Superstar Santhosh Pandit: Not a Stray Dog, But a Genius!

October 16, 2016 0 Comments

Superstar Santhosh Pandit is an actor, director, script-writer, music director, lyric writer, editor and playback singer in the Malayalam film industry and he stands a chance for entering record books for the maximum credits for a single person in a released film. But, he is handled like a stray dog by the public. Attacking and snubbing him en masse has become the most enjoyable hobby of most people in Kerala. He is invited in talk shows, college programs, and other public functions. The public, other invitees in TV shows including anchors and audience are utilizing each and every opportunity to tease him, mock him, abuse him, and even try to attack him mercilessly. When all these dramas are happening on one side, the popularity of Santhosh Pandit is increasing rapidly day by day. He is entering the heart of people by shutting the mouth of all his attackers with his unique style. Santhosh Pandit is capable of defending himself even the attackers are hundreds or thousands. He says Lion is capable of protecting himself and he fights alone. But, pigs and dogs come together and attack the lion, but nothing will happen. He became famous when he released his first film Krishnanum Radhayum (Krishna and Radha) in 2011. He completed the film with just Rs 5 lakhs. Here, Dainik Bhasker is traveling through the minds of Santhosh Pandit and pulling out the true self of this super duper star.

Q :  Kindly explain the difficulties you faced while making your first movie, Krishnanum Radhayum? What was your planning for the film?

ANS:  As you know, I had to shoulder all responsibilities, which were really stressful for me. However, I had a firm determination that I had to break all existing principles of filmmaking. The story was mine. I wrote the script, I did direction, acting, wrote lyrics, I directed the music, I was the editor, and I was the playback singer as well. I am also doing the promotional works of my movies. Before releasing the film in theater, I uploaded the songs to Youtube, which was a great hit. So, people were eagerly waiting for watching my movie. I was very confident about the success of my movie. In the poster itself, I told my viewers that they can watch my movies if they really want to watch it. I didn’t compel anybody to watch my movies.

In the initial period, I suffered a lot to complete my film. I was new to the industry. Nobody knew me. I took a house for shooting for two days, but I could not complete the shooting within that time period. Then, the owner told me that they are not ready to extend the time. So, I was forced to complete shooting in two days. All my artists suffered a lot. They worked for me even without having food. They made lots of mistakes during the time of shooting. We didn’t have time for retakes, so I instructed the camera unit to continue shooting without a cut. As a director, I know that it is not good. But it was the only option before me. In such a way, I completed the film within the time period.

My path is very strange. I know how to utilize the modern technology. The songs were a huge hit in social media. So, I made lots of money from my first movie.

Q : What forced you to do a movie? How do you find money for it?

When I was 17, I lost my father. My mother also died when I was 20 years of age. I had only one sister. She is married and staying at her husband’s house. At the age of 23, I got married. But, after the birth of my son, due to some issues in family life, my wife left me. We got divorced. She took my son also. So, I became alone in this world. I was passing through severe mental agony. It was the biggest experimental days for me. I worried a lot. I thought and thought about my future. There were only two ways before me. One is suicide and the other is making a film, which was my passion from childhood. But due to the compulsion of my father, I became an engineer and worked in the PWD department. To follow my passion in life, I resigned my job. I had three houses, I sold one and find money for making a film. Making film was an escape from my loneliness in life. I could also suppress my suicidal thoughts by entering in the film industry.

Q: Did you not afraid of stepping into an uncertain field like film industry?

See, once you manufacture or purchase an airplane, the path of it is filled with dangers. The possibility of dangers is very high. Even a small bird can lead to huge accidents when it is hit on the leaf. The airplane is very safe when it is not flying. But, what is the purpose of making or purchasing an airplane? It must fly and it is created only for flying. All human beings are made for moving forward. You cannot sit idly by thinking that the life is full of dangers. If the God is destined to end your life, it will happen. It is definite. I am not ready to step backward just because of dangers. I am not thinking about the result. But, I am thinking about action.

Q : How do you find time for doing all these works?

I always love doing work. Sitting idle is unthinkable for me. See, while I am talking to you, I am working on my computer. I always try to do 2-3 works at a time. See, when you have food, or brushing your teeth, you can do meditation. Actually, meditation can be done at any time.  I love to do all types of work. A few days back, a journalist from Malayala Manorama took my telephonic interview. He asked whether I was free or not. I told him that I am free. Construction of my house is going on, and I was breaking rocks for my house. He was hearing that sound throughout the conversation. I was holding the phone in one hand, so I had to do the work with one hand. When I picked a heavier stone, I was panting. Then he asked why I am panting so badly. Then I told him, I am breaking stones.

When I was small, I used to help my mother in the kitchen. I am ready to do any type of work. I know even German language. I know Hindi, Tamil, and English. When I was studying my degree course, I took my LLB degree. I write the new words on the walls of my room. I am not ready to waste even a single moment in my life. Do you know how people are wasting their time? All are complaining that they don’t have time to do this, do that, etc. While traveling, people simply sit by looking outside or listening to music. They can utilize the time in a meaningful way. They can read a book, learn something, etc. 

