Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Search DH  
Home | About Us | Subscribe | Contact Us | Archives | Feedback | DH Avenues
Edit Page
Net Mail
Your Take
In City Today
Daily Almanac
Festivals of India
Year 2006
Daily Astrospeak 
Annual Chinese Horoscope - 2006 
Calendar 2006

Pearls of wisdom
Nothing is so dear and precious as time."
French Proverb

Economy & Business
'WINNING' with Jack & Suzy Welch
Metro Life - Mon
Science & Technology
DH Avenues
Cyber Space
Metro Life - Thurs
DH Education
  English For You
Studying in India 
Studying Abroad
Metro Friday
Open Sesame
DH Realty
Metro Life - Sat
Sunday Herald
Fine Art / Culture
Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
Art Reviews
Kuldip Nayar
Khushwant Singh
N J Nanporia
Tavleen Singh
Swami Sukhbodhananda
Bittu Sahgal
Suresh Menon
Shreekumar Varma
Movie Guide
Ad Links
International School
Real Estate Properties in Bangalore
Deccan Herald
Now Available
in Print Format
About Us

Send your Suggestions / Queries about the Website to the

To send letters to Editor : 
Letters to Editor

You are welcome to post your letters/responses to NETMAIL here.

For enquiries on advertisements :
Contact Us

Deccan Herald » Spectrum » Detailed Story
End of a path-breaking journey
Pattabhi Rama Reddy who died recently was a true Renaissance man, says Michael Patrao. He was a film-maker, poet, mathematician, socialist, theatre producer and director.
Pattabhi Rama Reddy, who died in Bangalore recently, at the age of 87, was truly a renaissance man. He was well-known as a film-maker, but what was little known was that he was also a poet, a mathematician, a socialist, theatre producer and director.

He had a chequered career and his path traversed many parts of the country and the world before he found his moorings in Bangalore. A long journey indeed for someone who was born in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on February 2, 1919.

Poetry and mathematics are strange bedfellows, but Reddy had an abiding interest in both these subjects. Reddy was greatly influenced by Rabindranath Tagore in Shantiniketan, where he studied for two years. He joined Calcutta University for his master's degree in English literature and stayed in a dingy room on Lower Chitpur Road in Calcutta. The poverty, the din, the squalor, and the human misery around shocked him to the core.The exploitation in the midst of crass commercialism disturbed him very much.


The metaphors of Tagore's poetry suddenly lost its meaning. It had become difficult for him to concentrate on his studies in Calcutta and he returned to Nellore. He reluctantly entered his family business of mica export at Gudur, and very often travelled between Madras and Nellore.

During his visits to Madras, he used to meet Sri Sri and Mallavarapu Visweswara Rao, both revolutionary poets. It is during this time he wrote Ragala Dozen (A Dozen Melodies), a collection that recorded his observations in Madras and Nellore and became one of the first free-verse poets in Telugu. Reddy later went on to study Mathematics in Columbia University.

Back in Madras he became an active member of Madras Players Amateur Theatres and produced and directed many plays. Snehalata also acted in Madras Players which also included Girish Karnad. Reddy rejected his ancestral wealth, broke ties with his family to wed Snehalata. He was reunited with his father only during his last days.

During the Emergency, Snehalatha was accused of concealing information about the whereabouts of George Fernandes (who later become Union Minister in successive governments), a trade union leader, whose arrest had been ordered in the Emergency roundup. Snehalata Reddy known to be a friend of Mr Fernandes, denied knowledge of Fernandes' whereabouts. She was jailed and interrogated for eight months. An asthmatic deprived of medicine, she fell seriously ill and was released just before her death. She died in January 1977.

Before foraying into the Kannada cinema world, he had a dalliance with the Telugu film industry, having produced Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddam and Pellinaati Pramaanalu in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He founded Jayanthi Pictures in association with K V Reddy and P N Reddy and produced the Telugu film, Pellinaati Pramanalu, which bagged the National award.

Parallel cinema movement

With his film Samskara (1970) he pioneered the parallel cinema movement in Kannada and ushered in the trend of experimental films in Kannada. Samskara not only brought international acclaim but has been recognised as a path-breaking attempt in Kannada and everybody who had been associated with it are names to be reckoned with.

It is arguably the first Kannada film to make an impact nationally. It won the national award for the Best Feature Film in 1971.

The film was made by an unlikely team of creative persons coming together. The director Reddy, was trained in Columbia, writer-actor Girish Karnad, was Oxford educated, the cameraman Tom Cowan was an Australian, the editor was Stevan Cartaw an Englishman and the story was based on the novel by U R Ananthamurthy, a professor of English literature, and the music director, Rajiv Taranath was also a professor of English and sarod artiste, a disciple of the legendary Ali Akbar Khan. The leading actress in Samskara was Snehalata.

Reddy made films sporadically, but all his films - Chanda Marutha (1977), Shrungara Masa (1984) and Devara Kadu (1993) won State awards.

Age had not mellowed his creative abilities. Even while in his eighties he scripted In the hour of Goda reinterpretation of Aurobindo’s Savitri, as a tribute to his wife Snehalata. It was originally meant to be a film in Hindi and English, with Tabu in the lead, but when the financier backed out it was made into a stage presentation.

He was closely associated with the Socialist movement in the State. The social concerns of Pattabhi Rama Reddy has manifested in the work of his daughter Nandana Reddy. A trade union lawyer, she along with Damodar Acharya established The Concerned for Working Child (CWC) in 1980 to focus on child labour. His son Konarak Reddy is a noted flemenco guitarist and is an accomplished artiste in his own right.
Comment on this article
Other Headlines
End of a path-breaking journey »
Unshakable faith in the twins »
A confluence of religious beliefs »
Tune in to Harikatha »
Healthcare counts »
Ad Links
Flowers cakes gifts to Bangalore Mumbai India
Florist Flowers Gifts Delhi Bangalore Mumbai
NRI Account at $250 only 
"Call 1800-INDIA-10 & Fly to India @ $699!"
Post your Matrimonial Profile for FREE! Search Exclusive Proposals from India and Abroad.
Buy Shoes, Slippers, Apparels, Furnitures Online.
Flowers to India, Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Florist, Indian, Bangalore, Gifts, India.
Send Flowers, Cakes, Chocolate, Fruits to Pune.
Send Gift Cake Flower India Online
Mother's Day flowers Bangalore, Singapore, Germany, Japan, HK  
Purchase Jewelry, Sandals, Books, Watches Online.
Send Flowers, Cakes, Sweets & Gifts to India
Copyright 2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G. Road, Post Box No 5331, Bangalore - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523