Poet and short story teller; columnist and magazine editor; television anchor and film script writer.
JAYANT KAIKINI has done this, that and the other in a long career in sentences and stanzas, images and ideas—and done each of them to wah-wahs all round. But it’s his work as a film lyricist that has taken his wizardry with words into the SIM cards and CD drives of every Kannadiga on every continent.
A trained biochemist, Jayant worked for 23 years in Bombay as a production chemist for Hoechst and Procter & Gamble. In an interview with Gaurish Akki of TV9 last week, the son of Gourish Kaikini said the laboratory of Kannada arts and literature, cinema and culture, was better stocked these days but somehow more was not necessarily merrier:
“There is a problem of plenty in Kannada today. We have more of everything today—more media, more movies, more books. Every Friday, a couple of new films get released; every Sunday three new books. Yet there is a strange feeling of something not quite complete….
“In the past if you asked young children what they wanted in life, they would say they wanted to become a teacher, or a driver or bank officer, or a doctor or engineer. There was a quiet dignity of labour; a belief that one led to the other. Money was the end, sure, but the means were as important.
“Today, all you want to become is rich. All that counts is money, it doesn’t matter how you make it, where you make it, what means you adopt to make it. And parents drill this end-is-all-that-counts worldview quite early in their children’s lives with endless self-absorptive talk which is all about themselves, their house, their helmet, and their Shanti Sagar.”
Photograph: Karnataka Photo News
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The media, including the movie world that Kaikini now represents, are to blame for this. Not too long ago, it was routine for the professions to be embedded in movie titles, especially in Telugu (“Mechanic Alludu”, etc). The hero went to work, did his “duty”, earned a living, overcame hardships, fell in love, etc. In today’s films, the hero is born with a Porsche, end of story.
The media too is constantly hyping the Fortune 500 and Forbes lists endlessly. Money is the only thing that catches the media’s fancy. Barkha Dutt was interviewing Mukesh Ambani on Saturday and all she could ask was how much money he had, how much he carried, whether he had credit cards, etc. Obviously stuff like this goes into the heads of people who are trying to catch up with the Janardhans.
Maybe this fixation is not such a bad thing. The teachers, bank clerks, drivers whom Kaikini extols all did the honest thing. At a recent function where Nandan Nilekani was present, a teacher got up and said he had retired recently and that his final salary was Rs 24,000. “But you people give Rs 25,000 to freshers.” Is that good or bad? If it’s good, is it such a bad thing to just look at the money, especially in a world where we can jump jobs much more easily and keep ourselves alive?
wish Jayanth Kaikini had said this before he put his children in Innisfree school which takes children to USA / Nasa for trips and where Madam Sheela Bolar keeps only those kids whose parents are rich and famous and does not admit anyone middleclass. Money is not ‘just money’ these days. Even primary school children know that you cant even become a teacher/engineer/bank clerk/driver without money. Stop living in the past. Tell how things can be improved NOW.
Typical leftist crib. In reality past was bad. Good times are here. The fact that Kaikini’s kids goto Innisfree is a testimony to this.
Are you talking about the Innisfree school in JP Nagar I phase, bangalore? If it is so, I did not know that they had grown that much. At one time they were struggling and fighting a losing battle to hold on to the property they had illegally encroached in JP Nagar I phase.
@Animal Eyed – Childhood is the time to dream, to dream creatively, artistically, emotionally. If at that age all that childern can think of is money, marks, and designations, then that is destructive. To that effect, Jayant is right. Through this process, when one grows up and earns money, then the person has the right balance to know the true meaning of money.
thanks for endorsing my view! you are a part of the system and even propagate it and then crib about it! thats what I meant. if you want to change things you must BE the change you want to be! who said that?
Agree with Mriganayani – It’s time to stop living in the past.
Every generation seems to have something to say about the next generation and how they are on the ‘wrong’ path!
EeRUVUDELAAVA BITTU EeRADEDEGE TUDIVUDE JEEVANAA
Who said that Mrs. Sheela Bolar takes only childrn whose parents are rich? Whatd o you know about that school?It is very good.
Innisfree House School is one of the best schools ever founded. Mrs.Sheela Bolar ma’am does not take only the children whose “parents are rich”. It’s just that the fees there is high. Why is it high? It is high because of the facilities they provide are abundant. The fee structure would obviously be that high (if not more) for a school that has plasma screens in EACH and EVERY one of it’s classrooms. That’s the least of it. People who can’t pay the hefty fees don’t admit the children there. Thats all…. and the “losing battle” they were fighting has been won by them…. :P ….. So, Mr.Jayant Kaikini sir is and will always be proud of admitting his children there….