Inspiring Stories
A collection of personal Interviews with celebrated leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate honchos or any success stories.

K Kalyan

K. Kalyan (born 1st January, 1975) is an Indian lyricist and music director predominantly working since last 20 years in Kannada cinema. He has won several prestigious awards and is popularly called as "Premakavi" ("Love Poet") for his foot tapping music and inspiring lyrics on romance theme. He is considered to be one of the leading Music composer and lyricist of Kannada cinema. He is also known for his good gestures in up-bringing new talents to the film industry.
k kalyan,kannada film industry
I have turned very few pages of my life there's loads to explore yet. We were very poor then. There were times where we had slept empty stomach. My dad used to work as a priest in a temple. He used to bring the food that was offered to god. We were surviving on that food only. Once I remember,when I was in my grade 6, my father had to go somewhere out of town for 4 days. We didn't have anything to eat at all. We prepared gruel out of little rice that was at home and we preserved it for three days and consumed it. We were zero at that time, we are zero now and we will be zero forever. Let God decide what he has to put before or after the zero. If we are genuine enough, he just knows to give and we don't have to ask him. God has hammered well and shaped me better in every single step of my life.

Today when God has blessed us with so much. When we prepare rich food and even if we serve food to thousands, I still peep into the kitchen and see if I find anything remaining. Till date we all eat if remainder of the previous day. We don't feel ashamed. We find happiness there. No matter how much we grow in life, we should never forget our past and should never get carried away with what we have got.

I remember the days where we have slept on a piece of torn clothes and many a time our dad's towel was our bed. Even at that time the reason why all were happy was love. The love that our parents showered on us and the trust that we had on our parents. Though we were sleeping on torn clothes, that love and trust gave us the strength of dreaming big. How much ever wealthier you are, if you don't dream, then your wealth is of no value.

I never had the craze of entering the film industry at all. I never even dreamt of it. Because my father was a priest in a temple. Very poor family ours was. There was not even a single person related to this film industry in our entire family. So I had no godfather, nobody who could stand by me and encour-age my talent. Somehow with a lot of difficulties, I passed my grade 10. Lat-er joined for Diploma in Computer science. That I couldn't complete be-cause of the problems that we had then. What next was the question, that I could never answer. At that time one thing that used to get my mood right was "my mom's songs". She was a classical singer. That influenced me a lot. Kind of used to create a different environment on the whole. That time to share my views and emotions, the only set of friends I had were the pen and the paper. I started writing my feelings. I started composing whatever came to my mind. I was not sure of the path ahead. Should I catch my dad's way and become a priest!.. should I search for a job in a factory!.. I cried so much. At that I wrote a line in Kannada, "Tanneeru deha shuddi maadidre, kanneeru manasanna shuddi maadatte."(Meaning: If cold water purifies the body, tears purify your soul) Then. when I was just 15 years old, a scholar by name Chakravarty Ayangar, wrote my horoscope and told that you have a bright future in the field of art, music and literature. Come what may, keep walking in that route and you shall succeed, he said. For the kind of situation. I was at, that sounded fascinating and surreal. It was looking like the top of the Himalayas, when you stand at the bottom. Then I started building ladder to the top using my words. Thanks to my parents. They encouraged a lot and they said that if a scholarly man like him has told you to go in that path, you should be following his words. Don't look behind and start walking in that direction they said. Those words were the foundation and acted like a big back bone and gave me the courage to explore this path of mine. As time went by, I got a chance to work under the man of rich wisdom Mr. Hamsalekha(Famou music director of Kannada industry), for three years. After I started working with that great man, my talent got wings and I could fly thence.

