|HOME | NEWS | REPORT|
August 2, 2000
Family reaches out to Dr Rajakumar on radio
M D Riti in Bangalore
When Dr Rajakumar's wife and children learnt to speak Tamil during the years they spent in Chennai, they never dreamt that their command over the language would one day come in handy in helping the ageing matinee idol survive in a jungle.
As Veerappan is known to listen to radio broadcasts frequently on a small transistor he carries, the All India Radio has begun airing a nine-minute message from Dr Rajakumar's wife, sons and brother to both the actor and his captor.
The broadcasts are going out from AIR stations in Bangalore, Chennai, Mysore, Trichy and Coimbatore to ensure that they reach Veerappan, whichever part of the sprawling Sathyamangalam forest he is hiding in.
In the broadcast, Dr Rajakumar's wife Parvathamma addresses Veerappan in a slightly accented Tamil: "I hope you will think of me as your sister, and send all of them (the hostages) home soon. Please tell my husband to take all his medicines...my son will tell you which ones he should take. He (Dr Rajakumar) has knee pain, please don't ask him to walk fast."
Dr Rajakumar's son, Raghavendra, begins formally: "Veerappan avargale...(dear Veerappan), everyone says you are a very good man...you never hurt anyone. Please think of us as your children and be good to us by treating our father and the other three well. My father has knee trouble, please do not make him walk."
Raghavendra takes the lion's share of the broadcast, probably because he is closest to his father. He goes on to address both his father and uncle, S A Govindaraj, in Kannada.
First he issues detailed instructions to his father about medication that he should acquire and take, directing his father to ask someone to note down the correct names of the medicines. He spells out the names of medicines like Sumo for knee pain along with Zinetac, Mucolinc for cough or cold and Hytrol, twice a day, for high blood pressure.
As for Govind Mama, as Govindaraj is known at home, he requests him to take good care of Appaji. He reassures him that his wife, Lakshmi (Rajakumar's eldest child, married to Govidaraj) is well, and so are the children - Ammu, Shanu and Pinky.
Raghavendra also asks Govindaraj to request their captors to keep the radio on as much as possible.
Shivaraj Kumar, the eldest of the three sons of Dr Rajakumar, sounds the most fluent in Tamil, probably a result of his years of school and college in Chennai, when he was, self-admittedly, a Kamal Haasan fan.
Speaking to Veerappan, he says: "Think of my father as your own father or brother, and do not hurt him in any way. Please get him the medicines he needs."
To his father, he introduces himself as Shivanna (he adopted the name Shivaraj Kumar when he entered films), and says: "Veerappan will take care of you. He is not a bad man. Your fans all want you back. But there is no trouble anywhere. We are all fine."
He goes on to name various family members, especially children, and says that they are all well, and also requests his father to take his medicines.
Puneet alias Appu, Rajakumar's youngest son, now in his mid-twenties, conveys the shortest message, merely urging his father to eat on time, and beseeching Veerappan, again in Tamil, to send Appaji back home soon.
"God will bless you for doing so," he says.
Dr Rajakumar's brother Varadaraj merely asks him to take care of himself. Addressing Veerappan, he says: "Veerappan saar, take care of Anna, he is old now...."
Tamil superstar Rajanikanth's request to Veerappan, to return Dr Rajakumar safely to his family, has already been broadcast repeatedly from Tamil Nadu.
And as the kidnap drama enters its third day, rumours abound. Is R R Gopal of Nakkeeran already talking to Veerappan? Is he carrying an audio cassette from Rajanikanth to Veerappan? Are the cops closing in on the bandit?
Some media sources said that Gopal was spotted in Mysore and that he was likely to enter the jungle from this end. The last two times Gopal met Veerappan, he entered the forest from near Salem.
This time, Gopal has taken along two fellow journalists from Nakkeekaran, the magazine he edits.
Karnataka film chamber sources claim that Rajanikanth has a helicopter on standby to pick up Dr Rajakumar as soon as Veerappan expresses his willingness to give him up.
On the audio tape, he reportedly tells Veerappan that he is willing to talk it all out with him personally, and that Dr Rajakumar and his family should be released as soon as possible.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK