The 13 who stopped and supped at Indra Bhavan

Venkataramana Pandit Krishna Murthy alias V.K. Murthy, the Mysore-born cinematographer, the first to be chosen for the Dada Saheb Phalke award, on being felicitated by his alma mater Sharada Vilas college, on the Quit India movement anniversary:

Star of Mysore: What made you join the freedom struggle?

V.K. Murthy: Among the fondest of my childhood memories was the inspiration I derived from Mahatma Gandhi. India was fighting for its freedom and Gandhiji was a constant source of inspiration for many youngsters like me. I still vividly remember being arrested and sent to jail. In fact I remember that day so well as if the canvas is there in front of me.

Star of Mysore: … and you found yourself in jail! How did it happen?

VKM: In my student days I was very enthusiastic. I was ready to do anything for the nation. During the 1942 Quit India movement, Tulasidas Dasappa and H.Y. Sharada Prasad were arrested one day.

The next day sheepishly I along with a group of some 65 students on a cycle went in front of the police chowki (jail) shouting, ‘Mahatma Gandhi ki jai, Bharath mata ki jai.’

The guard standing near the jail entrance stopped and told us to meet the jail superintendent. I replied that we are not his slaves and instead asked him to come and meet us.

The Jail Superintendent came out and requested, ‘Please come inside.’ The anti-climax was that when I turned to seek my supporters, there were only thirteen left ! And we entered the jail.

I was thinking they would release us by evening, but we were kept inside prison for three months. The jail superintendent, an Indian named Sheshu Iyer, was a kind-hearted person who often got us eatables and coffee. He even took us to Indra Bhavan (on Sayyaji Rao road) on our way to the Court where we were taken once in 15 days. By the time I was released I had put on 5 pounds weight.

Visit the website: Star of Mysore

T.S. SATYAN: Once upon a time during the Quit India movement

M.V. KRISHNASWAMY: Memories of another day