I am very often asked that which role I liked among so many of Dr.Rajkumar. This is a tough question. I liked his Sri Rama's role on stage and on silver screen. Like wise the lord Sri Krishna role I have immensely liked. In Subhadra Kalyana the role of Arjuna was fabulous.
I will be seeing him very closely from the make up room till he performed. When he did the role of demon I was not scared. I had told him that you have done very well in that role.
When Puneeth was very small after seeing the role of his father in Hiranyakashipu he declined to do the role of Prahallada. I am afraid to see the father in such a get up Puneeth had told. But my husband convinced him later on.
In any given role Dr.Raj used to immerse himself. Then only laurels are possible. The voice, walking style expression all should be near to perfection. Now the location and technology has become very handy. The audiences are attracted via such technology. In the earlier days the actual location was selected for shoot.
Raj was not interested in foreign locations. When it is not in tune with the story why should we go to such location he was placing his argument.
one had the craze for foreign locations in our family. I went to foreign in 1978. My husband, mother in law, K.H.Nagaraj, Dwarakanath, Govindaraju all accompanied. After traveling in some of the places my husband was telling when our place would become like this. He never used to say when we are going to become like this. He always prefers and likes our country.
After 1991 I did not go anywhere. At the time of 'Jeevana Chaitra' shooting I went to Kedarnath, Badari for the song Nadhamaya….. After that all the films shooting was held inside Karnataka.
We were given very good care and affection in foreign countries. Every day was like festival for us. We are not in a position to accept the invitations from foreign countries now.
We have plans to shoot Shivrajkumar film entirely in a foreign location. The story discussion is going on.
Dr.Raj is against to going to foreign location for just one song. But the perceptions of children are different. The different locations would give a new feel to the audiences they feel. The trend of today is also like that. We have to change according to times.
From Vajreshjwari combines we went to Nepal first. It was for Operation Diamond Rocket. Then we went to Maldives for 'Ondu Muttina Kathe'. Recently for 'Akash' film we went to foreign location. Besides this we went to a small operation for Lakshmi's daughter.
Now for Ajay and Arasu the foreign location has been selected. Shivarajkumar producers are frequently conducting shooting in foreign locations. It is their taste.
Dr. Rajkumar was not particular of expensive costumes. But his fans always wanted him to wear good clothes. In Kasturi Nivasa, Olavu Gelavu and a few others he was in suit. According to the roles the costumes should be there is what he always kept on telling. For 'Giri Kanye' writer role in the film expensive costumes were brought. He sent it back and told that for that role the costume should be different. Next day morning I brought net banian and lungi for him. The ordinary shirt was stitched next day. The superior role should wear the expensive costumes he was telling. The manager should wear the manager level costume. That is his philosophy.
Wearing ornaments he was not particular. He never had any sentiment in his mind. After a long time I had purchased a ring with blue stone silver ring. I had told him that he should not remove it. For all the fingers the ring was must in mythological roles. He never asked for wrist watch. What ever that was available he was wearing.
He was totally not ambitious. His ambition was to do good roles. The 'Haalu Jenu' story was done for some other hero. Chi Udayashanker had liked it very much. Dr.Raj said he wants to do that role. It was suitable for Ananthnag the producer felt. G.K.Venkatesh recorded the songs for it. But it did not go on the floors. Then I took the rights by paying Rs.1 lakh fee. G.K.Venkatesh did the music and Singeetham directed that film.
By taking care of lands, cultivation and seeing the films of sons is his interest today. He is also happy with children performances. But he always tells that all his roles should be beaten by his sons.
UNFORGETTABLE – In the yesteryears there was cabaret dancer. Now heroines do that part of the job. The cabaret dancers have no job. The heroes wear good costumes but it is not even half for the heroines. Why is it so?
The story is the breath of any cinema is true then and now. Whatever may be the technology we should have good story. Then only it counts. That's why I say do a good story and come. Then the call sheet would be available.
Mahesh had prepared two stories. One is 'Arasu' and another one will be going on floor in November. The patience particularly is not available with many to get a lovely story. Without story there is no meaning in venturing for a film.
