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Netra Raju- A tribute to lensman with a different view

3 min read

Mysuru: It was a message in a WhatsApp group that shook journalist friends in the evening, which is otherwise meant for some pep talks with a dash of happenings around.

Netra Raju

Taken aback, enquiries started pouring in to know the veracity. For, it was no easy news to believe, for the media fraternity which believes in getting into the skin, before peeling it off.

Yes, it was true. Netra Raju, a photojournalist of repute had died of heart attack at the age of 62.

Raju became ‘Netra’ Raju as he ran a photo studio by the same name near Chamundivana in Vidyaranyapuram.

Though he battled for life, it went in vain, as the photos of his mortal remains packed in white, lay on the hospital bed in Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, famously known as Jayadeva Hospital, in Mysuru.

One may wonder about the ‘Rest in Peace’ messages flooding social media, irrespective of journalists and others expressing their condolences in utter shock and disbelief. Nethra as he was known among his peers and Rajanna for the newcomers, was not just a lensman, but a humble mortal who was fondly calling others as ‘Anna’.

Being a staff photographer of a behemoth newspaper like Times of India, Mysuru bureau, he was obviously a ‘photographer’ in demand. But, for Netra it was a job he was wedded to and performed his role without any airs.

Even when he retired in 2017, it was a silent exit, like all happening in a flash. 

Like any other photographer, Netra also had a trademark style- a stubble, with a dropping spectacle and trousers replete with pockets, suffice to stuff lens sometimes jutting out. While photographers were rushing to swarm around the VIPs to get a closer shot, Netra was far away from all, as he was a man of different mettle. He was somewhere around leaning against a tree or focusing his lens through a hole far away to seal the frame. Likewise most of his photos were eagerly awaited, till next day.

It was how, Netra had carved a niche of his own, but still rooted to the ground. It was two years ago, a photo shot during the famed Navaratri caught the eyes of all. A woman with her kid in silhouette watching the illuminated sight of Mysuru Palace. A meaning of Haves and Have Nots conveyed in a more succinct way true to a saying- a photo says thousand words.

Likewise, Netra had many such eye stirring and catching photos to his credit. Be it a cinema, theatre, politics, general or whatever events, Netra covered on assignment, they all looked different in print and lively and how? Even Netra didn’t knew most of the times, as he only had a smile on his face in reply.

Like his name Netra (eye) Raju, he definitely had a different view. Mysuru, especially, the Journalists will truly miss him for several years to come.

RIP Netra.

– Team Mysoorunews

Mysooru News

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