Late Lakshman Rao Mohite was born on June 15, 1931, in Karnataka. His father Ramarao Mohite worked for the cavalry regiment of Mysore State Troops called Mysore Lancers. His mother was Lakshmibhai. Although his mother tongue was Marathi, he was admitted to a Kannada-medium school. He completed CA Intermediate and was involved in small writing assignments.
The poet P.T. Narasimachar lived in the same apartment of Lakshman’s family. He played a major part with his influence in the career of Lakshman Rao. From his school days, he was passionate about writing. He used to write poems and short stories and send them to magazines such as Thaayinaadu and Ramarajya. He worked as a clerk in Cubbon Park restaurant. He had a good friendship with theater artists such as music director
and film director M.B. Singh. Bhaskar introduced Lakshman into the Cine industry in 1954 as a lyricist. Lakshman Rao penned his name into Geethapriya.
He started with the film Sri Rama Pooja. Then, he moved to Chennai and worked with Y.V Rao for the movie Bhagya Chakra (1956). Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddha (1963) became hit with its famous, pleasant numbers. Some of the other films of Geethapriya’s lyrics include Bettada Huli (1965), Onde Balliya Hoogalu (1967), Mannina Maga (1968), ‘Uyyale’ (1969), Boopathi Ranga (1970), Kalyani (1971), Hrudaya Sangama (1972), Makkala Bhagya (1976), ‘Antha’ (1981), ‘
’ (1983), Mouna Geetha (1986).
He not only excelled in his lyricist role but also made a mark as a director. He made his debut as a director with the film Mannina Maga in 1968. It was awarded the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada. He also won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Screenplay. He has also directed several other successful movies like Yaava Janmaada Maithri (1972), ‘
’ (1976), ‘Hombisilu’ (1978), Putani Agent (1979), Mouna Geethe (1985), Jodi Jeeva (1982), Durgashtami (1991), Shravana Sambrama (2003).
Some of the other awards bagged by him are Puttana Kanagal Award from Karnataka Government. In 2012, he was awarded the Saroja Devi Award and also the Sandesha Award. He suffered from throat cancer and was admitted in Malleswaram, and a combination of several health complications resulted in a heart attack that forced him to make his last breath on 17th January 2016.