Kannada Rowdy And Romeo

Yet another former underworld figure seems to be hankering for respectability. And what better way to do so than to make a kannada movie on his own life, conveniently portrayed as a redemption tale.

Taking a cue from his one-time godfather, ace kannada director Agni Sreedhar (a reformed don who made a Kannada movie, Aa Dinagalu based on his true life), Mahin alias Mahim, an underworld element from South Bangalore has made a Kannada movie. He is the story writer and producer for the movie Nanda which will hit theatres across the state on Jan 23. Sandalwood star Shiva Rajkumar, known to be fond of violent themes, has been more than willing to oblige and plays the lead role. For good measure, Mahin plays a significant character role in the film.

Mahin shot to fame in the underworld as a budding rowdy in Jayanagar, Siddapura and Tilak Nagar areas of South Bangalore. A tempestuous love affair got him further entangled in crime and added grist to his growing myth. He eloped with his girlfriend and the girl’s parents lodged a kidnapping case against him in Jayanagar. After this, the police started booking case after case against him. The charges varied from murder to extortion. “I have now become a real estate agent. I buy and sell land and buildings. This has got me money. With this I have produced a Kannada movie on my true life. Shivanna (Shiva Rajkumar) is starring in it,’’ Mahin said on his foray into Sandalwood.

Becoming part of polite society seems to be one of his main motives. At the audio launch of ‘Nanda’ he was very keen to be seen as a family man and made sure that photos of his family members and those of Shiva Rajkumar made it in the same frame. Quite a few Janata Dal (S) politicians also made it to the function and Mahin showed off his political support. Those present included former minister N Cheluvarayaswamy, MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, MLC Puttanna and MLA HC Balakrishna. The audio launch itself was held at a five-star hotel with hundreds in attendance.

Mahin had invited the media twice during the shooting of his film. On both occasions he was humility personified. But the film crew say that it was only when Shiva Rajkumar was around that he behaved in that way. At other times he would be a terror. Though he would not harm anyone on the sets, his presence alone would mean everyone around were jittery.

Mahin wanted to name his film ‘Cobra.’ He was fascinated with this title but the Film Chamber, in accordance with its new decision, refused to grant the English title and Mahin settled for ‘Nanda.’ “I was betrayed by everyone including my family members after my decision to marry the girl I loved. We are all together now, but what happened to me during those days is the basis for this story,” Mahin said.

Shiva Rajkumar too gave his own gloss on the movie, seemingly at pains to ensure that it wasn’t perceived as yet another baddie film. “Nanda is about a man who becomes trapped because of circumstances beyond him,” he said. Director Anantaraju made suitable changes to the real story to adapt it to the screen.

Mahin enjoys equal space with Shiva Rajkumar in the hoardings of the film. He flaunts his muscles and, for the uninitiated, it would seem that he too is a very popular actor. Hundreds of these hoardings have been put up across Bangalore with most of them concentrated in Mahin’s ‘area of influence.’


Mahin has his share of friends in politics too. He started with Ramalinga Reddy in Jayanagar when the latter was an MLA. Then, he shifted his loyalty to R V Devaraj, MLA of Chamrajpet. They soon fell out and Mahin contested elections against Devaraj in the 2004 assembly elections. Later, Mahin became a friend of B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan who defeated Devaraj. This friendship took Mahin close to former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy and his political friends, N Cheluvarayaswamy, Puttanna H C Balakrishna and others. He celebrated Kumaraswamy and Zameer’s birthday on a large scale in Chamarajpet. A prelude to his own political ambitions?

“My association with crime started when I was studying PUC at Jayanagar’s Vijaya College,” Mahin said. “I and my friend fell in love with two sisters. My friend eloped with my girlfriend’s sister. This made the girl’s parents lodge a complaint of kidnapping against my friend and I became a co-accused,” he added.

Soon his girlfriend’s parents learnt about their love story and separated them by sending her to an unknown place. “For an year and a half, I searched for her. Finally, she sent me a letter giving her address in Kolar and this was enough for me to trace her. Then I eloped with her and another kidnapping case was booked against me by my inlaws,” he said. “To separate me from my girlfriend, her relatives poisoned the mind of the police. Some of my rivals who were jealous of my growth in the real estate market joined hands with the police. I was framed in a murder case. I and my girlfriend were famous as the Mahin-Tabassum jodie in the entire Jayanagar IV Block. Some people even called us Laila-Majnu,” he recalled.

“Today, we are happily married and have three children.This was in my mind while penning the story. I have narrated my eight year pre-marriage love story in the movie.Apart from this, I have also told the audience about how some people unnecessarily dragged me into underworld and how eventually I came out of it,” he said.