If movie icon Dr Rajkumar were alive today, he would have been 93. Born as Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju on April 24, 1929, he became a household name as Rajkumar. He has an indisputable place in Kannada arts and literature. Besides his exceptional acting prowess, Rajkumar, who was popularly known as Annavru, was also famous for his humility. The unique superstardom that he enjoyed with Kannada movie fans never got to his head from him.
Actor Dayanand, who is popular for his mimicry skills, had recalled an instant that demonstrates Annavru’s child-like quality. He remembered the meeting between Annavru and Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who was then shooting for director KV Raju’s movie Indrajeet in Karnataka.
“When I was shooting for Parashuram with Annavru, he asked me whether we could meet Amitabh Bachchan (who was shooting at the same location). I said, of course, they would allow you. Then I asked, ‘there will be too much security right? Who could deny an entry for Annavru in Karnataka? But he was like a common man wondering whether he will be permitted to meet Amitabh Bachchan. He was always like that,” Dayanand said.
Dayanand also noted that he was taken back by how Amitabh reacted to seeing Annavru walking into his shooting spot.
“There was a heavy deployment of security around Amitabh Bachchan. Nobody was allowed within a half a kilometer radius of him. And he was on his chair, fixing his beard. As soon as he saw Annavru, he stopped everything at once and ran to him like a kid who saw his father from him after getting out of school. He ran close to Annavru and then touched his feet from him. ‘If you had told, I would have come and met you. You have come all the way, sir. You’re a great human being. I love you a lot sir,’ Dayan and recalled Amitabh’s words during the meeting with Annavru.
Dayanand said he was also very impressed by Annavru’s fluency in English. “That was the first time I saw Annavaru speak English. He told Amitabh, ‘My son Puneeth is a big fan of you. All my children are a fan of yours. How’s your hand now? How’s your stomach? It’s a great pleasure you have come to our place. KV Raju is a very nice director. If you have any problem from our side, we can also shift to a different location’,” Dayanand recalled while making a pitch-perfect impression of Annavru in a video.
Dayanand also said that reciprocating Annavru’s kindness, Amitabh visited the former on the sets of Parashuram and took a picture with the entire cast and crew.