It's yesterday once more

It's yesterday once more

From the albums

It's yesterday once more

This picture was taken in Jakkanahalli village in Tumakuru district in 1968. Seen in the picture are my mother Lakshmi Devi, sister Ammaji, my older brother Kishore (who is no more) and myself. This picture was taken when we went to spend our summer vacation in my father Shakthi Prasad’s hometown. I must have been 4 or 5 years old then.

 This was clicked for a lady called Puttari, who lived in the same village. Puttari was supposed to marry my father but he was in love with my mother.

Puttari was so fond of my father and all of us that she met my mother and requested her to give her a picture of the family. This picture was taken in a studio, just to give it to Puttari. My father is not seen in this picture because he was away on work in Madras. 

 We were a very close-knit family and the three of us were bought up in a very disciplined way. My mother is one of the boldest women that I have ever known. She was not scared of anybody and would always stand up and fight for what is fair and just. She would take on anybody and make sure she always set right things that went wrong. My mother would spend a large part of her time in social service which she did very quietly. She would never talk about the people she helped. She has recently donated an acre of land in our village to the government, to construct a school for children in that village. She has also contributed to the renovation of the Narasimha Swamy Temple, near my village.

My brother Kishore was 2 years older than me. I lost him a few years ago but I think of him everyday and miss him a lot. He was a very affectionate human being. We grew up enjoying every moment of each other’s company. As children, we had our fights but we would patch up soon and resume playing again. There was never a dull moment during our growing up years. My brother was also one of the finest directors. The Kannada film ‘Tutta Mutta’ that he directed and I produced, was a big hit. The last film that he directed was ‘Vaayuputra’ in which we introduced Chiranjeevi Sarja.

 My sister Ammaji is the baby of the family and my father’s favourite child. She was pampered by us all.

She is a housewife and the mother of actors Chiranjeevi and Dhruva Sarja. She is a brilliant cook and would make some very special non-vegetarian dishes for Kishore and me. We didn’t really have to tell her what to make for us because she knew our tastes and food preferences very well. Her preparations in ‘chicken’ and ‘soppu saaru’ with ‘mudde’ are something to die for. And, if we ever told her that we wanted her to cook something specific then she would get down to the task at once. Such is her enthusiasm and she continues to charm everybody with her cooking even to this day.

I grew up in Bengaluru and did my schooling at National High School in Basavanagudi and completed my college at National College. Back then, Bengaluru was a sleepy little town with very few vehicles on the roads. There’s so much traffic now.  Today, it has lost its charm and most of its green cover. Bengaluru was much cooler. Our getaway place would always be our village, where we spent our time climbing trees and grazing the cattle. This gave us an insight into the life and culture in a village.

When my children Aishwarya and Anjana look at this picture, they tease me because my second daughter Anjana looked exactly like how I look in this picture when she was a baby.

However, busy each of one us maybe, we still meet and get together in our home in Bengaluru as often as possible.

Arjun Sarja (Actor) (The author can be reached on sslshakthi@gmail.com)
(As told to Nina C George)


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