Q: How do you utilize your time?

I am not ready to waste my time for watching TV shows. I don’t watch TV serials. In fact, there is no TV at my home. Instead, I am working on two laptops and one computer at a time. I am replying to the queries in Facebook. Did you ever observe the activities of students? What they are doing in schools or colleges? They will surely get one free period every now and then. What they are doing that time? Simply wasting time by engaging in chit chatting or telling stories of the movies or serials they watched. People also waste lots of time for gossiping. What is the gain of engaging in these activities? Instead of wasting time in such a way, they can utilize it by engaging in meaningful activities. When you are speaking on a phone, why you are sitting idle? You can work during that time also. These types of time wastage can be seen in schools, colleges workplaces, offices, everywhere. Then, after wasting their time, people are complaining that they didn’t get time. How sad it is! You cannot make time, but you should create time for doing everything. So, first of all, you must have an active mind to do so.

I do not engage in the activities of common people. I do not go for wedding ceremonies, birthday parties, house warming parties, etc. See, if you do not go there, nothing will happen. If the bride and bridegroom, their parents, family members, and the priest for solemnizing the marriage, everything will go smoothly. The marriage will not be postponed because of your absence. Then why you are going and attending the function? If it is unavoidable, let a member of your family attend the function. Why is it attended by all the family members? But, if a person is in hospital, or if a person dies, you must definitely visit that place because your presence will surely make the sick person happy. It will be a solace for the bereaved family members. This is my principle in life.

Q: Lots of people love you. But a lot of others hate you. How you face it? Do you feel sad when people criticize you and hate you so badly?

I just don’t care or think about what others are thinking or saying about me. My happiness is not depending on the judgment of others. Let them do their job. I am doing my duties. I am working for 12 long hours in a day. Mostly, I wake up at 5 in the morning and go to sleep at 11 O’clock night. During these time period, I am doing my work. My happiness does not depend on the number of houses I constructed, the money I earned. Did you ever think why people are leading an unhappy life? They are running here and there for making a huge sum of money. Some are living for drinking and eating. Some are living for making money, while some others are living for having sex. Their happiness depends on all these factors or objects. Some people make their life a hell just because of thinking about the opinions of others.

Q: How did you get courage to face all these abuses with positive mentality?

  I believe in God. I always think about His glory. I believe in doing work. I am finding happiness in myself. You must realize that others are not the determining factor of your happiness. You should not allow others to determine your happiness. Some people become sad when electricity goes off. Some people become sad when they cannot see their favorite serial. While I was working as an engineer, one of my colleagues spoiled his whole day by thinking about merely Rs 3. He gave Rs 10 to the conductor. The bus fare was Rs 7, but the conductor did not give him balance Rs 3. The whole day, he talked about those 3 rupees. He was repeating that the conductor did it purposefully. I am saying that these people do not believe in God. They are going to their respective worship places, do all the proceedings. Take fasting, pray for God they want this and that. You should realize that God is not a broker to give you a home or wealth. If you believe in God, you will realize that all these external factors will never affect you. Your partner, father, mother, children all are temporary relatives. Your only permanent relative is God. If you are connected with God in a true sense, you will always be happy.

You should always respect others. It is said that give respect and take respect. Today, people are not ready to give respect. But, everybody thinks that all are in a top level position. When I was doing “Malayalee House” TV reality show, nobody was ready to give respect to the anchor. When I speak to others, I always give respect others. I value the opinions of others. But, it is me to determine whether it should be accepted or not.

Q: But, when you are attacked, you are countering them with even bad words. In a recent talk show in ‘Flowers Channel’, you told, “I didn’t take your father’s money to make my film” when you are criticized. As you said earlier, don’t you think that these types of words are against your own ethics and principles?

  How do you kill a mosquito? You are using your hands to kill a mosquito, right? If you want to kill a snake, you should use a big stick. Can you kill an elephant by using a stick? You should surely use a gun if you want to kill an elephant. I am also handling my criticizers in such a way. I am giving them what they deserve. That person understands only those types of languages. If I use soft words in that crowd, they would have cut me into pieces. There, I focused on my existence. I was the only person defending such a large crowd. When I called his father, he became calm.

Once GS Pradeep (The famous TV Show Aswamedham-a reverse quiz program telecasted in Kairali TV) asked me, don’t you think that murder is a crime? But I told him it depends on the situation. When you check the history, you can see the subhuman activities of Hitler. When you hear that Hitler is killed, you will surely praise and embrace the murderer. During India-Pak war, do you think that the Indian soldiers did a crime when they kill terrorists? So, you can say that a murder or an action of a person is a crime depending on the situation. When a person crosses the boundaries, he should be defended, which is inevitable for your existence.

Q: When you deal your criticizers, your energy will become doubled. How?

  During the recent talk show, I was attacked by mimicry artists mercilessly. The anchor of the program, Mr Sreekandan Nair also contributed his own part. He crossed all the borders by asking me “Are you a fool”? What kind of answer should I give to him? Should I handle him passively? I told him, “If I am a fool, what should I call you by inviting me to this talk show?” My counter question was the biggest blow to him, so he kept away from asking such questions further.