When my husband was acting also similar was the situation. We never used to take advance and give call sheet. The oral promise was everything. The part of remuneration was paid only after first schedule. There are many incidents of producers not paying remuneration. When the film was complete the remuneration was paid in some cases. But when I took up the business I made a guideline. Before the dubbing the entire remuneration should be paid. Not only Dr.Rajkumar remuneration all the artistes and technicians remuneration I was asking to settle. The truce was easy before two days of dubbing. For Dr.Rajkumar portion they were not ready to dub voice from others is a truth.
Obviously after this rule a lot of people got angry with me. Had I not done like that many artistes would have got remunerations? Prolific writers like Udayashanker not getting the remuneration. We were not getting remuneration for Chi.Udayashanker for story. He, Dr.Raj, Varadappa and director were together in the final shape of the story. But director was stressing for his name in the story credit in the title card. Chi.Udayashanker was easily giving nod for such person calls.
In our group even after providing the story there was work. On the sets they were supposed to come and give corrections wherever it was necessary. The remuneration was also big. In the earlier days the story was prepared in Madras. For person like Singeetham Srinivasa Rao for story and screenplay the remuneration was given in advance. When the story was adapted to other languages it was their lookout. When the film was dubbed and remade we used to call him and give extra remuneration.
For none of the film business Dr Raj was showing any interest. But no one should complain with him that he did not get remuneration. He was angry on such complaints.
He was following strictly on the issue of food. Equality of good he was stressing. For the home food he was telling not necessary. When it was sent on compulsion he was dividing it with others on the sets.
In the issue related to children he was very strict. Like all children my children should grow is what he was vouching for. When he was angry on children he was keeping quiet.
Eating together is one of our policies in the family. He was inquiring about all when he was sitting for lunch or breakfast. When he was angry the children used to come and tell me that 'Appaji' is angry he is not talking to us. I was telling children you solve it to yourself with your father I do not come in the frame. Finally it was sorted out when both used to weep and hug each one.
But he was very much interested in children studying. Children coming to films I was not interested. I had told in many of the interviews earlier. Dr.Rajkumar was of the opinion that in case the children are interested in films let us not force but film acting is like that or this is what he was telling not to tell the children. One should have got it in his fate. The Art is so sacred that it invites all but selects only the talented ones. This was his belief.
In the beginning Shivanna was not interested in acting. He appeared in a small role in 'Srinivasa Kalyana'. With wig on his head he removed it saying that he is not interested. Then we thought he is not interested and let us not force him. As a child Puneeth did a small role. He got national award for it. Shivanna's class mate Karthik acted in a film and that interested him also. He was in second year B.Sc. what I wanted was that the children should complete at least degree. All the children were studying very well. My daughter had secured I rank in SSLC. Then she learnt Hindi in Kashi. In PUC Raganna secured 92 percent. But he did not pursue further. He evinced interest in acting. This is how all the three sons got in to acting.
UNFORGETTABLE – It is not wrong to construct dreams about our children. We should not forcibly put our likings on them. They grow according to their efforts, talent and ability. Looking at it and feeling happy is only what we can do.
Learning is an ocean. Who has learnt completely? Centuries pass but there is no age for education. Each second is a new experience. You learn! A similar song is there in my husband's one of the films. He has applied this principle throughout his life. He is always on toes to learn new things. The right attitudes, musical instruments, care for professionalism never left out by him.
Rajkumar avaru learnt how to play sitar instrument. Radhakrishna brother of duo director Dorai and Bhagwan taught him. After Radhakrishna's death he stopped playing that instrument.
My youngest daughter and Raghu were aware of sitar instrument. We used to carry that instrument for long distance. I carried it to Kashmir once. I was getting extra respect because of that instrument.
In 'Chalisuva Modagalu' there was a scene where Rajkumar plays the sitar instrument. He plays the harmonium from both his hands. We had plans to come out with a sitar based film starring Dr.Rajkumar but that did not happen.
With all these things on the one side and his stay in the hospital is remembered I get really disturbed. The loss of his brother Varadaraj he is not able to overcome it.
We all lived together for many decades. After settling down in Bangalore it was all like a family. Varadaraju was four years elder to me. I grew up like his sister in life. When I am not able to forget him it is very difficult for Dr.Raj to forget his brother's death.
I used to tell him to take courage. All the four daughters of Varadappa are our daughters. For them you have to take courage. Do not get emotional I was urging before him. Then he used to keep quiet. Whenever he is in pain he keeps very silent. His silence was also an indication that he is in pains.
