Khateja Qureshi | Published On: Nov, 3, 2022 | 07:44 AM
Veteran actor Rajinikanth got emotional at an event recently when he spoke about why he couldn’t attend late actor Puneeth Rajkumar’s funeral. On Tuesday, Puneeth was posthumously conferred with Karnataka’s highest civilian award, Karnataka Ratna. He was honoured on the occasion of the 67th Kannada Rajyotsava (the state formation day). Rajinikanth and Jr NTR presided over the event as chief guests along with Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Speaking in Kannada at the event, Rajinikanth remembered Puneeth as ‘God’s child’. “In Kali Yuga, Appu (Puneeth) is like Markandeya, Prahlada, Nachiketa. He was God’s child. That child lived among us for some time. He played with us and made us laugh. Later, that child went back to God. His aatma (soul) is with us,” Rajinikanth said.
He also revealed why he couldn’t attend Puneeth’s funeral, despite being very close to the family. An emotional Rajinikanth said that he was informed about Puneeth’s untimely death three days later, owing to his health condition around the same time. “I had undergone an operation and was in the intensive care unit (ICU).” He added that even if he had known about his death, he wouldn’t have been in a position to travel due to his health. Rajinikanth also said he never wants to forget Puneeth’s smiling face.
Puneeth died at the age of 46 due to cardiac arrest last October. His wife Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar received the award, comprising a full silver plaque and a 50-gram gold medal, in the presence of his family members.
Puneeth made his debut as a lead actor in the 2002 Kannada film Appu. Some of his popular famous films include Abhi, Veera Kannadiga, Arasu, Raam, Hudugaru and Anjani Putra, among others. His last film Gandhada Gudi, a documentary on the wildlife of Karnataka, was released in cinemas last week to coincide with Puneeth’s first death anniversary. It was extremely well received by fans who turned emotional upon the film’s release.