Friday, July 20, 2007

Guru Dutt’s cameraman

Cinematographer V K Murthy has in him a book or two; and it is time an enterprising publisher talked to him into writing them. In a recent visit to his native Mysore (Mr Murthy is now settled in Bangalore) the man who shot Guru Dutt’s classics such as Pyaasa, Kagaz ke Phool, and Sahib, Bibi aur Gulam spoke of his life and times with famed director in Bombay.

Mr Murthy who gave up his schooling in Mysore and violin lessons to go to Bombay in search of work in visual media was with Guru Dutt for much of his career. Following the death of the latter Mr Murthy worked with directors such as Pramod Chakraborthy, Shyam Benegal and Govind Nihalani. But Mr Murthy is best known in the film industry for his association with Guru Dutt.

Perhaps, no one else has better credentials to do a definitive biography on the late director. So close to him was Mr Murthy, it is said that every time Guru Dutt had attempted suicide the first call from the director’s household went to Mr Murthy. As he put it, “whenever the call came…I would run to his house and rush him to the hospital”. When it happened the third time Mr Murthy’s efforts failed. Guru Dutt died.

In response to a query whether Kaagaz Ka Phool was autobiogrphical Mr Murthy is reported to have observed, “It looks like that….It almost seems like he rehearsed before actually committing suicide”.

1 comment:

Guru said...

Very interesting reading. It is a pity that Mr Murthy's talents were not recognised in his native Karnataka. A student of Lakshmipuram School? The school must be proud of
such a talented artist. It was said that Hitchcock was a master in using ,the effect of light. If he had known Murthy's ability who knows what would have happened!