MYSURU: While good wishes pour in for superstar Rajinikanth, who has been nominated for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, for his close pal, guardian and attendant for the past 35 years, it’s Maha Ugadi. Shiva of Devaraja Mohalla in the city came in contact with the superstar during the shooting of the movie Rajadi Rajadi, a hit movie in 1983. Thalaivar, who is known for being down to earth, once dropped into the narrow bylanes of Sunnadaker to call on Shiva and his family.
“I did not want Rajini to visit my house as it was small and it was in a narrow bylane. But I was shocked when the superstar actually visited my house and spent time with my mother and family members over a cup of hot coffee,” he recalls.Shiva took Rajini with him on his scooter to Srikanteshwara temple in the wee hours. Rajini has a special bond with Mysuru and the actor has stayed for months at the iconic Lalitha Mahal and Kings Kourt hotels near Metropole circle. The actor used to even order pulav from Hotel Hanumanthu and Ramya’s masala dosa.
Shiva later became the superstar’s pointsman. He would finalise shooting locations with directors for Rajini.“We are thrilled that Rajini sir is nominated for the prestigious award. He should have got it long ago as he, like Kannada matinee idols Dr Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachan and others, has contributed to the development of cinema,” Shiva said.
Reminisching about the past, Shiva spoke about how Rajini loved the Mysuru and Mandya regions and many directors in those days preferred to shoot in the Cauvery basin, Melukote, Kodagu and other locations in the region. Rajini was stunned when over 6,000 people assembled for the climax scene of the superhit movie Padayappa, the shooting of which was completed without hassle. “I am thankful to the people. That is why I love Mysuru,” the superstar had said then.