Kamal Haasan: I learnt to respect people from Dr Rajkumar
The actor was recently in Bangalore to promote his new film Vikram
It was a trip down memory lane for superstar Kamal Haasan, who was in Bengaluru to promote his Vikram. The city holds a special place in his heart as he spent a lot of time here during his young years. “I used to frequently come to Bengaluru and had met some good people,” says the legendary actor, who specially mentioned Suchitra Film Society.
Every time director Puttanna Kanagal made a film, director K Balachander would drive down to Bengaluru, just to watch the film on the first day of its release. “And I would often accompany him,” he recalls.
A big fan of late theatre artist Girish Karnad, Haasan would also visit the city to meet BV Karanth. Recalling his shooting days here, Haasan says, “While I was shooting for Kokila in Bangalore, I would stay at Hotel Paraag. A lot of portions for Pathinaru Vayathinile were shot in Kollegal,” says Haasan, who adds that Bengaluru has given him a lot of love which he’s ever-grateful for.
There was a time when Haasan knew his way around Bengaluru’s roads, however, that has changed now. “I used to enjoy going for a jog every time I was here. Today, I would be lost if I am left at the Kempegowda circle,” says Haasan with a chuckle.
The Windsor Manor Bridge holds a special landmark in Kamal Hassan’s Pushpaka Vimana (1987). When they were passing by the Windsor Manor Bridge to reach the event venue (Mantri Mall), the chauffeur remarked that he always thinks of Haasan every time he drives past the bridge. “That’s the connection he made with me,” he says.
Haasan, who has high regard for Dr Rajkumar learnt to respect people from the legendary actor. “He had appreciated my acting skills when I was just 21. He would stand next to me as though he was seeking a role from me. That’s the respect he gave every artist. He inaugurated my maiden production house ‘Raja Paarvai’ and came on the first day of the Pushpak shoot to support me,” says Kamal.
The legendary actor misses Dr Rajkumar and his son, Puneeth. “These are things that are not in our control. If Puneeth were alive, we might have done a film together,” he says.