Ugadi does not have a mythological connection to it. Instead, according to the Indian calendar, it is considered as the first day of the year. Thus, there is no movie with the theme of Ugadi, but the festival sure makes its presence felt in terms of dialogues and songs of many movies.
Doorada Betta movie directed by Siddalingaiah, starring Dr Rajkumar and Bharathi has an emotional scene depicting Ugadi. The stars played a poor couple Shivu and Gauri in the movie. Shivu, a blacksmith, is so poor that the family does not have anything to celebrate Ugadi. When the couple is frustrated with their condition and doesn’t know how to get out of the difficulties, a senior person from the village (played by Sampath) visits their home and gives materials to celebrate the festival with the song ‘Preethine Aa Dyavru Tanda Aasthi Namma Palige’ (Love is the biggest wealth the God has given us).
Thus this emotional scene is a symbol of how Ugadi can be a new beginning and a starting point of getting rid of the bad phase in life.
Similarly, Ugadi comes as a sequence in song or dialogue in some of the Kannada films. Another film starring Dr Rajkumar, ‘Bangarada Panjara’ where he celebrates the festival with his parents and eats holige (a Ugadi specific sweet made of dal and jaggery).
But the one song which is sung on every Ugadi is from the movie Kulavadhu, released in the year 1963 ‘Yugayugadi Kaledaru, Yugadi Marali Barutide’ means, the ‘seasons will pass, and Yugadi will come again… (bringing happiness).
This song is picturised with Leelavathi and Dr Rajkumar with their family in the movie. This song was written by one of the greatest poets of Karnataka, D R Bendre and music was composed by poet GK Venkatesh. This song mentions the mango leaves, neem and jaggery and the new year in detail. The song is sung by S Janaki.
Another melodious song on Ugadi can be seen in E Bandhana movie and the song is written by K Kalyan. However, the lyricist himself believed that this song did not bring the complete mood of the festival. “Ugadi is not backed by a mythological story like Shivarathri, Navaratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc. which are even mentioned in Ramayana and Mahabharata. Thus these festivals art mentioned and even enacted with the presence of gods (as characters) in many movies and Ugadi is difficult to be represented in the visual format and gets mentioned rarely,” he said.
Kannada movie Rishi, released in the year 2005 has a beautiful song ‘Ellellu Habba Habba Banthu Yugadi Habba’, written by V Manohar. The movie starring Shivarajkumar and Vijay Raghavendra had become very popular.
Another film ‘Habba’ also had an element of family and the song by Hamsalekha ‘Jenina Goodu Navella, Bereyadare Jenilla’ also talks about the importance of the family and gives a feel of Ugadi festival.
However, there was a movie titled ‘Ugadi’ starred by Ravichandran, released in 2007. But the movie had nothing to do with the festival of the new year.
Many movies, sequences and songs might have come in the Kannada film industry, but Bendre’s ‘Yugayugadi Kaledaru Yugadi Marali Baruthide…’ will remain the favourite of all Kannadigas.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:59 PM IST