UNSUNG HERO CAMERAMAN MANOHAR
Posted date: 17/September/2008

Very often we write about music director Manohar and producer Manohar of Golden Lion Film Division. But another Manohar has caught our attention on last Monday. That is S.Manohar the ace cameraman of 70 films in Kannada cinema. The best of his camera work is ‘Yuddha’ of director K.V.Raju.

He has the rags to riches story. He stood up in life from Rs.3 as salary for his work of second assistant to camera in 1977 in unreleased Kannada film ‘Darshana’(Vijayalakshmi was heroine and RD Mathur was director) to Rs.2.75 lakh remuneration for his latest release ‘Citizen’. As an independent cameraman Manohar received Rs.10000 as remuneration in the beginning of 90’s for ‘Niguda Rahasya’. He escaped death miraculously at the time of ‘Lock up Death’ and at the time of ‘Simhada Mari’. Cameraman Manohar in between his career of 32 years seen the hardship in the life from his eyes and made a comfortable living.

Thanking his mentors director Pherala and ace cameraman Sundarnath Suvarna this silent and sensible Manohar even while working as cameraman of Kannada cinema was riding auto. He used to earn Rs.100 from morning 6 am till 1 pm in the Bangalore roads for 10 years. From the ‘Simhada Mari’ accident at Jaipur where one of the team members died on account of mud slide inches away holding the camera equipment Manohar was standing. In front of Barton court on MG Road when the mind blowing action scene for ‘Lock up Death’ turned very treacherous the gate of the Barton court saved Manohar’s life as the jeep slashed the gate he was behind it. To the force of this fall from hundreds of feet height the jeep driver Shivu had almost collapsed but recouped in a miraculous way.

Straightforward in his approach Manohar is not the one who goes behind asking for job. Buttering stars to get more offers in not my forte. One of the prime heroes of Kannada cinema today has been responsible for removing S.Manohar from many of his films. Reason – S.Manohar wanted to take the shots in the absence of director what had told to him instead of the hero’s instruction. Actor of importance Komalkumar at the time of ‘Miltry Mava’ for making the right advice complained to his brother Jaggesh and made the life disgusting for quite sometime to Manohar. Such big and small insults are many in the memory of S.Manohar.

Manohar is a fond eater. In the early days he used to keep the food packet (Chitranna and Curd Rice) in one place and rush back again to receive for the second time. On the sets the food served in lieu of remuneration for hard work done was not sufficient for the tummy of Manohar. Two packets of food were not enough sometimes for me admits Manohar. ‘I have seen hunger and death from very near’. When the cameraman from Mumbai Mustafa Rizvi took me to give training I had run away from his place because Rs.50 was given for the entire day food. That was sufficient for me for only one time remembers Manohar.

God has given me to use the brain at the right time. I did not believe in ‘Rahu Kala’ till I did ‘Simhada Mari’ Kannada cinema. The accident happened in this film made me to change my calculations. For the Rs.2000 site (today the site value of 30x30 which he bought is worth Rs.1 crore) I had to purchase in 1968 at Vasanthnagar there was hell a lot of difficulty. But I did not give it up. Today in the same site where I have constructed a few houses from which I get a rent of Rs.20000 to 25000 to lead a peaceful life.

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