I wanted to write a review on the funeral proceedings of Late Dr. Rajkumar. I guess it’s too late after all the news channels have covered it already. Also I think I should have written this post when the incident happened. Would have been on a more acerbic note. But anyways here goes nothing. Photo courtesy and hat-tip : ExpressIndia.com
Wednesday, 12th April 2006. I get an email from an ex-classmate from Alliance Francaise saying the Kannada actor Dr. Rajkumar had died. I promptly close the window and go back to debugging. And so do hundreds of my colleagues, even Kannadigas. Then comes a flurry of emails from every corner of the world. Through mailing lists, close friends, acquaintances, forwards from god forsaken chains of friends on orkut and last but not least from the transport guys in the company. Buses would leave early that day fearing mishaps. I made a few hurried calls to all my friends and was relieved that they were already travelling towards their respective abodes.
When I reached home myself, I realised that the caveats were not without reason. The normally crowded Airport Road bore an ominous look. People were hurriedly making their ways through alleys. Most shops were closed and the police were shutting down the few that were open. My roomie, the wuss that he is, was shitting bricks inside the house without even venturing out to buy something. Finally I ventured out late into the night and found some grub.
But the real shocker came the next morning. There was no cable. I cussed and cussed and cussed till some coffee happened. Came back home to see Rajkumar’s body surrounded by hundreds of fans (on TV of course). Looked as if they’d do the post-mortem themselves. What followed were riots, riots and more riots. The cavalcade had some lousy fellows who threw stones at glass-clad buildings. Some broke into shops. Some shoved people off their vehicles and set them afire. Some threw burning tyres onto the roads and mind you not without casualties. A TV cameraman even captured a small group of them breaking into a famous petrol pump at Sadashivnagar and stealing food stuff and money. Even Airport Road, which is miles away from where all this was transpiring, felt the heat. A lot of shops lost their expensive glass windows and screens. Buses travelling towards the IT parks were burnt and obstructed by burning tyres. The newly built Microsoft R&D centre at Malleswaram was stoned (not literally ) and all the windows shattered. Similar fate awaited a lot of other IT Companies on Sankey Road. Here are some pics.
Disgusting! Is this what you would call mourning.