holding up our Indian Structure ebook collectively in entrance of hundreds of well-wishers on that special occasion.

In 2020, our interactions have been a lot — each private {and professional}. I valued his phrases when he instructed me to remain away from any movie trade ‘conflicts’ since I knew they got here from a spot of heat and concern, and he attended a launch of my movie Maarga after only a request by way of cellphone name.

Though my opposition to the privileging of some on the expense of so many each in society and Kannada movie trade — aka ‘star tradition’ — started to develop extra vigilant by way of protests, speeches, and writings, it didn’t intervene with the connection Appu sir and I shared despite the fact that he was a ‘star’ ever since start and I by no means one. To paraphrase Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night time, Appu sir had stardom ‘thrust upon him’ however by no means possessed the tantrums, vanity, or superciliousness that got here with that bundle.

Simply as a staunch advocate of democracy can acknowledge that there have been good monarchs, an avid champion of equality can settle for that in principle and in Appu sir’s case in apply as nicely, there might be ‘good’ stars. Appu sir’s physique of labor as an actor in addition to his alternative of leads and content material as a producer corroborate the aforementioned declare. In a society and movie trade that prioritises earnings on the expense of individuals, he made positive the movies he was part of might be loved by your entire household collectively. Regardless that violence, cruelty, self-aggrandising, and hero-glorification movies would have benefited his financial institution stability and ‘massy’ enchantment extra, he continued the wonderful legacy of his father by taking part in the protagonist in healthful leisure initiatives and thus, enriching the inventive, inclusive points of cinema.

As a producer, he launched newcomers by way of content-based topics in order to boost the artistic parts of Kannada movies and guarantee the next share of commercially-successful ventures somewhat than an occasional blockbuster.

Though Appu sir was affable and affectionate to all within the movie fraternity and outdoors, he admired these actors who refined the craft of efficiency. As soon as within the gymnasium he spoke to me about his shut camaraderie with the gifted Aamir Khan within the Hindi movie trade. I additionally examine how, in an award ceremony inundated with celebrities, he was eager on interacting with one other Hindi actor of immense skill, Pankaj Tripathi. Lauding these of performing aplomb over these with superstardom reveals Appu sir’s emphasis on the inventive dimensions of cinema somewhat than the monetary ones that usually take unjustified prominence. He was an oasis in a desert of ‘cash at any prices’. Kannada movie trade will really realise the gravity of his loss within the years to return.

The 2 points of Appu sir I valued most have been his willingness to study, develop into a greater human being with time and the care, love he confirmed so many people even when he received nothing from us in return. Selfless goodness is an attribute that few possess. A becoming tribute to Appu sir could be to domesticate such noble ideas inside ourselves.

Like his dad and mom earlier than him, Appu sir donated his eyes. Respect to his household for honouring his needs. As I used to be within the hospital to see him on October 29, 2021, a medical workforce eliminated his eyes within the 6-hour window after loss of life. Within the coming days, his cornea and eyeballs supplied sight for 4 Karnataka children. Following in Appu sir’s footsteps, we should additionally preserve giving in life and loss of life by being organ donors. I promise to take action and hope to provoke a marketing campaign for as many others as doable to comply with swimsuit.


Why Kannada movie legend Dr Rajkumar and his household steered away from politics

How Puneeth Rajkumar endorsed social causes with out charging a charge

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