On my pinboard: K M Chaitanya

K M Chaitanya

K M Chaitanya made his debut in the Kannada film industry with the movie ‘Aa Dinagalu’. The film won him several awards. He is also known for some of his other films like ‘Suryakaanti’, ‘Paraari’, ‘Aatagara’ and most recently ‘Aake’ which did quite well at the box office. His next project is called ‘Amma I love you’. It will feature veteran actors Chiranjeevi Sarja and Sitara in prominent roles.

Music 

Ilaiyaraaja 

“As a child, I grew up listening to records of Pakeeza and Umrao Jaan. My parents often took me to attend concerts of Hindustani and Carnatic music. Since my family was closely involved with theatre, I was also surrounded by a lot of theatre music. Later, I heard Ilaiyaraaja and became an avid fan. I have heard his songs like ‘Nothing But Wind’ and ‘How to Name it’ on a loop till my family almost began to worry about my obsession. When I got a chance to work with him years later, it was truly a dream come true. Recently, a friend on the internet introduced me to jazz music. I love it.”

Books

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“I am pretty indiscriminate when it comes to books. I have been an avid reader since childhood. I read Dostoyevsky when I was in high school. I also love Latin American literature, particularly the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende. Russian authors like him, Tolstoy and Gorky have shaped much of my thought. In Kannada literature, I am a fan of Tejaswi and Lankesh. Of late, I have become a fan of the late Japanese Manga artist Osamu Tezuka. I started with his series on Buddha and my collection of his work has grown as I have read almost every book of his that I can find my hands on.” 

Travel 

Sarkundi pass 

“I am in a field that requires me to travel a lot. My film shoots have taken me to Goa, Uttaranchal, Uzbekistan and the UK. My most memorable trip was my trek to Sarkundi pass in the Himalayas with my wife. It was a 12-day trek where we travelled about 15 kilometers every day uphill till we reached 12,900 feet above sea level. I am used to the comfort of home or the luxuries of a film set. But the trek was an altogether different experience. We were allowed to carry only five kilos per person. There was no phone, no cosy rooms, not even toilets!”

Cinema 

Mani Ratnam

“Guru Dutt and Mani Ratnam are the Indian filmmakers who I have admired the most. Their films are artistic, emotional and at the same time, they tried to ensure their films had all the elements of popular cinema. The work of Sergio Leone and Robert Zemeckis have also greatly inspired me. Leone’s style and narrative technique is something that I have tried to emulate. Zemeckis is versatile and is willing to dabble in a variety of genres. And that has fascinated me about his work.” 

Food 

Rice and dal

“A lot of people are amused when I say that my favourite dish is ‘Tauvve Anna’ (rice and dal). It is nutritious, light on the stomach and really tasty. This is one dish I won’t mind eating every day. I also love seafood. But since I belong to a vegetarian household, I have to depend on friends who make fish at home or the occasional seafood restaurant.” 

Inspiration 

K Marulasiddappa

“I belong to a family of writers. My father K Marulasiddappa has been keenly involved in Kannada arts and culture. My grandfather GS Sivarudrappa was a poet.  After my studies, I got to work as an assistant with filmmaker Girish Karnad. He became my mentor. Both of them are fearless and vocal on social and political issues. They showed me that it is not always important to say what people like to hear. It is more important to say what we think is right. They are also inspiring because of the amount of reading and research that goes into all that they do or say.”

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On my pinboard: K M Chaitanya

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