‘I do not tolerate anything wrongly attributed to artist’s fraternity’. We are not cheap. We are not thieves. We are entitled to get respect and honor. That is the reason why I come always grand in costumes, ornaments and make up. This is the icon of South India Smt.Sarojadevi Sri Harsha talking.
It feels so proud for the artist’s fraternity but except Dr Jayamala none of the artist was present to hear such lovely declarations of Dr B Saroja Devi at the ‘Belli Hejje’ of the lady who made golden steps (50 years) in professional career.
Veteran Journalist the highly respected PG Srinivasamurthy after making inaugural speech the doyen of cinema acting in south India Dr Devi spoke at length batting a few questions from chairman of Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy and audience at the jam pack Badami House auditorium in Bux Ranka Chambers near Bangalore City Corporation.
Dr Devi beauty with brain, honor and prestige today spoke on different topics concerning her childhood, upbringing, tinsel town, family life etc.
CHILDHOOD AND FAMILY LIFE OF DR DEVI
From the childhood she was very timid and ‘Alumunji’. Her mother Rudramma nourished her very well. When she came to films at teen age she created a sensation and a sort of need because of her looks. She was told as combination of Vyjayanthi Mala and Padmini the other two actresses in those days.
Dr Devi was born after her mother Rudramma consumed ‘Bisi Bisi Sri Sathyanarayana Prasada’. That’s one of the reason on every year birthday of Dr BS ‘Sri Sathyanarayana Pooja’ is conducted. When it was held in Chennai over a lakh used to turn up.
In films and selection of a boy for me my mother played a prominent role. Avaru hakidha gere I did not cross. After selecting the boy I was asked to marry. Even that man in my life Sri Harsha was pillar. He stood in difficult days behind me. When a shoddy auditor made a fumble all property got attached. My husband Sri Harsha an engineer in Siemens, Germany said I am there to support the life.
For the same man later I could not give proper attention in life because there was no medical aid here to cure the heart attack. It was only St Marthas hospital. No facility in Bangalore for angiogram. When I had crores of money it did not come to the help.
It was an occasion to go to United States of America. I was invited by governor for tea party in Bangalore. I was holding the position of chairman of Kanteerava studios. Governor told me to make use of the government facility to go to USA. My husband told even if this position was not available I would have taken my wife to USA. He was a gem. Going to USA I went first to Universal studio in Hollywood.
Once my husband stopped the vehicle in front of UVCE and said he studied in this college and something has to be done. I took it seriously and instituted a scholarship. Even here I suggested the aid for cinema people son or daughters education.
I got married to Sri Harsha on March 1 1967.
ALL BIGGIES I WAS HEROINE
It was the days of no influence. In the eight floors shooting was taking place and who ever performed well, maintained discipline and took the acting seriously it was reaching everyone. For the Kannada film ‘Mahakavi Kalidasa’ Ku Ra Si and Honnapa Bhagavathar were my mentors. Later I got opportunity in Pandu Ranga Mahatme of NTR, Adimai Penn of MGR, Paigam of Gemini Vasan. The journey was very good. I have not said good bye to acting even today. After 12 years I have acted in Tamil movie ‘Adhavan’.
Dilipkumar once said he has asked Saira Banu to not to stop acting profession. The same thing was mentioned by Rajesh Khanna to my husband Sri Harsha not to stop me from acting.
In acting I never used to get shouting. That is because of the respect and discipline to the profession. Ellinda Karkondu Bandhrappa ivaranna….I was not giving room for such statements.
DISCIPLINE AND SCRIPT
The essential factors today are the discipline and importance to script given in those days. Only good script and a systematic approach stay. Today heroine come prepared to stay for two years. They do not have urge to learn and not do dubbing. I have seen the heroine of ‘Adhavan’ Tamil film saying like this. This should not happen. There were cabaret dancers in those days. But today cabaret is done by……..heroines came the reply from the audience wing.
All producers are Annadhatharu. I am living in cinema earning and eating from cinema money. Uppu Kottovarannu I don’t forget.
AWARDS HONOR AND RESPECT
I have missed film fare award for 15 times because of wrong attitudes towards the heroine roles. Even photographers take lot of pictures but do not publish it. You people want pictures of us for publishing after death?
I have got Padmasri and Padmabushan from Tamil government recommendations. In Karnataka Dr Vishnuvardhana should have got such honors. Our MP’s should recommend because in Delhi they do not know other than Amitabh Bachchan.
In Karnataka awards in the name of Pandari Bai and MV Rajamma should be instituted. Nowadays the awards and committees operate in not convincing way.
I AM GOWDA CAME TO SURFACE LATE
My grandfather Mayanna Gowda was from Mandya. I have origins in Mandya. When Rajiv Gandhi wanted to put me in LS he asked me to contest from Mandya seat. Then he came to know that I am a Gowda. In my profession the caste, creed, religion was not discussed and given prominence.
KANTEERAVA TO CENSOR BOARD
I was the chair person of Kanteerava studios for some time. It is at this time the roads were made using the boulders. My husband taught me in this aspect. I was censor member for many years. What I feel is that the people from the industry are appointed to such positions the understanding will be good. I feel censor to cinema is like Mane Hosilu. It should be there in a proper way.