The entire Kannada film industry is in a state of shock after the sudden and untimely death of Chiranjeevi Sarja.
In an exclusive conversation with this writer Kannada superstar Yash says, “We are all stunned by his death, Contrary to the information given in Wikipedia, Chiranjeevi Sarja was not 39. He was only 36. Is that an age to go? He has a younger brother. A lot of my colleagues from the Kannada film industry are now concerned about their own health and the welfare of their families. See, the corona has made all of us vulnerable and uncertain about the future. When something like this (Chiranjeevi Sarja’s sudden death due to a cardiac arrest) happens, we all get deeply affected. Right now the Kannada film industry is in a state of shock.”
Yash remembers Chiranjeevi Sarja as affable and likeable. “He was always smiling, always very positive in his outlook. He’s going so suddenly is a reminder of how fragile human life has become.”
Adding to Karanataka’s grief is the fact that Chiranjeevi Sarju’s wife is expecting a baby.
Says Yash, “It is really heartbreaking. But Chiranjeevi was going to be a father soon. He has left so much unfinished business behind. He was fine actor. He came from a family of actors and filmmakers. His uncle Shakti Prasad was a leading actor specializing in villain’s roles. Chiranjeevi’s uncle Arjun Sarja and brother Dhruv are also actors and Chiranjeevi’s uncle is a well-known director. He had cinema in his bloodstream.”
Compounding the collective misery of the Kannada film industry is the irresponsible attitude of a reputed Bollywood writer-columnist-socialite Shobhaa De who posted a picture of Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi on Twitter to announce the Kannada star Chiranjeevi Sarja’s death.
Responds Yash, “With due respect, she could have googled Chiranjeevi Sarja’s name. That’s all it takes these days to get the correct information.”
Yash admits there is widespread resentment in the Kannada film industry regarding Ms De’s bloomer. “We thought the South film industry has a pan-India reach after films like Baahubali and KGF. But it seems one Chiranjeevi is as good as another even now on the pan-India platform.”
Yash says he has no idea how the senior and much-respected Telugu Chiranjeevi feels about being mistaken for his namesake in Kannada cinema. “But it is very insulting to someone who is considered an iconic star and has fans all over the world.”