Ganapathy Venkataramanapathy Iyer the octogenarian, better known as G.V.Iyer, is the doyen of Kannada cinema.
His films Sri Shankaracharya (of Adwaitha philosophy), Sri Madhwacharya (of Dwaitha philosophy) and the one on Swami Vivekananda (Swarnakamal award) earned him laurels at the National and International levels.
The angry old man at 84 years is once again bouncing back as he says ‘there is no challenge for him in this world’.
At his Bharadwaj Ashram in Ramohalli, G.V.Iyer on the auspicious Ekadashi day spoke, to Sify.com on the occasion of completing his Sri Krishnaleela, a Kannada film and 13 episodes Television serial in Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi.
Q: What is this Sri Krishnaleela all about?
A: It is a Kannada feature film and also a television serial in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi. It is the childhood of Sri Krishna up to ‘Kamsa’s’ samhara (end). The story is told through the eyes of saint poet Sri Purandaradasa. The saint had visions of Sri Krishna in many facets during his childhood. I am using as many as 40 poems of Sri Purandaradasa on Sri Krishna.
Q: Do you mean to say there is no challenge for you in life?
A: I don’t have any challenges. I don’t want anyone’s mercy. I am a free man and no one can restrict me. Any one can come and meet me and get their work done.
Q: In that case you are not interested whether it reaches the audience or not?
A: I do the work for myself. The other day Doordarshan people came to meet me to do 26 episodes on Natyarani Shakuntala. I did the work. But they have telecasted it at non prime time, almost at midnight, when normally sex films are shown on television. I was depressed for a moment but kept quiet. Now they have asked me to do a Sanskrit television serial on ‘Bana Bhatta’. I am ready but this time I have put forward certain conditions.
Q: Is this Sri Krishnaleela a poetic presentation?
A: 80 percent of the Kannada film and television episodes in three languages are based on songs. There are few ‘Rasas’ among the ‘Navarasas’ but definitely my touch is also found in this Sri Krishnaleela. The Keerthabas of Sri Purandaradasa is translated into three languages. First it will be shot in 16mm and then blown up. The veteran actress Pandari Bai is the producer of this film cum television serial.
Q: Is there a budget constraint?
A: I am not worried as well known television director Shyam sunder of Asianet Kaveri is in charge. He is Pandari Bai’s sister Mynavathi’s son. I have already spent Rs. 80 lakhs. It looks like the budget would touch Rs. 1.50 crore. They know how to get it back as they are in the business of film and television making.
Q: Will Sri Krishnaleela interest the audience?
A: For ordinary people it is an eye opener. For learned people it is ‘Rasanubhava’ that fills their heart and mind. For divine people it increases their devotion and respect for Sri Krishna. For the ‘Rasikas’ of course there are Sri Krishna’s affairs.