An article on yours truly’s collection of Dr.Rajkumar has been carried out in today’s Kannada Prabha, who are doing a series on Annavru, from April 12th till 24th.
Having read articles over the years on Rajkumar, I must say this series has published many interesting and unknown facets and facts about Rajanna – No, I’m not talking about my collection on the legend
Posts related to Dr.Rajkumar on RwB.
As a kid, I loved watching films. Since it was usually the Rajkumar starrers that were telecast on Doordarshan (going to the theatres caused lots of procedural delays), I saw each and every one of them in wonderment, just like how my son today watches those lions, aircrafts, ‘amazing videos’ and rhinos on Discovery Channel. Gradually, I got fascinated by the techniques the film makers used (after hearing elders say words like ‘that’s a dupe’, ‘see the separation between the 2 Rajkumars, ‘look at the lighting’…), - specially during a fight, or a scene where an actor is playing double and sometimes a triple role. Nowadays, there is no real thrill in seeing these scenes (unless you are a student of animation) as we all know there is an extensive use of ‘computer graphics’. No wonder the heroes are appearing in multiples of 10 roles!
Going back, I think the first film I saw an actor in a triple role was, of course, Rajkumar in ‘ShankarGuru’. There were a few films that I saw later where there were two Rajkumars on the screen. But nothing could match 3 Rajkumars on a single screen. And the game I played (with myself) was to see that thin differenciating line between the two Rajkumars! And during the shots where the two hug each other, I would be inching closer towards the screen to see the dupe. I would also wait for those fighting scenes where the hero, villain and his chamchas (dark skinned with a fully shaved oily head) would jump from ground floor to first floor, or from the top of a car to the roof of the heroine’s house. Again, the game was to see the face of the hero’s ‘dupe’ who jumped or somersaulted thrice while kicking a dozen of the villain’s chamchas, and vanished. But alas, the dupe always managed to keep his face away from the camera, and I had to wait for another week for another episode of ‘Chitramanjari’ or ‘Chitravali’, or the film to be telecast again on Doordarshan.
So, I think you have now guessed why the above picture sequence! Today (Apr.24) being Annavru’s 80th birth anniversary, I thought of paying homage by posting these pictures where Rajanna has not only sung an amazing classical number in Raaga Kharaharapriya, but also acted superbly as a Singer, Flute, Veena, Mridanga and Ghatam player. I can hardly see that separating line between each of those shots (Masking technique used). And the timing and synchronisation between each of those 5 Rajkumars is simply Sakkath!
To quote from an earlier post of mine:
When I met Rajanna a few months before his death, I had asked him which his favourite role was. He smiled and remained silent for a few seconds. “Kumbara, Kalidasa” he said. He told me that when he watched his movies, he felt very embarrassed seeing his acting. But then he also told me that there were times when he said to himself, “Baddi maga, parvagilla, acting baratthe ivanige.”
The first time I watched this song probably in 1980 (Kapali Theatre [yes, after the procedural delays]), I simply couldn’t wait till I watched it again and again to my heart’s content. Hats off to the actor, and all the technicians (director, cameraman, editor, light boys, make-up guys, setting team, sound engineer, and all assistants to name a few) who have worked behind the scenes of this wonderful song.
For quite a few days now, there is news that a Stamp will be released in Rajkumar’s honour. Seeing the delay, I thought of designing and releasing one here at RwB! And feels nice to be doing that on Raj’s b-day
Visit Dr. Rajkumar page on RwB.
Update: Fever 104 ran a contest ‘Duplicate Rajkumar’ this week. I spoke a dialogue and sung a song from the film Babruvaahana. Just now Fever 104 FM called up to say that Puneeth Rajkumar has picked me the winner amongst scores of contestants. Feeling really excited. To win it on Annavru’s B-day, sooper alwa?!
Pot belly. I used to always feel jealous of most of my uncles as they had such wonderful paunches. Until a couple of years after marriage, I had no Hotte (it was as flat as Rajkumar’s). But since last year, it resembles Ambareesh’s.
It’s been a decade since I started riding motor-driven vehicles. Until then, it used to be my favourite Atlas Rebel that I used to ride. My uncle in Poona presented it to me after I passed 10th. Bought it on a Sunday morning in 1992 from a shop on SP Road for Rs.1300. Friends admired the new fella saying “Super tyres, Chindhi look, maga!”
