Mysuru mourns Puneeth Rajkumar's death: Posters put up in streets, youths chant 'Appu'

12:13 PM Oct 30, 2021 | PTI |

Mysuru: From major streets in the main city to markets facing the iconic Chamundeshwari Temple atop a hill, admirers of Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar have put up large posters of him with garlands at many places in Mysuru to mourn his death.


The actor and celebrity television host fondly known as ‘Appu’ and ‘Yuvarathnaa’ after his eponymous films, died at 46 at a hospital in Bengaluru on Friday afternoon after suffering a massive heart attack, plunging his legions of fans into a state of extreme grief and anguish.

By late evening on Friday, several big posters bearing his images had sprung up at various spots in the city.

A huge framed poster was mounted near Hardinge Circle in the heart of the city, while a smaller was pasted on a security barricade in a market zone right outside the premises of the centuries-old Chamundeshwari Temple, revered as the presiding deity of city of Mysuru.

Almost all posters had a white garland made of mogra flowers.


A digital billboard on a street near an educational institution also displayed condolence messages along with the actor’s photograph.

Puneeth Rajkumar’s untimely demise shocked the Kannada and other film fraternities and drew condolences from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Union Culture Minister G Kishan Reddy, among others.

Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar, the current scion of the Mysore royal family, also expressed his condolences in a statement issued on his official social media platforms, and prayed for the actor’s ”soul to attain peace and tranquility”.

Soon after the news came out that he had suffered a heart attack, scores of anxious fans started gathering around Vikram Hospital, where he later died at 2.30 pm despite best efforts by doctors to save him.

On Friday, the mood was sombre in Mysuru as people struggled to come to terms with the sudden death of the superstar.

”Everyone is feeling low due to his death. He was a super star, his father was a legendary film icon, and both were greatly admired by generations of fans,” said Ganesh K, who works at Hotel Mayura Hoysala here, run by the Karanataka State Tourism Development Corporation.

After midnight, many of the fans took to the streets as their chants of ‘Appu love you’ in Kannada broke the silence of the night.

Around 1 am, a group of youth assembled near the Mayura Hoysala located on Jhansi Laxmibai Road near the Mysuru Railway Station and chanted ‘Appu, Appu’ to show their adoration for the actor.

While some fans chose to play at full-blast hit songs from the actor’s films inside their cars as they drove around the city, thumping their fists out of the windows and raising slogans in chorus. Puneeth Rajkumar was the son of much-loved matinee idol Rajkumar and fast outgrew his father’s shadow to carve a place of his own in the Kannada showbiz industry.

He was adored by his fans and gave a series of hits starting with ”Appu”, which later became his nickname following the success of the film. Many of his fans also call him ‘Power Star’.

After a stint as a child actor, the Kannada film star had made his debut as a leading man in the 2002 movie ”Appu” and followed it up with a string of successful films, including ”Abhi”, ”Maurya”, ”Ajay” and ”Arasu”. He was also a popular celebrity host on television. He hosted the first two seasons of ”Kannadada Kotyadhipati”, the Kannada version of Amitabh Bachchan’s ”Kaun Banega Crorepati”. He also emceed Colors Kannada’s reality show ”Family Power”.

”We used to watch his shows on TV. He was talented, cheerful and a man with a large heart. I heard he had donated his eyes, such a good human being. We really enjoy serving our guests, but today the enthusiasm is running low,” said a senior employee of a leading luxury heritage hotel in Mysuru. Puneeth Rajkumar’s body will be kept at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru for the public to pay their last respects, state minister R Ashoka told reporters on Friday. He said the actor’s last rites will be performed with full state honours and the family will decide when it will happen.


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