“If at all I have a next life...I will not be born on this Earth” says dashing director Puri Jagannadh on his birthday. Here is an exclusive interview with the creative director where every answer of his was like a dialogue from his films!
It is 100 years since Cinema was born. What would you have done if you were born 100 years ago?
If I were born 100 years ago, then Lumiere brothers were alive. They used to run touring talkies with a print, projector and a tent. I would have met them in some town. I would have requested them and went along with them. If I were really born at an age when there was no Cinema, I’d not have suited for any profession except agriculture.
Did you ever feel like it would have been nicer to have born somewhere else apart from here?
I always feel it would have been nicer to be born in Europe because my favorite artists and musicians are from that continent.
When was the writer born in you?
The writer in me came out when I was in sixth standard. After reading those books given by my dad again and again, I started writing myself. I wrote my first story when I was 11 years old that too based on an illegal affair. A rich old man has a young wife. The story is about a love story between the young wife and a painter.
You must be having many friends. But when did the first friendship begin for you?
I always liked to make friends with people elder to me. We used to have a touring talkies and the operator’s name is Raju. After school I used to go there. Raju used to teach me how to load a film in projector and put carbon sticks. I used to smoke with my dad’s friends. Surprisingly they never complained about this to my parents. Moreover, they used to be quite casual with me.
When did you fall in love for the first time?
I wrote a love letter to my classmate when I was in 5th standard. That girl innocently asked me, “What is this?” . I thought poor girl, she must not have had much maturity by then. In 8th standard I gave another letter to the same girl and again she asked “What is this” with the same expression. I thought, maybe I am rushing into things and better to take time. I wrote a beautiful love letter at the age of 16 when I was in 10th standard and again the same reaction came from her. It was then I lost impression on her and decided that she hasn’t got the maturity and it wouldn’t come at all- and forgot her!
When did the director evolve in you?
I myself don’t know when the director in me came out. When I wrote a stage play and directed it my parents understood I have good directional skills. They immediately gave me Rs.20, 000 and told “You better join film industry because you can excel there!” and encouraged me by sending to Hyderabad. After having a samosa and tea in narayanaguda - rest of the story happened!
How do dialogues like “Okka sari commit aithe naa mata nene vinanu” or “maatallevu...matladukotalu levu” emerge? How do you feel when your own dialogues are repeated in other films?
My dialogues depend on my ignorance, arrogance and sarcasm. Usually dialogues come first to me, and then the story evolves. My dad used to tell me if you know how idiotic you are, that is enough (Nuvvu entha vedhavvo neeku telisthe chalu). I was sure nobody except me could write it as a dialogue. And except Mahesh no other hero has the guts to deliver it. Because he is so confident about himself, Mahesh could deliver it well. When I see my dialogues in other films, it gives me Tutthi- aka satisfaction (This is Bapu garu’s dialogue!)
You often name your films with negative words. Right from Idiot to Heart Attack there were so many such titles. How do these negative titles come up?
Why would I put negative titles deliberately? I don’t know whether they are negative at all. If we do any work with confidence it becomes positive. At times I write bad language and I don’t become aware of it. If I knew why would I write so? There is censor board anyway to control people like me!
Right from Badri to Iddarammayilatho all your films were musical hits. How did the musical taste in you take its birth?
Just like everybody I have music sense. We cannot live without it. Song is part of our lives. Even while doing labor work, we hum a tune. After death, Ghantasala’s Bhagavad Gita is already there. No agitation can happen without songs. One cannot say whether a story would be hit by hearing it but for a song we can instantly say whether it is good or bad. Just like how you say by hearing the audio, I get good music for my films by telling the music director what I need.
How did you get the thought of making Idiot with Ravi Teja and Pokiri with Mahesh Babu?
Even the thought wouldn’t know how it is born. The ideas somewhere in corner of my heart suddenly come out in a systematic manner. Whatever thought comes, it becomes a film. My hits as well as flops are accidental.
Your birthday comes on September 28th every year. Which birthday gave you most happiness in life?
Every day where we sleep and get up is a birthday. One day we cannot get up and everything stops there. Till now I forgot my birthday twice because of some tensions. Dasara festival day alone is not a festival. When we are good, that day is. I don’t like when somebody says “God Bless you” on my birthday. I would prefer blessing the God! I live now, but will go away sometime later from this World. God is eternal, that’s why he should be happy.
How do you like to be born if you have another life?
If at all I have a next life...I will not be born on this Earth. I will be born in another planet! Because we never know how women would be in another planet!!