His statements when he is pain are very meaningful. If they are recorded it would be fine. I thought of giving tape recorder to all family members to get the statements made by Dr.Raj when he was in pain.
As a matter of fact if you give me a radio I do not know how to operate it. I did not learn all such things. I lived for him. Indulged in the business, worked round the clock, looked after his health, food etc. I found happiness in doing such services.
Now the entire responsibility of the house is in the hands of my second daughter in law Mangala. Dr.Raj shows interest in seeing the shooting of his son's films. But when he goes out there are other problems plus the health problem. He does not even wear cap.
He is stubborn sometimes. If he decides that he should go, he should be there. He never used to get angry. He does not like waiting. He just smiles when he gets wild and return back to normalcy very quickly.
Dr. RajkumarI pray the almighty one thing. He should not go to hospital and doctors again and again. It immensely pains me to see him in such conditions. When he was in the hospital for four days I was staying with him all the four days. He was telling me to go home and take rest. I did not go. It is easy to say. My mind did not permit me to go. When I am in pain he cannot sustain. Then I repeat what he would say to me when he was in pains.
It is easier to tell courageous words. But when pain occurs to us it definitely pains. You have sustained the pain when Dr/Raj was in deep forest they would say. I did not cry in front of my children. I did not cry in front of people. But I have cried for hours together and console to myself. No one can say there is no pain in him. It is inside the human being in one way or the other.
When I stepped inside his house I was 15 years. 53 years I have so far lived with him. I was not going to my parent's house even for a few days. We used to protect each other so well. Such being the intimacy how can I sustain the pain when he goes to hospital. It becomes very difficult for my mind.
Whatever the almighty gives we have to sustain it. In pains we have cry and get console ourselves. Those tears should not reach others. When you have affection this is bound to happen.
Dr .Raj sings very well even to this day. The Rangageethe he sings are all what his father used to sing. He sings the Keerthanas also. Eight Keerthanas and stage songs we want to bring in audio format. The song in 'Ambarisha' – Bhogavilasave… and another song when he leaves his wife I like it very much. The songs on lord Anjaneya, Srirama, Srikrishna are also very good.
I pray the almighty to provide opportunity for such projects.
UNFORGETTABLE – He used to talk to a doctor before doing that role. He was seeing the operations going on in OT. For lawyer role he was contacting the professionals. He was not taking any role for granted. The police department watching Dr.Raj in cop roles was of the opinion that they should be like him (Dr.Raj).
The tastes are unique and different in this universe. Without our knowledge the changes take place. The taste and interest also change from time to time. Like that the concept of film making and roles also change.
Earlier for all my hubby Dr.Rajkumar avaru film either Narasimharaju or Balanna, or Dwarakish or Shivaram was compulsory. Comedy was so good from them. Later on Jaggesh came to that standard but I had not seen much of his films.
Comedy was prominent in Raj films too. Any story on screen should be told lively was the contention of my husband. The dialogues also should be crisp. In the beginning comedy was more but later it receded as all the four spread out for various kinds of films. Dr.Rajkumar took initiative to concentrate on comedy. With his expertise in comedy the comedians did not get more opportunities.
At this time Narasimharaju lost his son. He became very quiet. Balanna took up gray hair roles. From 'Bangarada Panjara' Raj managed the comedy and got rave reviews.
I am surprised when I recount my coming to films. Till Poornima took birth I did not evinced interest in attending the shoot and to look after everything. I came to know that he was not eating food and drinking juice to get strength. He was managing with coffee and tea. When he fell down from a horse I decided to stay with him even if it is outside shooting.
For Srikrishnadevaraya, Huliya Havina Meve I went to Jaipur, for Samayadha Gombe, Baalu Belagithy, Hosa Belaku I accompanied him to New Delhi, for Thayige Thakka Maga, Ravichandra I went to Mumbai, for Shanker Guru to Kashmir and to Chambal valley for Sipayi Ramu I was traveled with him.
In Madras the day was beginning early for me. Sending children to school, preparing lunch for them etc was part of my job. In the morning I was going to Chi.Udayashanker house to discuss the story and read novels. The meetings, released films business – I was having handful of job. I was reaching home in the evening.
