One of the most successful stars in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam movies, Pilliarchetty Bhakthavatsalam Naidu Rajeevalochana (her original name) born August 15, 1934, passed away in her home in Madipakkam in Chennai, during the early hours of March 5. Thanks to her father being promoted as PA to the General Manager of M&SM Railway the family moved to Madras from Vijayawada and settled in Triplicane, where she went to school. The school authorities recorded her name as Rajasulochana, and that’s how she continued to be known. Rajasulochana has acted in hundreds of films in many languages. Though it is not possible to list all of them, mention must be made of some that created history.
Not many are aware that she was cast as the heroine in the cult film Parasakthi. But she had to opt out of the film because of her pregnancy. It was only then that Telugu actress Sriranjani Jr. was brought on board. Rajasulochana’s most successful film, according to critics and moviegoers, was Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum with S.S. Rajendran, written, produced and directed by the Tamil scholar-turned- filmmaker A.K. Velan. A raving success, the film had melodious music by K.V. Mahadevan. Many songs such as ‘Amudhum thenum etharku nee aruginil irukkayiley’ became hits and are still remembered. It was remade in Telugu as Manchi Manasuku Manchi Rojulu with N.T. Rama Rao playing the lead. The film was directed by her husband, noted writer-director C.S. Rao. One of her twin daughters, Devi, who lives in Chennai, is a talented dancer. Her other daughter, son and grandchildren live in the United States.
A recipient of many awards, Rajasulochana founded her dance school ‘Pushpanjali Nritya Kala Kendram’ in 1961 in Chennai, which celebrated its silver jubilee in 1986. A good friend of this writer for over three decades, she was warm, friendly and humble with no starry airs. The artiste is gone but her movies shall live forever…life is short but art is immortal ….