They must know that what my principles are. They must know about my ethics. Above all they must try to understand Who Santhosh Pandit is. When a person purchased a two-wheeler, you can say that whether you liked it or not. You do not have the right to say that how you got the money to purchase a two wheeler.

Q: Can you recollect the memories of the incident? What really happened in that show?

  Mr. Sreekandan Nair invited around 30 mimicry artists for that program. I was invited for an interview. They didn’t say that it was a talk show. But, I was attending the program with half mind. When I was in make-up room, some college students were also there. They expressed their desire to take photographs with me. Then, the mimicry artists intervened. They told loudly, “You should realize one thing. We are in the mimicry field for the past 30 years. But, nobody came forward to take photographs with us. But, while comparing the abilities, Santhosh Pandit is a big zero, and you are taking photographs with him and completely avoiding us.”

If people are not expressing any interest in those mimicry artists, it is not my fault. If they are in the mimicry field for so long years and not famous even today, what wrong I did? They are asking me why you are including 8 girls in your movies. Who are them to question me? It is my right how many girls should be included in my film. The minds of these mimicry artists are full of jealousy. During the show, one artist imitated Super Star Mammootty. Then, another artist told that he is saying the same dialogue for the past 25 years. Then, the anchor asked him to say another dialogue. But he told he knows only this one. Now, you can realize that why they are not becoming popular even after 25 –30 years. Some mimicry artists imitate Superstar Mohanlal, some imitate Mammootty, some imitate me also. They think that if they walk by slanting their shoulders, they will become Mohanlal. They are always walking like Mammootty, Mohanlal, Suresh Gopi, etc. If they are imitating a film star, why they imitate these stars all the time? If they are imitating a Negro, will they also behave like a Negro at their home also?

Q: What is your opinion about mimicry artists?

Mimicry artists always mock, tease and imitate others. But, when they are teased, they are unable to digest it. They presented the legendary actor late Jayan as a fool. They are giving a bad image about Jayan to the younger generation. They should tell about their contribution to the art. They are struggling to exist in the field. So, they are questioning the molars of women. They are using dialogues with double meaning. They are humiliating everybody in the name of art.

Q : How do you face criticisms?

  Criticisms will never touch me. The criticizers are doing their duty and I am doing mine. There is a famous quote in English, “if you want to win, you need friends. But, if you aim big success, you need enemies.”

I can write stories and songs on the spot. My acting may not be perfect. My direction may not be perfect. My songs may not be perfect. My story may not be perfect. But I captured a film with just Rs 5 Lakhs. I am challenging my criticizers. Let them take a film in Rs 5 lakhs. Or can they capture even a documentary single handily? I will take every criticism in sportsman spirit. If anybody challenges me, I will accept it courageously. The criticizers do not have the abilities or courage to take challenges. What they can do is criticizing each and all. I don’t care about it.

Q: Why you are giving your mobile number to the public? No other actors are doing it.

  I publish my mobile number all the time. I am ready to hear criticism from the public. But, the so-called superstars and super actors are not ready to give their numbers to the public. They do not allow criticizers as well. When I upload a visual or song in youtube, I always pray let it become a controversy. And I am ready to hear the feedback from the public.

Q: You are aware of the psychology of Malayalees very well, right? Otherwise, you will not release the poster of your first movie with “You should watch it only if you are interested.” You are also presenting your female characters in half naked body.  

Yes, I know their mentality. They pretend that they have good characters. They carry fake morality. Many people complaints that my films contain vulgar elements. But, can you point out even a single movie that has vulgar dialogues or scenes? I shoot the songs in such a way. I am preparing separate visuals for YouTube and theater print. You should not judge my movies by watching the Youtube version. But, you should criticize it after watching the movie in the theater. Krishnanum Radhayum was my first movie. It was released in 2011. In this year, I completed 3 films, Tintumon Enna Kodeeswaran (The crorepati named Tintumon), Jithubhai Enna Chocolate Bhai (Jithubhai Alias Chocolate Bhai), and Neelima Nalla Kuttiyanu (Neelima is a good girl). I have good expectations for the latest movie. In this movie, I am handling the double role. I am also handling a villain role in this movie.    

Q: Do you have any plan to take movies other than Malayalam?

Now, I am concentrating only in Malayalam. If I take movies in other languages, I need the help of somebody who knows that language most. But, right now, I don’t have time. I captured one of the songs in Tintumon Enna Kodiswaran in Hindi.

Q: What about doing films with the other superstars in Malayalam?

  I would like to do it. The main problem is their remuneration. I need to spend lakhs and lakhs of rupees for casting them. The second problem is time. I cannot wait for one year or long for their dates. I cannot wait for anybody. For me, time is precious than money.

It is very hard to understand Santhosh Pandit and his films. So, Malayalees should try to know who this multi-faceted filmmaker is. If you know him deeply, nobody will try to abuse him, nobody will try to tarnish him, nobody will try to cut him into pieces, nobody will cry for his blood. Yes, he is really a legend, a one man army, a real LION indeed! 

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.