I have spent many days with no satisfaction and disappointments. I have seen days where I was totally blank, having no idea about the future. Even at that time, I just used to close my eyes and think of God and just say him that I believe you. I was sincere throughout and keeping that as my asset, my strength, however you call it as, I kept walking without looking behind. Once V Manohar(music director), when was with Hamsalekha sir, he became a good friend and a well wisher of mine. He had seen me working with Hamsalekha sir. Once he wanted a song for one of his movies and he was like, call K Kalyan, I would want him to write a song for me. I didn't have any mobile phone, nor I had any pager or any medium to contact me. Our singer Mr. LN Shastry, took his motorbike and searched my house and reached me. He was like you have to come urgently, you need to write a song. It's been 20 years almost since this incident happened. That was a pathos song. As my situation was also like that, song came in the flow easily. I didn't have to make an effort. After that I started writing for Manohar sir for sometime, then came an opportunity to write for a film made by Kashinath sir(Actor & Director), that was my first composed song that got released. I don't remember stopping after that.
I wrote for 44 films continuously from then. But none of them was a hit and that made me rethink and reconsider my career. I started thinking that film industry is not for a common man like me. We can only think of it and can't pray it to become a reality, why did I even enter this industry and all that. Meanwhile I got another picture to work for. 45th film that was called "Nammoora mandara huve"(Meaning:Oh beautiful flower of our town). Surprisingly three songs of that movie became very famous and got me fame overnight.

Immediately after that, I got a chance to write all the songs for a film called "Amritavarshini"(Shower of Immortality), which was a super hit and people love it till date. Meanwhile I started building my career in music direction as well. There I saw flops continuously again. It scared me. I was like "God why is it happening, by the time I see a hit, there are so many flops following!!". Then this film "Chandramukhi Pranasakhi" [Meaning:Moon faced(as beautiful as moon), soul mate]came my way. I composed and that was very fruitful. That got me many film fare awards, state awards and so on. There I learnt a great lesson. Before seeing or tasting success, it is compulsory to go through a little pain. So ever after that, whenever I am facing problem, I know one thing for sure that something's big coming my way. You will surely see success whenever you see failure.

I never believe in debating. I always have believed in blessings. So may be that is why Dr. Rajkumar's(Famous actor of Kannada film industry), Dr. Vishnuvardhan's(Famous actor of Kannada film industry), Dr. SP Balasubramanyam's(Multilingual singer) families, blessed me and showered love on me like so genuinely. Even today there love and blessings are there. For that matter even KS Narasimhaswamy's(Composer) family and especially Master Hirannaiah's(Dramartist) family poured so much love on me. Gave me a place in their heart and family.

In every step most importantly that which saved me were Patience, good character and self confidence. There's a lot of difference between being slow and being patient. Being slow never helps you in anyway. But being patient gets you everything that you want in life. So far I have written around 2500 songs. Some are patriotic, some are romantic, some are thought provoking and many like that. But even today, there's a fear and devotion before writing a song. Every single second I face a new curiosity. Satisfying this curiosity itself is life.

When it comes to work life, you will find some people holding your and some trying to pull you down. Than blaming a person for your problems/failure, it is always better to leave it to the time. When our time is good, nobody in the world can disturb even a single hair of our body. But when our time is bad, our hair only becomes a sword and cuts our throat. I believe each one in my life has helped me always. In life 50% of the people we meet if teach us how to live life, 50% of them teach how not to live life. So till the time we are alive, let's love all and respect all and stay happy always.

People have categorised writers like - he can only write romantic songs, he can write only pathos, he can write only this and that. But it is not like that. An actor can imbibe any character that is given to him. Similarly a writer can write according to any situation given to him. Music directors can compose any kind of music. People start branding us under a particular forte/style. Why people are branding us like this I feel sometimes. Sometimes I ll be like that's fine, if people like me that way, then let that be that way. After digesting that, you will get to hear that you don't have market right now. You have vanished from the industry and all that.
People are like that. When you are successful their jaws drop, when you fail also they give the same expression. Everything is a lesson. Everyone teaches you. Everyone is good. Everyone should be loved.

Here I would want to share an experience of mine. It was my fourth film for which I composed music. Recording got over and everything went so well and looking at the kind of quality output, I thought that I am definitely going to achieve something great for sure in this industry. But then, unfortunately it didn't happen that way. It's been 19 years now, the movie hasn't got released at all. Indeed it taught me a big lesson. It is a myth to assume that we are going to win in whatever best we do. That doesn't mean that we should stop working completely. We should stop work-ing in assumptions. But we should always carry a will to win any situation.

I find love in everything.. everywhere..
Love has a place even in its opposite word called Hatred. You love to hate somebody. Ha ha.. Keep smiling.
Never love to hate somebody.
Love to love everything.
Love you all. Thank you!

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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 March 2013.

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