T N Seetharam

Published on: June 2013
I am from a small village. My father was the "Shaanbhoga" of our village. I studied in Doddaballapura (a place near Bangalore, India), and to start at the beginning, here it is: I had an inferiority complex. I was afraid of talking to people. In 1964-65, my most beloved sister passed away. My life took a big turn because of that incident. I started taking life more seriously. When something starts disturbing you, you actually become more serious.

My father used to read the books written by "Kumara Vyasa"(Famous Indian author), and that influenced me a lot. I started to learn his poems and stories. I studied in a government school and then my PU in National college. Later I took up LLB. When I was 19 years old, I lost my father. So I went back to agriculture, as my father was also an agriculturist.
T N Seetharam,gauribidanur
When you feel inferior, you want to somehow come into the limelight and gather confidence. I also wanted the same thing. I was very interested in Dramas. Mr. Lankesh (My guru) saw my drama. He started giving me main roles in all his dramas. I was in a hostel and many of my hostel mates influenced me.

How did you come from there to this profession?

I have written many dramas. There was the 100th show running in Madras of the drama that I had written. At that time Mr. Puttana Kanagal was present there. He was taking rest in Chennai as he had just then recovered from a heart attack. He was very much impressed looking at my drama. He asked me to write dialogues and screen play for his next movie. I agreed and worked for a movie called "Manasa sarovara". Then, I got a chance to work for another film of his by name "Dharani mandala madhyadolage". After that I wrote for Mr. Nagabharana. By that time Doordarshan channel had started. That acted like a platform for all the people who were into dramas, to step into the TV soaps world.

Earlier, in Doordarshan they used to telecast a show once a week .i.e. on every Tuesday. We were supposed to end a serial after 13 episodes. Yearly 4 such soaps were run on the channel. I started with a soap called "Mukha mukhi", and went on to do another one called "Sphota". During Indira Gandhi's time, they had called for an "Emergency". I was imprisoned as I stood against "Emergency". Many were behind bars by opposing it then. Nobody would take up political issues then, but I used to because I had an opportunity to watch political moves very closely.
Then I applied asking for a slot for "Mayamriga". We were supposed to give a pilot episode. Only if that got selected could we be able to take it forward. For my surprise they rejected it. Mayamriga was rejected. Then I went to the Director of the Doordarshan and asked him to watch it once. He had good knowledge of literature. When he saw, he approved it and asked me to start the soap. It created history.

The writing field does not have glamour as of today. People come and take your autograph when they see you on screen. People who work off screen are hardly recognised.

What was the toughest situation that you faced in your life?

I had signed surety for somebody's loan, to start a factory. That person took his money and absconded. On the day of my marriage, I got summons from the court. Then I had no option but to run that factory. I did that till I could clear its loan for 13 years.

Many dream of becoming an actor. What do you want to tell them?

Dreams are always fascinating. Many want to enter the field of acting. I appreciate. Do anything you want after you complete your studies.


Don't enter a field because you think it is good. Enter it only when you know it is good and you're sure of doing it.
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