I have to thank two people for the beautiful song in the Lucia Trailer. I am not going to thank Kanakadasa for writing –
‘ನೀ ಮಾಯೆಯೊಳಗೊ ನಿನ್ನೊಳು ಮಾಯೆಯೊ, ನೀ ದೇಹದೊಳಗೊ ನಿನ್ನೊಳು ದೇಹವೊ’
He is a legend and many other legends have done great works with his writings and songs, I am too small to even thank or say anything, I am going to just hide instead. But I am going to thank two other people for this – My Dad and Poornachandra.
The story behind the creation of Nee Mayeyolago is very interesting. My dad is always aware of the scripts I write. He keeps asking me about the story and gives his insight from his experiences. And like any other arrogant youngster I too hear him out like ‘Ah what does he know about Film writing’. So when he asked me about Lucia months ago, I was telling him what it is all about but was sure that he will NOT understand it. Becoz it is a very new age contemporary cinema. And even if he does understand, it will be the surface layer fo the story. He gave me a hearing and said “Are you sure people will understand?” and I said “Ya the younger crowd likes this kind of stuff”. And that was it, becoz he had seen me do many abstract stuff in theatre, he advised me to tread cautiously and said that whatever I make my primary goal should be to communicate it to the audience of all types. I just nodded like ‘Ah, come on… I know what I am doing’
A week later he came back with a print out. He said “read this, it might be close to what your film is about”. I reluctantly took it from him and I starred at the Kannada text which read very weird. You all already know that I have a flaw in me – I am a Kannada literate but not Kannada educated. So I starred at the writing for a while and was trying to put the letters together and read it. My wife took it from me and read it loudly. And I was shocked. When she read the first two lines of Nee Mayeyolago, I figured that my dad understood the movie script better than I did. I spent a week reading it again and again. And that is how Shri. Kanakadasa joined Lucia.
And then I shared the writing with Poorna, I told him that I want that song in the film or something written like that. Poorna had read the script. So he knew the relevance of the song. He took it from me and casually said he will look into it. And then I forgot all about it. I was busy with pre-production, arranging funds etc etc.
One day Poorna mailed me the song. He said he had used only the first two lines of the original and he wrote the rest of it. I was very pissed off. I thought he would have spoilt it. And had prepared myself to have a fight with him after hearing it. But when I played it, I was again thinking – ‘This guy has understood the movie better than me’
I have to be grateful to Poorna for making such a beautiful adaptation of a Classic. It is not easy to do that, especially when the content is borrowed from legends like Kanakadasa. It fits in perfectly in the film, and what he wrote is in sync with the original. Bow down to you Poorna for having the amazing skill to do that.
I am sad that I have very little knowledge of the wonderful stuff in our Kannada Literature, but I am very glad that I am surrounded by people who will tell me these things. So if you are someone who is like me, then have an open ear to the Kannada speaking people around you. If you are lucky they might share with you some of the most beautiful things Kannada literature has to offer. And if you are someone who knows a lot about Kannada heritage, then stop being an activist or a fringe or even crib about it, instead share what you know with pride. Dumbass’s like me will leap on to it. I think our language will grow if ‘we’ give it the outlook it deserves and take pride in sharing it, not by force or imposition.
I am thankful to my dad and Poorna for being instrumental in making 25,000 people listen to Kanakadasa in the last 24 hours, many of them are non Kannadigas who were happy to read the subtitle and appreciate it! We just made people download the youtube video, rip the audio track and make it their ringtones! I believe this is the way forward. I want to encourage and support activities like these, bring in the good stuff from our heritage into popular cinema and thus reach out to the young generation and make them aware of what is already there. And to keep this work going, we need to keep Audience Films alive. And for Audience Films to be a success, we need Pre-orders. To watch and To share a good trailer is one thing, its passive support for the film. But Pre-order is Active support. And we need LOTS OF PRE ORDERS to release this film in the theatres, or it will perish like many good art films that are made year after year in Kannada.