Kashinath, who died today, cannot be just described as an actor-director-producer. He was an institution in himself. You can call him a deemed university if you like. And his it was not just about films that he was knowledgeable about. Through his films, he gave his life's message. All his films are called bold, entertaining etc. But if you look closely, his films are about women empowerment, about subtle family relationships, about friendship and being human. But he said and portrayed these things in such an entertaining way that it became imbibed in the audience's minds without them realizing it.
Two examples of him would tell how he saw things. More than 25 years ago, he suggested that traffic lights should have countdown time so that motorists can switch off their vehicles and save fuel. The idea was adopted by Bengaluru traffic police later. Even in simple things in life, he was very organised. When writing down or saving a phone number of a person he met, he not only saved their names but also their work and other characteristics. So if he needed to find people from a particular area, he had to just search the area name.
The number of films he acted in over the last 40 years is not many. It is less than 50. But the impact they have had on the Kannada film industry is immense. He showed that films can be made without being part of the mainstream film industry. He was not only independent in thought but also in film making issues and business. His early films were remade in Hindi and Malayalam and dubbed into Telugu.
In the last few years he was once again noticed by Sandalwood as an actor. It was more than 10 years ago that he directed his last film Appachchi. After that he remained outside popular media for sometime. He returned for a stint on the small screen. He was seen alongside Ganesh in Zoom recently. In the multistarrer Chowka in 2017 by Tharun Sudhir, Kashinath's role became the highlight. It seemed that Sandalwood had rediscovered the potential of Kashinath. He was also playing the lead role in Olu Muniswami which was set for release. Just when it seemed that we will see more of Kashinath in the coming days, he has left this world.
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