On my pinboard

On my pinboard

On my pinboard

Actor Upendra began his career in the Kannada film industry with the creative team of actor-director Kashinath. He also  assisted with scriptwriting and lyrics and even played cameo roles. Today, he has emerged as an actor-director, who leaves his own imprint on anything and everything that he does. He strode into the film industry with ‘Tharle Nan Maga’ and went on to deliver superhits like ‘Om’ which won the Karnataka State Film Award for ‘Best Screenplay’ and ‘Super’ which also bagged the Karnataka State Film Award for ‘Best Film’ and ‘Best Director’. A few of his other notable projects are ‘Shhh!’, ‘Budhivanta’, ‘Katari Veera Surasundarangi’, ‘Kalpana’ and ‘Godfather.’

Upendra has completed the shoot of ‘Mukunda Murari’ where he is acting with Sudeep for the first time and is presently working on ‘Upendra Mathe Baa’. 


“There are so many people whom I admire and have been influenced by in the world of cinema like Dr Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan, Rajinikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and Kamal Haasan. But one person whom I admire for his simplicity, generosity and inexhaustible energy is Shivarajkumar. We have acted together and I have directed him as well. I’ve never come across a more calm and cool person. I would say that he’s flawless and never carries around any baggage. Our families are close but we never get to meet each other as often as we would like to because of our busy work schedules. I’ve also met Rajinikanth in person a couple of times, and it is indeed a humbling experience to converse with him.”

Dr Rajkumar

“I have enjoyed listening to Dr Rajkumar sing and particularly admired the lyrics written by Chi Udayshankar. These two people were not only exceptionally talented but were also good human beings. Dr Rajkumar’s sweet voice and mesmerising tone would convey simple things very beautifully. My children have a large collection of modern songs but they too love Dr Rajkumar’s voice and sometimes, I hear them singing his old song, ‘Love me or hate me...’.”


“It’s hard for me to single out a particular person who has inspired me but if I have to, then it would be my mother Anusuya. She was the most progressive woman of her time and it is she who taught me that it’s never too late to learn anything new. However, I would say that life itself has inspired me as well. The many situations in my life have always taught me something new and shaped my thoughts.”


“I am not particular about what I eat. I am content with ‘anna rasam’ for lunch and ‘uppittu’, ‘chitranna’ or ‘idli’ for breakfast. This is my staple food which I never get tired of eating. I don’t really relate to pizzas or exotic food. My choice of food largely depends on the company I am in and my levels of hunger. When I am hungry, anything works well. I generally snack on healthy items and have small portions of nuts and salads. I try to stick to a healthy diet and don’t put on weight no matter what I eat, which I think is a blessing.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

“The books and the thoughts enunciated by Jiddu Krishnamurti have guided me through many a tough situation. His principles have helped me discover myself. He helps one understand how important it is to have a scientific understanding of oneself before looking outwards. Many of us are quick to make a comment about another person but do we really pause to look inwards before doing that? These are some of the thoughts by Jiddu Krishnamurti. The teachings in the Bhagvad Gita, the Bible and the Quran give one a clear understanding of life and how to handle the trials and tribulations that come with it.”


“I am most happy staying at home but if there’s one place that I really like, it’s Mysuru. The city is so clean and beautiful. Everything slows down after dusk but there’s still a certain inexplicable charm about the city. I also hang out in Coorg sometimes or in any hilly region. I love being around nature and my fondness for the hills stems from my childhood. We used to travel to  my father’s village in Kundapur and the rustic setting and village charm remains with me. My children love travelling and wish to travel across the world.”

(As told to Nina C George)

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