Drove from anywhere to anywhere on my Rebel until I finished college. A year later, bought a Third-hand TVS-50 XL moped. Enjoyed it for a couple of years, and then bought my first bike – Bajaj Boxer AT – days after ‘Shabdhavedhi’ was released. My girlfriend (now, my wife) used to love the long rides. Five years after I bought it, started getting a lot of back-ache. On the first day of 2007, went for one of those exchange offers and got Bajaj-Platina. Till date, I find it very comfortable and absolutely no back pain. Decent mileage.
Last fortnight, just to get out of the monotonous driving mode, came to office for a week by BMTC. The frequency of buses is very good. Buses are not too crowded, and conductors seemed very calm and patient. There is hardly anyone who buys tickets. Everyone says ‘Pass’. Remembered the bus scenes during my college days (I always travelled on footboard, of course to show-off) – people would get suffocated inside – and the conductor would keep yelling (at those inside) ‘Mundhe banni’ (come front), ‘Chillare kodi’ (give change) and stuff. People never did both. Coming to the present, I hardly see guys on footboard, ‘coz there’s enough space for everyone inside. Also, the doors are closed once the bus starts moving. Anyway, footboard travel is bad.
After Bus-aata, now its Cycle-aata. Since last week, have started cycling to office (Malleswaram to Jayanagar). The drive is damn exciting, and I feel fresh throughout the day. I have started enjoying every bit of the ride on my favourite ‘Rebel’. Had acquired my paunch after many years with great difficulty. But offlate, used to hate when everyone started giving more attention to it, rather than its owner. And during these inflationary times, didn’t want my tummy to get inflated more.
Coming to office has become more exciting. What more, my boss is kicked up seeing my ‘Rebel’! And wants to start cycling again. Also, now my son prefers the ’rounds’ on the cycle, than the motor-bike. So after cycling home, have to take my son ‘doubles’ for a few minutes in and around Malleswaram. And he hates when I say – OK Boss, let’s go home!
Just for the record, the very first vehicle that I ever rode was a slim red-tricycle, in the year when Rajkumar’s ‘Operation Diamond Racket’ (remember ‘Eef you come today’?) was released.
Related link: Cycling is good
by Krishna Rao
It was a summer in the late 1970s when I visited relatives in Madras (now Chennai) during my holidays. A family friend living in Kodambakkam told me that Kannada actor Rajkumar lived down the street. One evening I walked up to the actor’s house wondering whether I would get an opportunity to meet this revered star. My chances of seeing him at close quarters in Bangalore were slim with crowds thronging everywhere he went.
As I stood near the gate, a pack of dogs barked menacingly from the inside. Just as I begun to turn away a white car pulled up. The rear seat window rolled down and a friendly face smiled and inquired. It was the superstar himself! When I told him that I had come from Bangalore to see him, he got down from the car, signaled the maid to take the dogs away and invited me inside. It was a humid evening and Dr. Rajkumar looked visibly tired, perhaps after a long day of work.
He asked me to take a seat along with him in the verandah. He seemed completely at ease and relaxed as he asked me about school, hobbies, interests etc. as we sipped coffee. He then asked me if I would like to meet his family for which I readily agreed. He took me upstairs and introduced me to his mother, a petite elderly woman who stood with folded hands. At once, I understood where he got his humility. I noticed a number of children in the household and asked him who they were. He explained that they lived as a joint family and some of them were his nephews and nieces.
He introduced me to his wife and children and took me to the balcony. His face lit up in pride as he pointed to a portrait of his father and spoke of his theatrical abilities. He showed me some of the trophies that he had won for his movies. Throughout the time, he never showed an inkling of inconvenience or intrusion of his privacy. We talked and talked for 45 minutes. As it was getting a little dark, I told him that I needed to go.
He was about to follow me downstairs when I politely told him that I could find my way out and that he should not take the trouble of getting down the stairs. He replied that it was just good manners to see off a guest all the way. He even opened the gate, shook hands and wished me good luck with my studies. It was truly a magical experience! Over the decades, I was fortunate to meet several accomplished people from around the world. However, the childhood encounter with Dr. Rajkumar remains etched forever in my mind for his extraordinary simplicity and kindness. He had the heart to set aside his own plans for the evening to make a child happy! Only a sincerely caring person would do that. He was truly a Bangarada Manushya!
Rajkumar was born on April 24, 1929. He passed away on April 12, 2006.