The artistes’ fraternity today paid rich homage to comedian PK Mallikharjuna Rao, who passed away yesterday morning in Hyderabad after battling with blood cancer. The Movie Artistes’ Association arranged the condolences meet at Dr. Ramanaidu building complex, Film Nagar, Hyderabad, today evening. MAA President Nagababu, key functionaries Paruchuri Brothers, TS Vijay Chander, Srihari, Jayasudha, Gummadi and others fondly remembered the actor. They recalled their association with Rao in various moods. About a hundred artistes, both big and small screens, participated in the event. A garlanded portrait of the artiste was kept at the hall.
I lost my right hand: Nagababu
Mallikharjuna Rao is a man of discipline and punctuality. With his demise, I had lost my right hand. Though birth and death are common in life, it is more painful when we see people dying at an early age, without fulfilling their dreams. Mallikharjuna Rao died so early. I thought he would become an MLA this time (from Anakapalli), but he left the world without realizing his dream. For the first time, I acted with him in the movie 420, for about forty days in Chennai. He was also a good wrestler, who maintained perfect physic. He is one among the highly successful comedians in our industry. He brought much respect to the MAA, with his timely guidance like extending invitations to the elderly artistes. In his memory, the Secretary’s room in our newly-coming association office will be named after Mallikharjuna Rao.
I didn’t attend his call: Paruchuri Gopalakrishna
The day before he was admitted to the hospital, Mallikharjuna Rao tried to contact me twice and my wife received the calls and she said the same when I came home. Of course, he calls me all the 365 days in a year. I thought he called me to talk about the Association’s matter; and that I could call him the next day. But, the news came that he was admitted to the hospital … and he was in critical conditions with blood cancer. Unbelievable! Had I attended the call, it could have given some solace to him. So that he could have fought with willpower, without losing the power of his mind. I pray to God Almighty to give strength to his family members to withstand the tragedy. May his soul rest in peace! (Later, the Paruchuri brother said Rao had immortalized the accent of Uttarandhra through his dialogues)
I wanted God to give him a single chance: Jayasudha
Actress and evangelist Jayasudha said: “The movies which I had acted with Rao were a very few. But, I cherished good relationship with him. He is a dignified person. When he was admitted to the hospital, I prayed to the Lord. Please give him a single chance to live. But, God has something else in his plan. He will continue to be in our hearts.”
Big loss to TDP: Mahila leader Roja
The demise of Rao is a big loss to the Telugu Desam Party. He took an active part in the cultural activities of the party. We two jointly undertook campaign several times. I became a fan of him when I watched his role as Battala Satti in Ladies Tailor. May his soul rest in peace!
Don’t neglect health: Ayyappa P. Sharma
Ayyappa P. Sharma (Saikumar’s brother) said: “The demise of Mallikharjuna Rao should serve as an example for those who neglect their health. The MAA is providing health insurance to the artistes. If required, personal help would also be there. Please don’t neglect health. As and when anybody sees any major change in their health condition, they should take all precautions to consult the doctors immediately.”
A mysterious departing: Ashok Kumar
I hold special regard for Mallikharjuna Rao, who is a perfect gentleman. When he was admitted to the hospital, he had already slipped into a coma and doctors said it would be highly difficult for him to survive. There was no cohesion between his body and mind. While the body was functioned three-fourth, the mind, only one-fourth. It was a rare phenomenon. It is very painful. He has left all of us like a mystery. May his soul rest in peace!
I became his fan: Srihari
After watching Rao’s role as Puliraju, I became his fan. He gives respect to all age groups equally. He is a rare person in film industry. He doesn’t know how to hate anybody, but only love.