At the 6th monthly ‘Belli Hejje’ organized by the Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy on Saturday evening at Badami House Priyadarshini hall the ‘Divya Chetana’ was ‘Geethapriya’ whose original name is Lakshman Rao Mohithe.
Known for lyrics more than his direction Geethapriya ‘Mathu’ was Priya but his ‘Sathya’ was ‘Apriya’ to destructive elements. In this case he was referring to his own song line Nagarika Manava….. the construction made by civilized man is now leading to destruction – Geethapriya made a pertinent point in those days that is true today. Especially after twin tower clash in United States of America on September 11 the constructive minds are leading to destruction he felt.
Coming back to his life journey as a poverty stricken youngster whose father was trainer of horses in Mysore the prolific writer and able director of yesteryears firmly says it is essential for a director to know about editing.
We give you glimpse of one and half an hour chat Geethapriya had at ‘Belli Hejje’:
- Talking to you all on this evening is a ‘Shuba Dina’ in my life started off Geethapriya.
- ‘Sadhane Samudhra, a human being can only take a drop from it’.
- I was inspired by Pu Ti Narasimachar ‘Dorai’ poem. I went in to the details of the thoughts of gem of a writer.
- I was participating in ‘Kamana Habba’ held in Mysore during Holi festival. At that time I came in to contact with Heera Lal and Sohan Lal. In Kalavidha cinema at Sathyajyothi studio I was one of the co dancers.
- In those days to study Arts Mysore was best and to study Science one has to reach Bangalore.
- When I was looking for office boy job I got bill clerk job in Cubbon Park Restaurant. Rs.30 was my monthly payment and I had to maintain 8 members in the family.
- At this time I came in to contact with Y.V.Rao, Vijayabhasker and Sathya. It is Vijayabhasker told me to leave the job and assured Rs.40 as salary per month.
- MP Shanker was the first producer to give me Rs.100 as advance for direction of Kadina Rahasya.
- I wrote songs for Bhagya Chakra and used the spoken language more from the beginning days. The then censor chief Shastry said I am a leftist.
- Knowing my enthusiasm my father brought me to his Guru that is Bellave Narahari Shastry. Vijayabhasker, YV Rao the director of first Kannada film ‘Sathu Sulochana’ are my mentors.
- Haduthiruva Hakkigele…. Bettada Huli, Huvu Mullu came one by one. I got first offer to direct ‘Mannina Maga’ that story I picked from a news report and worked six months and obtained the call sheet of Dr Rajakumar. After launch the film had to be stopped for one year and nine months. That was the first film to shoot inside the bungalow. Dr Rajakumar with high fever stayed in a village house and showed his fantastic simplicity. That film ‘Mannina Maga’ ran for 100 days in Bangalore Kapali and Bharath theatre.
- I have not written too many songs. It is only around 250 songs in my career of over five decades.
- To make a film based on novel one requires guts. The essential changes are most for novels to adapt in cinema.
- Beluvaladha Madilalli film I wrote the song Muthu Malegaagi….eye brows were raised. A revolutionary thinker how come he penned such songs.
- Writer like Usha Navarathna Rao objected to Dr Vishnuvardhana when Hombisilu was started. I was bent upon Vishnuji who changed his walking style in that film. He came to the place I was living and signed the call sheet.
- An actor gives identity to a director and it is vice versa. I remember the artists like Dr Raj, Dr Vishnu, Manjula, Srinath, Jayanthi, Saritha, Bharathi, Udyakumar, Jayamala and others.
- Artists like Ramesh Aravind directors like Bhargva, Nanjundappa and others worked under my direction.
- P Kalinga Rao, Beechi, Nadiger Krishnarayaru….I liked most. Nadiger Krishnarayaru….once said Ugaltha Idru for Hogaltha Idhru…his pun was very funny.
- I became a poet for the situations. I always gave a thought for what is the current situation and imagined things to write. The big master in life is experience.
- I have bounced cheques even to this day of 10000 and 15000. All of them have completed silver jubilee easily. I was paid Rs.50 for a song. I had to run for 50 times to get that money. They forget after the work and I also forget them because they have forgotten me.
- The present scenario of film industry is not good. Director and producer should have the good taste for a film.
- The technical growth happening here is not made use properly. Even in technology we should add up ‘Nammathana’.
Eminent journalist and writer Sathyamurthy Anandanur was on dais with Chindodi Bangaresh to coordinate the ‘Belli Hejje’. Ravishanker member of KCA welcomed the gathering.