The Shock: WhatsApp messages started flowing in the wee hours, Puneeth had heart attack, within next 10 or 20 mins it changed to Puneeth is dead, I usually discount such messages as negative since these days every media house is in the rush to release the news first. This happened with Rishi Kapoor, some called him dead, when his family had to come out and say, he was still breathing; this is the shame we as a society have to live with. Within hours reality had hit and worst was confirmed.
My introduction of Puneeth was as a child artist, who looked cute, what child does not, in the song Kaanadanthe Maayavadanu | Chalisuva Modagalu, although our bigger hero at that time was his father Dr. Rajkumar himself.
Later with my own career and exposing myself to Western movies, Kannada movies had taken back seat. When I met a family friend in USA, he asked me if I had heard a song from movie Milana, to which my response was ‘No clue, have not watched Kannada movies in ages‘, almost shaming me he played the song Ninnindale, Ninnindale, I was hooked to that song, became my favorite Kannada song, leaving behind DaRaKu songs. Then came one other song Bombe Helutaithe | Raajakumara, an absolute beauty, epitomizing his legacy amalgamating with his dad’s.
Even though I did not like much of his movies (don’t shoot me please, this is in comparison to his fathers), I had followed him and it was one interview where he said, which stuck me the most. Dr. Rajkumar is a great actor with national recognition, absolutely handsome man of his times, not even Bollywood actors could not match his screen presence, that does not mean he was heartthrob of India because he had declined to act in other languages just to promote Kannada (KFI; Sandalwood was considered be the weakest industry, compared to Bollywood, Tollywood and Kollywood). His sons, Puneeth and his older siblings Shivrajkumar and Raghvendra Rajkumar, none of them matched the screen presence and charisma of Dr. Raj. Mostly it was Shivrajkumar who took the reins of Kannada screen after his father, who is more handsome than Puneeth himself. With all this background, Puneeth said in the interview, that his fans like him for his father’s legacy and also I am not that a great looking person. But I will work hard in the industry to earn and maintain this love; the people of Karnataka has bestowed upon him.
I had fallen for his humbleness, especially compared to the Khans of Bollywood. It is now that has come to light that he ran
|16||Old age homes|
|1800||Kids under his care|
All of this had no media coverage where Amitabh Bachchan is an absolute Mega star of India who has never done any donations; he is infamously known for it. Aamir Khan does Satyameva Jayate, making windfall profits at the peril of some destitute. Being Human is a big brand, where every Indian wants to adorn the T-shirt Being Human, if only it had some red tire marks across the black shirt. The endless harping of politicians to save cows. Pardon me Puneeth, this comparison of other people in negative light goes against your belief, then again I am not a great man like you.
Finally I want to close my tribute with this, the WhatsApp pundits want to cash in their 15 mins of fame by doing anything and everything in the name of legends. They have posted a article claiming Dr. Devi Shetty (a living icon of India, hope you will familiarize the name), opined the death of Puneeth Rajkumar to his excessive fitness regime. What is shameful is discrediting such a great doctor and also discrediting the demised great human being.
DaRaKu – it is short for Dr Raj Kumar