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First of all, let me briefly recount how I entered into the world of films. There were some interesting incidents which brought about drastic changes in my life. I was interested in dance from a very young age, from 2nd or 3rd standard. When I was in third standard, my aunt saw my interest in dance and she forced my mom to make me join a dance class. I went to the dance class for almost 5-6 months. It was the time of Prabhudeva’s ‘Muqabula’ and ‘Urvasi’. I learned the choreography for “Urvasi” and soon performed it on stage in school. It got an amazing response; people especially praised my expressions a lot.

As kids, whenever we went to marriages, all the cousins of my age group used to come together and play around with the extra chairs at the back of the wedding hall. I, being a dancer, used to integrate dance moves with my playing. At that time, orchestras were famous in weddings. At one of my elder cousin sister’s wedding, they had arranged for an orchestra. We were playing at the back and I was moving my body to the tunes of the song that was being sung. This somehow caught the attention of one of the singers in the orchestra group. He came to me and forced me to join him on stage and do a couple of dance steps. Though I was initially apprehensive and resisted for almost half an hour, after quite a lot of pestering from his end, I let go completely and started dancing. I danced for almost an hour continuously .One of my Dad’s uncles, a grandfather to me, came to my mom and told her that this was a very wrong thing to do and I had taken a bad path by getting into dance because dance, acting and other such art forms were not a gentleman’s thing. He asked her to make me quit the class immediately. My mom gave in to his suggestions and made me quit the dance class right away. I being a small kid didn’t know how to oppose her decision. However, even then she could only make me quit the class; she couldn’t stop me from dancing. A funny thing is that a classmate from my dance class had become a choreographer already when I met him during my PUC (11th and 12th standard) days and I had to go to him for help with choreographing a dance sequence for my “college day” festival. I still wonder what my life would have been if I had continued dance class.

So, after stopping class, I used to dance only during school days and other inter-school events, though I couldn’t get any proper training. During my high-school, my interest slowly expanded to skits (small plays).I started coordinating and bringing together students to do small plays at cultural events. That was huge hit. There are so many sweet memories there, which will itself need a separate chapter, so let’s not get into that.

During my 8th and 9th standard holidays, I had been to a 10 day residential camp in a place called Jigni which was an amazing experience. The volunteers over there used to conduct many competitions one of which was enacting plays. I acted in plays twice there, and they were huge hits too. The first one was during my 8th standard holidays and our team won the “best play award”. The next year I portrayed “Shivaji Maharaj” at the same event and that too was a huge success – I won the “best actor”!! I think probably that award and that recognition might have made my desire to become an actor strong. After that I started doing dance performances and theatre during my PU and engineering days. I met some amazing people and did some amazing plays.

Though I had kind of decided that I want to become an actor, I took up engineering owing to the same reasons every student in our country does engineering. I was always a competitive student academically, so I did well in my engineering too. During my final year engineering, I came across a “Diploma in Film Acting” course that was being offered by Karnataka Government University and the actor in me started seeking it. I somehow managed to join the evening college for that course along with my final year engineering. I very strongly believe the saying “the world is like Aladdin’s magic lamp, you get what you ask for” / “agar sacchi dil se chaho tho puri kayanat use tumse milaane ki koshish me lag jaathi hai” because things have always worked like that for me. Managing both my final year engineering and a one year evening college acting diploma course was not an easy task. I wrote both my engineering exam and my acting course exam back to back that year and did well in both of them. Many things fell in place for this to happen. After that I got placed in Infosys, the best company in the world for a creative person like me. I didn’t realise this while I got placed though. This is where my name went from Keerthi to Keerthi Natarajan.

I attended interviews from Siemens and Cognizant before Infosys and didn’t get through – and I was a bit disappointed because of that. When Infosys came to our college, it was a pool campus event and around 900 people from three different colleges had come. I liked the Infosys team’s presentation and enthusiastically wrote the aptitude test. After the test, they told us that among 900 people; only 9 had cleared aptitude. So while the results were being announced I was damn tensed, and when the HR called out Keerthi Natarajan I was wondering who it was for some time, because it was the first time my initial was expanded and called. Natarajan was my dad’s name and I was used to hearing Keerthi N. I realized after a couple of seconds and felt silly. That day I got placed in Infosys and it was an amazing day in my life. From that day on I have always been called as Keerthi Natarajan and in Infosys many times people used to call me just Natarajan and I used to tell them it is my father’s name and I am Keerthi. Some very funny things happened since I had a name that is commonly given to girls :). I will probably share it some other time.

So as I started getting into short films in Infosys, using my full name became a practice. I used to feel many times that I should change my name for films, but I always used to reason against it saying ” I will become such a big star, that Keerthi will become famous as a guy’s name one day ” ?.

NOTE: I recently had a change of perspective and I finally decided to get a new name for the screen. I have changed my name from Keerthi to Vihaan only for the screen. I have done three to four projects with this new name and am hoping for more amazing projects in future.


[Brief intro about my work for people who don’t know me]

I worked as an actor with a professional theatre group called “Wemove theatre” for two years.I started my short film career in a short film done by a film making group in Infosys in 2010 as an actor. Gradually I got into direction, writing and editing. I learnt most of my trade on my own with help of passionate friends, books, Google and YouTube. I have worked in around 40 short films till now, 3 feature films as an actor, an associate director for a feature film. Have some awards and achievements in my kitty. One of our short films “Navilugari”, won at the Bangalore international film festival in 2015 and it also was very well received by people and celebrities from Kannada film industry. My ad “RajmaUpma” which I made for the “Crash the Pepsi IPL” competition grabbed a national level award in 2015. I was among the top 80 contestants among 15000 people in “Zee Cinestar ki khoj”, 2014. Now, I run an ad-film company called ‘Golden Age Film House”. We are into corporate ads, short films, promotional videos etc. We also conduct film making workshops where we teach people who are starting their film making career on their own like how I did. We help them understand the basics of film making and are providing them with opportunities too.

Orangekannadaka Vihaan

An Ex-IT guy turned national level award winning film maker from Bangalore.I am also a dancer/actor/writer and an editor. I Run an Ad-film company called Goldenagefilmhouse. After 5 years in the IT industry , I turned the most important love of my life - 'film making' into my profession and I love it even more now. Apart from films , I enjoy books,watching different kinds of talents perform, listening to the life stories of inspirational people,spending time with best friends, travelling , working out , singing and the list goes on.

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