Let Puneeth Rajkumar’s legacy live on

By R Murali

Prime News, State (Bengaluru), October 30:- This was no age to die. This was the imminent question that popped up at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru where the mortal remains of Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar have been kept for the millions of his fans to pay their last respects.

‘Is 46 an age to die?’ Certainly not.  All those, who were close to Puneeth, say it was a cruel twist of fate that took him away from them. It is tough to talk about him in the past tense. But, that is the profound mystery of life and death.

Often referred to as ‘Dodmane huduga’ (Late Dr Rajkumar’s family is better known as Dodmane for its contribution to the Kannada filmland), Puneeth never allowed his father’s unmatchable achievements to overshadow his career. When he turned into a full-time hero, Puneeth knew connoisseurs would be watching him 24×7 if he could carry on the family legacy. Much before he could make his presence felt, his elder brothers Shiva Rajkumar and Raghavendra had struck a purple patch in the Sandalwood.

He was not even one year when he started his career in Dr Rajkumar’s movie Premada Kanike in 1976. Following this, he acted as a child artiste in more than 20 movies. His talent as an actor came to the fore in 1983 when he played a double role in “Eradu Nakshatragalu” alongside his father for public acclaim. As if to show the world that he was no flash in the pan, he won the National Film Award for his stupendous performance in “Bettada Hoovu” (1985) when he was 10.

Familiar in the world of cinema as ‘Power Star,’ Puneeth Rajkumar never let success supersede him. He knew he had to maintain humility and stay away from controversies to reach the pinnacle of success. That he maintained a blemishless career speaks volumes of Puneeth as a good human being and actor.

He appeared as a lead actor in commercially successful and family-oriented flicks, including Appu (2002), Abhi (2003), Veera Kannadiga (2004), Mourya (2004), Aakash (2005), Ajay (2006), Arasu (2007), Milana (2007), Vamshi (2008), Raam (2009), Jackie (2010), Hudugaru (2011), Raajakumara (2017), and Anjani Putra (2017). His last movie to hit the screens was Yuvarathanaa (2021).

Many upcoming actors from the Kannada filmland say he was very considerate when it came to encouraging talent. Be it, actors or directors, Puneeth was the first to recognise their talent and nurture it.

Gone too soon. Life is all about what you achieve between birth and death. Maybe, Puneeth should have lived for many more years to realise many of his dreams. But that was not to be.

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