Happy Birthday, M S Sathyu Saab.

Image for post
Image for post

Happy Birthday, M S Sathyu Saab.

Mysore Shrinivas Sathyu (born in Mysore, Karnataka) is a film director, stage designer and art director from India. He is best known for his directorial film Garam Hawa (1973) is based on the partition of India. He was awarded Padma Shri in 1975.

His first assignment as an independent Art director was for Haqeeqat, a film by Chetan Anand, which got him the Filmfare Award in 1964 and along with that came recognition. He also did work in theatre as a designer and director, including designing sets and lights for productions of Hindustani Theatre, Okhla Theatre of Habib Tanvir, Kannada Bharati and other groups of Delhi. In films, he has worked as an art director, camera-man, screenwriter, producer and director. His filmography includes over 15 documentaries and 8 feature films in Hindi, Urdu and Kannada.

His best known work, Garam Hawa (Scorching Winds, 1973), is one of the last cinema productions featuring 1950s Marxist cultural activists including Balraj Sahni and Kaifi Azmi. Garam Hawa won several Indian national awards in 1974, including a National Integration Award. It was invited for the competitive section at Cannes and also the Indian entry at the Oscars, and achieved a Filmfare award for best screenplay.

M. S. Sathyu currently is associated mainly with television and stage. In 2013, Sathyu featured in the popular Google Reunion ad, where he played the role of Yusuf, an elderly Pakistani man who is reunited with his childhood pre-partition friend from India, Baldev (Vishwa Mohan Badola).

Mr. Sathyu is one of the patrons of Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA).

His Play ‘Dara Shikoh’ is considered a modern classic which was staged by Impresario Asia in Delhi in 2003–4. In the words of noted critic Ramesh Chand Charlie the Stage Play ‘Dara Shikoh’ is a turning point of traditional theatrical sensibilities. Use of Wali Deccani’s period poetry provides this Play with a very rare artistic and historical context. Dazzling use of Kathak choreography by Rani Khanum and her Troupe, and authentic costumes including head gear, swords and period art work was a treat for the eyes. Exemplary use of Sufi music, context and ambiance was very alluring and mesmerising. This Play had a good run at cities like Delhi, Gurgaon and Banglore. There are reports that this Play is also being converted into a Feature Film under the Direction of Sathyu. It goes to his credit that this Play revived interest in the life and ideals of Dara Shukoh and later Gopal Gandhi’s Dara Shikoh and Pakistan’s Ajoka Group also brought Dara Shukoh to the stage.

Amrita: A sublime Love Story is another innovative Play which is based upon the life and writings of famous Punjabi writer Amrita Preetam. Written by Danish Iqbal this play brings into focus the perpetual mystic love of Amrita Preetam. This Play reciprocate his earlier Play ‘Sahir’ on Sahir Ludhiyanvi which was directed by Pramila Le Hunt.

In 2013, he also appeared in the Reunion television commercial as a Pakistani old man, reunited with his childhood friend from India. The commercial went viral on social media. In 2014, his debut film, Garam Hawa was re-released after restoration.

Written by

Celebrating Cinema

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store