CM Basavaraj Bommai to dedicate Dr. Vishnuvardhan Memorial at Haalaalu on Mysuru-H.D. Kote Road today
Mysuru: Fan frenzy gripped Dr. Vishnuvardhan Memorial hours ahead of its inauguration at Halalu (Haalaalu) village opposite Udbur Gate on Mysuru-H.D. Kote Road today.
The memorial has been built at an estimated cost of Rs. 11 crore on three acres of the total five acres of land sanctioned by the Government to Dr. Vishnuvardhan Pratishtana and the Department of Information and Public Relations. Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai was scheduled to inaugurate the memorial at the time of going to the press.
A huge dais has been erected for the inaugural session, with the portrait of the late actor in ‘salt and pepper’ look in ‘E Bandhana’ film, forming a part of the flex board in the backdrop. The seating arrangement has been made for 2,000 people, while 24 chairs have been put up on the dais.
As the gathering outnumbered the seats, the people occupied the either side, waiting on foot to witness the moment. The ecstatic fans in large numbers who came in motorbike and car rallies and different other modes, started descending on the memorial this morning, as it took 13 years for their dreams to come true.
Kannada, white flags galore
Festive mood prevailed as the fans of the actor celebrated the moment in their own style. While some were seen waving Kannada Flags and white flags printed with the portrait of the actor, some others were seen wearing T-Shirts printed with the photos of the actor. Cut-outs of the actor in different costumes dotted the location.
What set the mood further was the screening of film scenes of Vishnuvardhan, along with the playing of hit songs from his movies. The jubilant fans were also seen shaking their legs as when the songs were played at the Memorial.
Statue main attraction: The seven-foot tall statue of the actor-dressed like a king with emblazoned headgear (as seen in Apthamitra a runaway hit film with Vishnuvardhan playing the lead role, released on Aug. 27, 2004) sculpted in black stone erected on a specially built pedestal built on the ashes of the actor spread beneath is the main attraction.
The memorial also includes a photo gallery comprising a mix of 600 myriad photos depicting the life history of Vishnu as he was popular among his fans, displayed along with posters of his films. A 200-seat capacity auditorium named ‘Sahasa Simha’ has also been built, along with two rooms and canteen, covered by a garden.
It was also a pyrrhic victory for the family members of the late actor especially his multilingual actor wife Bharati Vishnuvardhan, daughter Keertivardhan and son-in-law Anirudh also an actor.
Finally a reality: Anirudh told media persons, “It is a model memorial which has turned true after 13 years of constant struggle. For now, the memorial has been built on three acres of land, while the remaining two acres will be developed in the future. The ‘Sahasa Simha’ auditorium will not just host film festivals, but also the birth anniversary of the actor. Two classrooms have been built to conduct art camps with all other basic amenities”.
“The memorial has come up as envisioned by us, reliving the dreams of ‘Appavaru’ (Vishnuvardhan). We could not gather film stars due to pressure related to inaugural session, but will invite all in the future for the film festival and other events planned,” added Anirudh.
Vishnuvardhan’s wife Bharati Vishnuvardhan, popular actor Ramesh Bhat who has shared screen space with the actor in many films, TV serial actor, producer and director Shruti Naidu, also a Mysurean, were prominent faces from the industry present at the memorial.
Mandya boy’s art work: H.B. Vishnu Prasad of class six from Mandya, a State-level artist was the cynosure of all eyes as he drew various paintings of Vishnuvardhan. The fans of Vishnuvardhan led by former Corporator M.D. Parthasarathy (Pathi) took out the flower bedecked portrait of the actor in a motorised chariot in procession from Kote Anjaneyaswamy Temple at Mysore Palace North Gate to Srirampura Outer-Ring Road junction that passes through Mysuru-H.D. Kote road.
The fans in procession waved white flags printed with the portraits of the actor portraying the angry young man look from his all time hit movie – ‘Nagarahavu’, besides raising slogans hailing their favourite actor.
What did this actor do for the humanity of Kannadigas, besides acting for which he was well paid?