Monday, May 08, 2006

Dr. Rajkumar lives!

Nata-saarvabhouma (the Emperor of Acting) Dr. Rajkumar, the distinguished Kannada actor passed away on 12 Apr 2006. He was the most popular actor in Kannada cinema. He acted in more than 200 films, was a well known singer, received numerous awards including the Padma Bhushan award as well as the Dadasaheb Phalke award. His death sparked riots in Karnataka's capital, Bangalore. People were sad that he passed away.

The day we heard the news, my wife said that she felt sad. I am trying to understand why she felt sad. Was it because we lost a Kannada icon? Was it because Dr. Rajkumar is no longer with us?

I, for one, was not sad (I was not happy either). Let me explain before you start flaming me:

I did not know Dr. Rajkumar personally. For me, Dr. Rajkumar is represented by his legacy. So, as far as I am concerned, Dr. Rajkumar still lives. I agree that if I were meeting him everyday and eating breakfast with him, I would miss him terribly today since he cannot be with me. But, that is not the case. I was not personally connected with the private individual Dr. Rajkumar. I was personally connected with the legend Dr. Rajkumar through his work and passion. Since his legacy is still with us, Dr. Rajkumar is still with me.

Everyday, statistically, 1.78 people die every second. What really makes me sad is that so many people are dying every day and only a small fraction of those are leaving behind a legacy. We should be sad for those who could not make a difference, who could not leave a legacy for the next generations. From what I understand, Dr. Rajkumar lived a happy and fulfilling life. He loved what he did, and did what he loved. He left us a great legacy in many dimensions. He fulfilled his purpose during his lifetime. We should be happy to have been born in the age of Dr. Rajkumar. We should cherish what he left us, and make sure that our younger generations get a glimpse of his greatness.

Let's sing "Aagadu yendu, kai katti kulitare aagadu kelasavu yendu" from one of Dr. Rajkumar's hit "Bangarada Manushya" and step out of our comfort zones and make a difference.