She is a theatre artist who has broken all records. In the profession for about 80 years, Chindodi Leela, the great theatre artist of Karnataka has been the recipient of innumerable awards including the Dr. Gubbi Veeranna Award, the PadmaShri, the Sangeet Natak Academy award. She is now planning on forming a theatre in the Devanagara City.
Once when have you been associated with theatre?
Theatre has been a part of my life right from childhood. My father Chindodi Veerappa, met Narlodi Krishnaraj Ayyar, a famous musician in Mysore. He was the founder of the Drama company KBR, Kari Basava Rajendra. Along with five of my brothers. At the age of seven, I enrolled myself in this drama school and have been associated with the art since then.
What form of theatre do you believe in?
I do professional drama. Plays that are based on everyday life situations are my forte. Though I have been a part of a number of plays based on mythological stories and historical events as well. Such as Janapada, Gunasagari, Tipu Sultan.I started out in 1928. It has been 80 years since then. During the freedom struggle I was a part of a play called Mahatma Gandhi which was banned by the British in 1947.
As long as I am on stage doing something meaningful, I am the happiest person on earth.
Your play Polusana Magalu has been played for the 100th time since 1995. Can you tell us something about it?
Polusana Magalu means a policeman’s daughter.Its a typical love story in which the villain and the policeman’s a daughter fall in love and the daughter ends up shooting the villain in the end. The treatment, the dialogues, the music and the plot made it a hit. In fact it had its name in the Guinnes Book of World Records as well for having been played the maximum number of times in a single theatre called the Buddivendera Theatre.
What does theatre mean to you?
Theatre for me is a stage of high quality profession. It is a temple, a sacred place and it has to be given the highest respect at all times. I have devoted my life for it. I worship it.
What is you ultimate aim?
My ultimate dream is to start a school for Professional Drama, a school just like the rest of the government schools of Karnataka where students receive their education in theatre just like they receive education in other academics.
A message for theatre pasta readers
My message for all theatre lovers would be to keep the previous moral themes of our country, its culture and tradition alive and pass down to generations.