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Yograj Bhat - A unique flavour to kannada film industry

"I feel confusion leads to clarity. When you are confused know that you have many options in front you. Confusion is my guru; it is my mentor", says one of the eminent movie directors of Kannada film industry, Mr. Yograj Bhat.
Yogaraj Bhat is a prominent Kannada film director, lyricist, producer and screenwriter. He is most predominantly known for the film Mungaru Male, which he co-wrote with Preetam Gubbi. He was also the director of the film and was one of the lyricists in the film. The film recorded the highest box-office collections in the history of Kannada cinema and currently holds the record for the longest running film at a multiplex.

He is the top most lyricist of the Kannada Film Industry. He has rendered lyrics to hundreds of popular, super hit songs for the films Mungaru Male, Gaalipata, Circus, Jackie, Junglee, Inthi Ninna Preethiya, Hudugaru, Paramathma, Manasaare, Pancharangi, Kiladi Kitti, Devru, Chingari, Drama, Puttakkana Highway, Super, Anna Bond, Only Vishnuvardhana, Kichha Huchha, Crazy Loka, Lucky, Lifeu Ishtene, Shiva, Jaanu, Cheluveye Ninna Nodalu, Johny Mera Naam,Victory, Male Barali Manju Irali and many more.

As a new entrant to the film industry, Yograj Bhat served as an assistant director under Girish Kasaravalli, V. Ravichandran, Sunil Kumar Desai and B Suresha. Talking about this experience he says "It was not about who the guru was. It was about being employed, It was the thrill of watching film-making at close quarters. I even enjoyed being admonished by these directors. The thrill of standing next to a camera and listening to its sound is inexplicable. He directed a TV serial, Chakra before making his first feature film.
Source: Wikipedia

Read more to know his story...

How did you start your journey with the movie industry?

Take the example of anybody, a carpenter, a contractor, people who claim tax, real estate agent, bank manager; you meet anybody, if you ask them about their profession their current profession wouldn't be the one which they wanted to pursue. This is the case with most of the people. In order to do something what they wanted to do, they would have ended up doing something else itself. Most of the times what we won't get is what we actually desire. Same applies to me as well. This is not a field that I was desperate to be in. I used to feel inferior looking at the spirits of people. I was never that excited in doing things. I used to do because a lot of times I had to do. I didn't know my priority before. Everything was uncertain. I wanted to be something; I tried something else and ended up landing here in this industry. According to me, there is no better clarity than confusion itself. I am always confused. I am troubled with my confusions. I am happy with my confusions.

How was your childhood? What is your educational background?

I spent whole of my childhood in Dharwad (district in Karnataka, India). I was a hyper child. My studies for few years went in Dharwad and few in Mysore. After completing my degree, while pursuing my masters I discontinued my studies. I was doing my LLB, I left even that in between. Then I came into this cinema field.

How was your journey?

I had a great passion towards still photography and cinematography. I came here to the industry to try something. My literature background was good. I had a myth that I knew at least something in literature. So things got messed up and I ended up becoming a director. But initially I came to become a cinematographer. As confusion is my first mantra, it was very confusing as to whether I should be a Cinematographer or a Director.

What were the challenges that you faced?

There was no special challenge as such. I was busy all my life. When you have work in hand, you don't have to worry that much. There won't be much uncertainty in life. I have no such stories of struggles. Like few people say that they could afford only a meal a day, had to sleep in footpath; I have no such stories. I was privileged enough and had no troubles as such. Hurdles are a part of every field. You can see height for a long time, but it is difficult to fly over it. I usually don't get to know as to where I am having trouble. It is because of the circle that I am surrounded by- friends, relatives, colleagues and well-wishers.

There is always a big fight that happens between the words 'luck' and 'hard work'. Which one do you support?

I support Confusion. To get clarity in anything, you will first have a dilemma. For example, to buy a mobile, to marry someone, there's always a choice. A man has many options in front of him in anything he chooses to do. But to choose one he need not choose the rest of them. Just because you choose one it doesn't mean that the rest are of no value. The only thing that evaluates your decision is your "Future". So clarity is nothing but heights of confusion according to me.

yograj bhat,kannada film industry What do you have to say to the youngsters who are willing to enter this field but have no clarity or apt mentoring?

I have been to many colleges and have seen many youngsters, I feel there are very few who are deeply rooted and are stubborn, hardheaded who are unshakeable. Knowing just the food culture of India is not enough. You need to have enough knowledge about our nation. To talk about literature, culture, heritage, history, you need to have some knowledge about all of that. Your roots should be strong enough and should have gotten spread all over. The roots should not be weak. They should have a deep Indian sense in them. They should know that Indian sound. One should be deeply rooted and the root should not be visible.

There are many youngsters who are very talented and they are not getting any support. How are you (in the Kannada film industry) supporting such people? Who supported you for being whatever you are today?

Somebody can suggest you; somebody can give you a good job. There are some or the other people who can support you in any of the field that you enter. If the school is good it doesn't mean that every student clears the exam. There are many students who top in a very ordinary school. What about them? There is no common rule for every individual. It varies from person to person. Their life depends on what they do. There is nothing like someone should come and support. If the person is working hard somebody automatically comes and supports him. There will be somebody in every field that you enter. Again it is an individual capacity. Get into that network. Everyone has support in every way in any field.
What are the challenges that a director faces before the release of a film?

It is almost like the state of a mother while giving birth to a child. It is a social cum mental pressure. Will the child be fine? Will that be a girl or a boy? Will it be stable mentally? Similarly a theatre has questions like, 'What will the audience think?', 'How will they receive it?', 'How will they perceive it?' and all such questions will start appearing. If audience scolds it anywhere it is lost. If people appreciate then it is a success. Directors would have made it with loads of hopes and plans. They would have worked on where people should laugh, where they should cry and all that. If people don't laugh where they should but laugh somewhere else, we feel really bad. 'How do they act?', 'What do they say?', etc., are the common questions that run throughout. Audience is the proprietor; he is the boss. We have supplied goods to him. 'What will he say about it?' is the biggest question that awaits an answer that decides the fate of the film. We look very calm at that stage. But loads would be running inside the mind. People from whom we expect a great review might give us the worst one. Many good comments and reviews come from unpredicted sources.

What is your message for our readers?

I feel confusion leads to clarity. When you are confused know that you have many options in front you. Confusion is my guru; it is my mentor. When I am confused is when I think. That's when new ideas get generated. That's when revolution happens. But remember that revolutions don't happen every time.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 25th February 2014.

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