Parvathamma Rajkumar did not limit her role as the wife of matinee idol Dr Rajkumar but she transcended beyond her familial duties to nurture and develop the Kannada movie industry which was in need of a guide with a vision, then.
Back then, Kannada movies were being produced by investors from other states and there was a sense of instability and insecurity among the Kannada movie-makers. Understanding this early, Parvathamma decided to set up her home banner and thus began a new curve in the Kannada industry. She floated 'Sri Vajreshwari Combines' to help talented Kannada movie-makers and artistes to find their ground here, is how veteran film-maker Dorai Bhagwan speaks on Parvathamma Rajkumar. Her step is highly appreciable when women were hardly in involved themselves in movie making.
"It was Parvathamma Rajkumar who brought in a sense of stability among movie-makers in Kannada through her banner," he says. She not only played a pivotal role in shaping Dr Rajkumar's career that has made him the icon of Sandalwood today, but she also took great care to strengthen the Kannada industry, as a whole.
Recalling her contribution to Kannada movies, director Dorai Bhagwan says, "I had to gone seek Dr Rajkumar's dates at their Sadashivnagar residence for 'Chandanada Gombe' movie. This was based on famous novel by TaRaSu. After hearing the script, Parvathamma Rajkumar frankly said this story may not suit Dr Rajkumar's image. She suggested me Ananthnag's name. I agreed and rest is history." This movie was a superhit and was a milestone in Anantnag's career, he added indicating how Parvathamma Rajkumar guided the movie-makers with a great vision.
Parvathamma Rajkumar was always busy considering their house a hub of movie activities. Yet, she always relished her "time" in reading great novels. This in a way helped her to scout for some great stories for movies which went on to become a blockbuster.
It is said that once Parvathamma Rajkumar saw a man taking old books with him to sell them off. An avid reader she is, Parvathamma stopped him and rummaged through the heap of old and tattered books. Her eyes caught Devudu Narasimha Shastri's 'Mayura'. She was moved by the story so much that she decided to bring it on screen. 'Mayura' with a great story and evergreen songs became one of the milestones in Dr Rajkumar's career. Not just that the movie also got the nation's attention on Sandalwood.
Parvathamma Rajkumar was a visionary. She debuted as a producer with "Trimurthy' movie and has produced finest and some of the cult movies in Sandalwood. So far, she has produced over 80 movies under her home banner. Professionalism, discipline and commitment to quality movies were the traits of Sri Vajreshwari Combines and this reflected in the movies that were launched by it. Sandalwood veterans still swear by the fact that the movies that are made under the banner have 89 per cent of success rate. This vouches the its commitment to prosper Kannada movie industry.
Her sons Shivarajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Puneet Rajkumar have always treaded in the path laid down by their mother when it comes to choosing the scripts, especially. Besides, the credit of launching some of the finest female actors - Sudharani, Asharani, Veena, Malashri, Mohini, Monisha, Prema, Shilpa, Anu Prabhakar, Vidya Venkatesh, Srividya, Rakshitha and Ramya and others - in Sandalwood goes to Parvathamma Rajkumar. These heroines have gone on to carve their own nice in the movie industry.
"I was launched by Sri Vajreshwari Combines and this gave a big boost to my career. Undoubtedly, this has also helped me earn love and respect in the industry," says Sudharani who has given blockbuster movies with Shivarajkumar.
Photo credit: Manu
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:49 PM IST