Society

I am...Revanna

Revanna K. Photo: Sampath Kumar G P

Revanna K. Photo: Sampath Kumar G P  

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Project Assistant, Nataka Academy

I am from Turavekere. We are four brothers. I failed in PUC and at that time, in the mid Eighties, I came to look for a job in Bengaluru. Life was not easy back home. When I came to Bengaluru, the city was reeling in tension because the Rajkumar-Vishnuvardhan differences over the Gokak issue. One of our relatives died on the spot in National College where the incident took place. He left behind his wife and three daughters. My uncle was close to writer P. Lankesh, critic D.R. Nagaraj, Maanu who was English lecturer and an actor. With their help, he got the deceased man’s wife a small job at the Corporation office. He even collected some money and started a printing press for her. Since I was doing nothing much at that time, he put me in that printing press, Arasu Mudranalaya.

I learnt this job very well. And my fingers worked faster than my eyes. On my uncle’s insistence I joined the Evening College and completed my degree. Maanu was my teacher. By the time I completed my degree I was out of the printing press. I met Nagaraj Murthy and Kappanna from Kannada theatre and they began to train me in backstage work. I had no place to stay nor did I have any money to live. I lived with two other friends in a small house in Yediyur and since they had a job they used to pay the rent. They never ever asked me for money. Whatever little money I earned from backstage and the generosity of friends I somehow lived.

In 1993, Chindodi Leela became the Chairman of the Karnataka Nataka Academy and Kappanna became the registrar. He got me a job as project assistant in the Academy which was a daily wage job. After 22 years of service, I still remain a daily wager. With a daily wage job, life can be far from easy. But I have worked through the nights doing backstage work and that has kept the hearth burning. I married the third daughter of this relative who lost her husband. She and my children are a huge plus point in my life – they have been so undemanding making life happy and smooth.

I was always interested in organizing --- the late CGK and G.V. Atri were great inspiration to me. Organising never meant earning money, but to enrich the Kannada world. I wanted to run a different kind of an institution, so I started Bhagavataru in 2001. CGK would always, “Have great ideas to begin with. Money can come into the picture later.” I believe in it. For the very first programme, we collected 1.25 lakhs through donations, can you imagine?! Till date, Bhagavataru has done programmes for 13 years, and all of them have been greatly appreciated not only for the ideas, but also for its execution. We have revived nearly 20 plays that were no longer in production. I want to bring back old memories, and our children should not forget the richness of this Kannada culture.

Some of us, like-minded friends, got together and started a co-operative society, Suprabhata. We have done a lot of good work through this institution. I have served as president twice. There are no rich people in the core committee, all from common walks of life. Our motto is to help people, after all even I have survived only because people were willing to help me. People matter a lot to me, and within my limited resources, I want to keep helping them and be with them.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2020 8:16:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/society/i-amrevanna/article6691031.ece

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