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Posted date: 19/July/2010

At the 9th Belli Hejje organized by Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy the embodiment of truth, loyalty and brilliance KSL Swamee (Ravee) the part and parcel of Kannada cinema industry spoken his best and most of his were eye opener to the present generation. Sadly the younger generation from the Kannada cinema industry had better business to do it seems!

Raviyanna as he is affectionately called put forth the utter poverty days of Kannada cinema. The doyen of Kannada cinema industry SR Puttanna Kanagal attending the marriage and unfailingly receiving the coconut (given as Thambula) for the food of his next days shows how the pillars have struggled.

At the Badami House the real ‘Badami’ of Kannada cinema KSL Swamee was rich with experience:

One and half an hour Raviyanna Helidanna we are making available it for our surfers:

  • For Rs.2 and paisa 50 KSL Swamee from orthodox Brahmin family was working in the Dasara festival time in Mysore. The 75 rupees he collected in the month was to pay his intermediate fees. He wanted to become a doctor but became actor 10 years ago but in the meantime forty years he has been one of the pillars of Kannada cinema industry from the days of ‘Rathna Manjari’.
  • KSL Swamee starting off the ‘Belli Hejje’ with a song from ‘Shubamangala’ Suryangu Chandrangu….earned more applauds and made of those who attended to cautiously hear his speech.
  • When he was earning Rs.2.50 paisa his active participation was noticed by Dasara festival committee head Mahadevaswamy MC. Swamee got a bonus. That is nothing but permission to eat one plate of food extra.
  • I HAVE NOT COME FOR ‘KALA SEVE’ – I have come here for my Hotte Paadu.
  • Even today I feel I am an assistant director. A junior technician. Nothing else.
  • For the Dasara festival for special programs the Kannada cinema artists used to come from Chennai. For cultural program they were given Rs.2000. Rajakumar, Udayakumar, Narasimharaju and others were coming regularly.
  • I was close to Udaykumar and asked whether I can come to Madras. With the dress I was wearing I told my mother and pushed off to Madras. Stayed in the house of Udayakumar. He bought me clothes.
  • Accidentally I was asked to just stand for a shot for adjustment. That was ‘Rathnamanjari’.
  • It was Udayakumar who took me to GV Iyer one day. I was looking very good in physique and complexion. GV Iyer told me to come for work from next day. The first job I learnt from him was how to clap for a close and long shot.
  • I was staying in his work and the word ‘Workaholic’ fits in to Iyer. I was working for 18 hours with him.
  • I came to the place of Hunsru Krishnamurthy, Dwarakish house, Prabhakara Shastry, Soorath Ashwath, RN Jayagopal, Chi Udayashanker, GK Venkatesh, RNK Prasad, Sudarshan, PB Srinivos and others
  • In a short span of time I got acquainted with giants. The song of Prabhakara Shastry Natana Visharadha Natashekara….written in 1963 I used it in 1986 when I directed ‘Malaya Marutha’.
  • Today I feel the thought is same writing has changed. Modadha Marehodha Chandra….is written today as Poornachandira Raja Hakidha…..
  • Kala Kettuddu alla Doddaddhu Alla. Kala Kettilla. Hulasaagi Belibekiddu Halasalagide…..
  • I was interested in singing. I used to push the car of GK Venkatesh only to please him.
  • There was no entertainment for us in those days. Work hard and make it successful was inevitable. Otherwise we never used to get job.
  • Our entertainment was only going to the beach. Puttanna, RNJ, Siddalingaiah, Vijayabhasker, Geethapriya, Sudarshan go to beach and dream of our projects.
  • It was from ‘Toogudeepa’ I became a director because of call sheet given by Rajakumar. His remuneration was Rs.6000 while Leelavathi remuneration was more than 15000. But for me Leelavathi made a promise looking at my hand that I would become a director one day. I had asked would you give your call sheet if I become a director.
  • That happened. Leelavathi instead of Rs.15000 took just Rs.3000 as remuneration for that film.
  • For this film the second heroine we booked Hema Malini by paying Rs.350 advance for Rs.1500 remuneration.
  • Hema Malini did not agree after taking advance. She went to a contract job in Mumbai.
  • That became a loss for me (joke). I went for BV Radha who later became my wife. Had Hema Malini agreed to act in ‘Toogudeepa’ I would married is a wild guess.
  • Today there is ‘Santosha’ and ‘Dhukka’. Santosha for traveling for 50 years and Dhukka for losing so many people.
  • I booked Ramachandra Shastry for my film on Rs.350 remuneration but could not pay. It was after six months I sent the money to him.
  • KSL Swamee avare I would write your name along with the names of AVM, Vahini and Gemini pictures for your promptness said Shastry.
  • We could not remember the hunger. Work, work and only work. Remembering Upavasa was difficult task.
  • The AVM Chettiar is the pillar of this South India. South Indian cinema industry grew up under such a giant personality.
  • When I made Toogudeepa he used to tell me after you see the first copy would you allow me to see it? He was so humble and down to earth very simple.
  • In those days Ranadheera Kanteerava that is the main strong force to settle down in Karnataka from Madras was made in just Rs.1.75 lakhs including print and publicity.
  • It was Basavarajaih continuous insistence that slowly made us to come to shoot in Karnataka especially in Mysore.
  • Set, Studio and Film providing to Kannada cinema from Mysore Premier Studio was boon to us.
  • I have lost money one from after the other film. Vijaya Pictures funded all my films. From Krishna Rukmini Sathyabhama I was funded Rs.7 lakhs by Vijaya Pictures. The Galaxy of stars was in the cast. There were 14 songs. I produced ‘Shubamangala’ at a cost of Rs.17.75 lakhs.
  • All my earnings went to loans I made for film making. The Mysore house I sold for Rs.1.35 lakhs.
  • It is only in this art field – name, fame, money is possible for giving the truths on screen.
  • In my 50 years journey ‘Nanage Yaava Vyatheyu Illa’.
  • Today films made for the hero and after acquiring his call sheet is wrong step. There are no good writers.
  • Licking Jenuthuppa from the Bennu of heroine and eating Laddu kept on the ‘Hokkalu’ of heroine has no meaning. Enu Kotru Jana Thagothare is a wrong tendency.
  • One who is not sound enough for retake is not strong producer. AVM Chettiar kind of film makers had so much of commitment in those days.
  • Most of the directors are behaving like clerks. Writers of the caliber of Chi Udayashanker are required today. He understood the medium so well. In five minutes he wrote the song Akka Sanje Bhavanu Baruvanu manege….for Mithileya Seetheyaru.
  • Like Dada Saheb Phalke award is there in similar way in the name of HLN Simha for South India an award has to be instituted. HLN Simha is the first in South India to make a social film ‘Samsara Nauke’.
  • My earning in life ‘PEOPLE DO NOT SCOLD ME FROM BEHIND’.
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