‘Anisuthide yaako, means are as vital as the end’

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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