Doddanna was in Chikkamagalur, shooting for the film Sangliana in 1988. Shankar Nag was the hero of the movie. Doddanna and five other artistes were quite close with Shankar Nag. He had set the rule that every day one among them will throw a party and practice would be followed by all of them.
Thus some days went by and party was also regular. One day, it was Doddanna’s turn to throw a party. But he refused to do so an d said he was not as senior as Shankar Nag or others and did not have money.
Meanwhile, a group of children were walking past them and were amazed to see Shankar Nag and others. Shankar just walked up to them and came back with an empty paper. He asked Doddanna that the children were asking for his autograph on it.
Not doubting a foul play, Doddanna gave his autograph on the paper and gave the paper back to Shankar Nag. Then everybody forgot about the paper piece and the autograph.
That night, Shankar Nag was in a happy mood and said he was going throw a party. They all went to a restaurant and after a few drinks had food and at the end waiter brought the bill. Shankar took a currency note of Rs 1,000 and gave it to the waiter. However, the waiter asked them to wait and brought back the change of Rs 320.
Shankar was in such a good mood that he forced Doddanna to take the change, in fact he forcibly kept the change in Doddanna’s pocket. Feeling weird, Doddanna asked Shankar Nag, why was he giving him the money. Shankar with a smile said, friend, what difference does it make? The money can be with you or with me, it doesn’t matter.”
However, some more days passed, our portion of the shooting was over and we were getting ready to go back to the home town. The producer came to the set and settled my account. He had given me Rs 1,000 less than my agreement.
When Doddanna asked why the producer had given him less money, he said that the money was taken in advance. Shocked, Doddanna asked when did he take the money? The producer then said that he had the given the money to Shankar Nag, who asked for Rs 1,000 with Doddanna’s sign on the paper.
It struck Doddanna then that the autograph Shankar had taken was not for the children but for this deed. He even remembered that the money (change) Shankar kept in Doddanna’s pocket was also his hard-earned money.
Noticing what was happening there, Shankar later came to Doddanna and stood there with a gesture that he wanted to tell something. Don’t know what Doddanna was expecting him to say but all Shankar Nag said was, “Now onwards, please practice different signature for autograph and for business purposes. Else, there are chances that people might misuse your autograph,” and walked past Doddanna with a smile.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:34 PM IST