In the house my sister in law, mother in law and Raj's sister were there. I was going very rarely to see my children in school. A few times Raj was also coming with me to school to give lunch to the children. In the holidays I was accompanying him to hotel for lunch and then we used to take a walk in the beachside.
When I decided to come to Bangalore diabetes also came with me. I took up walking, yoga and Pooja rigorously. I was doing yoga for one and half hours. Later I was going to office to look after the accounts. I was coming only in the night. I was having lot of job in the office. Production, distribution, next day schedule, money affairs, discussion of story, costumes etc. there was absolutely no time. I was rarely going to shooting.
The education of children was also over when we settled down in Bangalore. In Madras Shivanna finished acting course. After Raghu's marriage my responsibility decreased and after Puneeth marriage my work pressure came down completely. Now all the office affairs belong to Raghanna.
But for me sitting idle is boring. I would like to work for all the twenty four hours. That was my practice right from the beginning.
UNFORGETTABLE – In the family whether husband is important or wife is important should not crop up. When such a situation arises there is some wrong calculation in the family. In our so many years of family life that question did not arise. Everyone says it is because of you Rajkumar came up so well. When I call anyone I say I am Parvathamma Rajkumar not Parvathamma. Without him I am nothing.
From his name – Dr.Rajkumar – we in the family have got the identity. This is truly unforgettable.
In case an artist of Rajkumar avaru repute falls sick its effect is there on the entire industry. There is an example to it. When he was asked to take rest for 25 days the cinema activity had come to standstill. A cameraman at that time had told that it is not only Rajkumar but the entire industry is hospitalized he expressed. That was true. All the industry people used to come to hospital to inquire about his health.
As a matter of fact he was averse to taking injections. You give anything but not the injection he was telling the doctors. That was the condition he was putting before going to hospital. He has not taken the five children to hospital on any day. When I had appendix operation the tube for the nose and drips were applied. He was not able to see it from his eyes.
But the almighty has given great strength for me to withstand such things. I was getting support and courage from all my family. I remember Bhavanarayana. He was the producer of 'Ashasundari'. His daughter was in foreign country. She was looking similar me. Bhavanarayana was coming to my house in difficult times and giving courage to me. The entire film industry was filling me with 'courage and hopes'. I cannot forget the help extended to us in difficult times.
Dr. Raj learing music after Badavara Bandhu the film Naa Ninna Mareyalaare started. The hero is supposed to drive the bike in that film. Doctor had told Raj that he should not drive the bike. There was no other go. Dr Raj had driven the bike in 100 kilometers per hour. On this issue I quarreled with cameraman Chittibabu. But cinema has to be done. How long one can do with dupes? When it shapes up very well we feel happy. Even today when I see such bike driving scenes I get disturbed.
Among all difficulties it was very difficult to take him to hospital. I was pressurizing him to come to hospital. Sometimes he was not taking the tablets given by the doctors. But Venugopal like my brother in my life had come to my rescue in these types of occasions.
Even Raj was very close to Venugopal. He was so helpful that he was not taking money for the expenses he made. He is the standing example of the film 'Kasturi Nivasa'. It is not because he made a film he had given money. Beyond that he spent.
Dr.Raj has not fallen sick. He was very fond of singing. After singing four to five songs he was taking some rest but Yoga helped him to sing more songs. He was singing 30 songs in a span of three hours in the musical evenings. After that Shivu, Raghu and Appu used to come on stage. I was feeling that the goddess Saraswathi is always with my husband. The 'Simhasana' one of the Yoga acrobatics was very helpful for him.
Dr. Rajkumar he was fond of cars and driving too. Every year he used to change the car. In the young age he was taking me double ride in a cycle. He was a very good cyclist. For cinema he was learning anything possible. For Eradu Kanasu and Olavu Gelavu – scooter, for Naa Ninna Mareyalaare - motor bike, Premada Kanike – Skating was used for a fight and song sequence. For ten minutes sequence of Bharatanatyam he learnt it. He learnt English when was supposed to take lesson students on Romeo Juliet in 'Olavu Gelau'. In ten days he learnt Shahanai for Sanadhi Appanna. The giant Bismilla Khan appreciated Dr.Rajkumar learning enthusiasm. He was learning everything and that was his belief. Then only the justification is possible for the role.
UNFORGETTABLE – The people who fill courage and hope are very important. Then You can face any difficulty. There are many people in my life who gave courage and confidence.