Udupi: Superstar Rajinikanth, recently awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award, has an intimate relationship with the Udupi town.
When Rajinikanth and his friends moved from Bengaluru to Chennai in 1975, they were facing financial difficulties. Then, Narayana Patil, a Kannadiga from Herge here who then worked at Woodlands Hotel in Chennai assisted Rajani and his friends: actor Dilip, director Radha Satish and Ravindranath.
Patil and Rajini’s group quickly became friends after Patil once overheard them speaking in Kannada while eating at the hotel which is located very near to a film institute.
Their friendship became so close that Rajini and the group started calling Patil ‘daddy.’
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In 1991, Patil retired and came back to his hometown Herge.
Later, in 1994, Satish telephoned Patil and invited him to Chennai. Patil arrived in Chennai and met Rajinikanth. When Rajini asked him what is his monthly expenses, Patil replied, ‘both husband and wife can live on Rs 2,000 for a month.’ Rajini soon deposited Rs 1.4 lakhs in Patil’s bank account.
He told Patil that his next movie “Valli” will be releasing soon and he has decided to share the profits of the movie with his friends and asked Patil to visit again soon.
However, Patil could not go to visit Rajini in Chennai again.
Four months before Patil’s death in 2018, Rajini’s personal secretary Vithal inquired over the phone with Patil’s son Pradeep.
“They called my father ‘Narayana Rao.’ I saw him speaking about my father in the media after winning the Phalke award. It made me very happy,” said Pradeep, who runs an auto-rickshaw service in Manipal.
During his 1994 visit, Patil was gifted a photo of Raghavendra Swamy by Rajini, that photo still adorns a wall of late his house in Herge.