BENGALURU: KL Rajshekar, born and brought up in Raichur’s Basapur, always loved movies and stories. “There was no TV in my house,” says the scriptwriter of one of the top Kannada reality shows, Maja Talkies. “But I loved watching shows, would go to neighbours’ homes and be shoved out.”
It made his father furious. “Movies will not give you food, he said, but today it does,” says Rajshekar. “95% of my life is spent on them.”
He hadn’t ventured too far from home in his early life. Rajshekar studied till fifth standard in his native village and later studied at Jallihallu, 5 km away. “I had never been to another place till I completed my tenth standard,” he says.
Rajshekar lived in a struggling joint family. “I had to work even from my third standard,” he says. “I worked for landlords during my holidays.”
In school, his focus rarely was on studies. “While other children took notes, I penned scripts. I added twists and turns... it has been a habit since childhood,” he says.
Finally, he came to Bengaluru in 2003 by borrowing Rs 150 a from father’s friend. “I reached here emptyhanded, in search of a job and had one meal a day,” he says. Rajshekar was sleeping on the footpath, outside an 8X8 room shared by five others. “When one left, I got a place with recommendation from a friend,” he says.
He managed to find work as a salesman, selling door to door. Then Rajshekar worked in a showroom. “But I kept writing,” he says. “I always dreamt of being an actor, but no one appreciated that in me. But I did win praise, even in school, for my writing.”
Rajshekar found a place in film sets. “I used to wash dishes, sweep and swab, and clean directors’ cars,” he says. “I have even been made to stitch slippers.”
Many a time, shooting would be delayed and without any public transport, Rajshekar would walk miles to reach his room. “There are days when I reached in the early hours of morning,” he says.
In 2009, he caught his first break. “I got a chance to work under director Adarsh for the film Hushar,” he says. Then he co-directed 5 Idiots, with Master Anand, and Victory, with Nanda Kishore.
Rajshekar then made his transition to small screen writing scripts for serials such as SSLC Nan Maklu, Paduvaralli Paddegallu, Tirupathi Thirumala Venkatesh, Robo Family, Singari Bangari and Oh Devre. “Then I got the role of scriptwriter and comedian of Maja Talkies, thanks to my friend Pavan,” he says. The show has completed nearly 200 shows now.
“It is very difficult to make people laugh,” he says. “It is easier to make them cry.” Rajshekar sees humour as a “god’s gift” and says his success is also because of the support he has got from his team. “I am so happy to work with them,” he says. Rajshekar also wants to thank his wife Parvathi. “She is a big support,” he says.
Rajshekar still takes his cues from movies. “Cinema has given me my role models,” he says. “Actors such as Rajkumar and Rajinikanth are big influences. I prefer acting but writing has give me my life.”