Meeting Vishnuvardhan became a regular affair when I became a staff photographer for the Mangala weekly. I met and was able to interact with him many times during this early period in my career.
Initially I would just say hello and ask him to be photographed. He was always ready for a photo session! During one of those early meetings Vishnu asked me about myself and I told that I was basically a sports photographer. Vishnuvardhan had a great interest in cricket and our talks from that time onwards revolved more around cricket rather than cinema.
As time passed and me met more frequently, our interactions grew stronger and more varied. At one point of time later, he allowed me to smoke in front of him.
Later, I joined the Star monthly magazine. Mysore Harish used to send me to take Vishnuvardhan's photos on assignments. Whenever I used to meet Vishnuvardhan we used to discuss a lot and I became close to him.
In 1996 I had brought out the World Cup cricket special edition with the support of Sidde Gowda. This book was the first of its kind in Kannada and became a super hit. Inspired with this Sidde Gowda decided to bring out a Special Edition on Vishnuvardhan. He asked me to take photographs of Vishnuvardhan for the cover page. I went to Vishnuvardhan's house with my lights and camera set up. Vishnuvardhan came in a very different get up. Keerthi Vishnuvardhan has taken intiative and had got the dress stitched exclusively for this photo session. Mrs Bharathi Vishnuvardhan asked me whether I have filters for the camera. I said I have not brought it. Immediately she went inside and brought the filters. I was shocked to see the number of camera filters which they had at home. According to the get-ups of Vishnuvardhan I started using the filters with the hand made background.
Vishnuvardhan had many pet dogs. They were so well trained that till he gave the command, they would not even move nor do anything. In one of the new dresses, I requested Vishnuvardhan to allow the dogs to be part of the photo. He agreed. But I was scared since the dogs were huge like tigers. I am basically afraid of dogs and in one instance when I had gone to actress Jayanthi's house for a photo shoot, their dog had chased me and had bitten me. Vishnuvardhan told me to click without fear. After a few clicks I asked him for a separate photo shoot for Star Magazine. He retorted, "You want everything easily. Tomorrow, I am going for the shooting of Himapatha at Bijapur. You come there and take my photographs."
I came back to Star office and told Mysore Harish that Vishnuvardhan has asked me to go to Bijapur for the photos. He immediately told me to get ready for the trip.
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