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T. R. Narasimharaju: Humorous Actor

Click here if you would like to Contribute or send a feedback.
Click here for Columns from columnist Sri. HSK.
Click here for one more Column from Star of Mysore/Mysore Mithra Group "iN"
Click here for Columns from Editor of Star of Mysore Sri. K.B.Ganapathy.
Click here to go to the main page of Star of Mysore/Mysore Mithra.

Narasimha is half man and half lion. He is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is the God of terror — terrorist to demon Hiranyakashyapu, but kind to the demon - king' s son Prahlada. T. R. Narasimharaju (1926 - 1979) did not have any of the traits of God Narasimha.

He held no threat to anyone. He was the personification of mirth and merriment, a born humorist. Just like sugarcane, which contains sugar juice in every one of its segments, Narasimharaju was moulded out of humour. Just a tickle would do to evoke humour in him. His figure, his talk, and his gait — everything was germane to humour. It is said that the people of heaven can never smile nor cry. The heavenly beings do not have pangs of hunger or thirst. They can't wink. What a dull life indeed!

Barque of humour:
But mortals are blessed with humour. They can smile and laugh. They can express their sorrow by crying. Both laughter and sorrow sprout from the same source. “The barque of humour” says Kailasam, “often veers from schools of smiles to seas of tears!”

One cannot remain serious for a long time before a humorist. When Tenali Rama, a great humorist was face – to - face with the ferocious Goddess Kali who has a thousand heads, he placed his finger on his nose and began to smile with wonder. When asked what caused him to smile with wonder, he said that while poor mortals like him could not bear the common cold, how could she, with a thousand noses, bear it when all the noses catch cold and begin to cause sneeze. The fearful Goddess burst into laughter. She was so pleased with him that she blessed him to become the greatest humorist.

Humorous actor:
To make others laugh, while the humorist himself remains serious, is a difficult art indeed! Quite often the private life of the humorist is one of sorrow. But he suppresses his sorrow, cuts jokes even at his own cost, and makes others break into peals of laughter.

Tiptur Ramaraju Narasimharaju was a humorous actor. He played humorous roles in dramas and movies. Gandhiji was often saying that his soul could not rest in peace until he was able to wipe every tear from every eye of every Indian.

Narasimharaju was able to wipe tears from the eyes of lakhs of people that viewed his acting, at least for a fleeting moment. He was a genius. He was an inexhaustible source of humour.

T. R. Narasimharaju was the only son of Ramaraju and Venkatalakshmamma. Ramaraju was employed in the Police Department. His salary was barely enough to make both ends meet. When Narasimharaju was just four – year - old, his uncle Lakshmipathiraju took him to Mallappa's Chandramouleshwara Drama Company, which was camping at Tiptur. Lakshmipathiraju had noticed that he was a child prodigy and that he would shine as an actor.

Narasimharaju's roles:
Young Narasimharaju got very good training in Mallappa's Company. His teacher not only taught him acting, but taught him reading and writing too. Narasimharaju played the roles of Prahlada, Lohithashwa, Krishna, Makaranda and such other child - roles. Narasimharaju' s mother did not like her son becoming an actor. She compelled her husband to wean their son away from the world of drama.

But Narasimharaju was obsessed with acting. He could not be made to evince interest in any other activity. He went back to Mallappa's Company. He began to play humorous roles and soon became very popular. After some time, Narasimharaju left that company and formed his own troupe. It presented the same dramas that were enacted by Mallappa's Company — mythological dramas like Gorakumbara and Harischandra.

The Company soon became very popular. But it was working under loss. So he abandoned his venture and joined the Yedatore Company, which had become very famous. Narasimharaju was given the roles in Vishwamitra, Rama - Ravana, Bharat Lakshmi and such other dramas. His role as Kashi in the drama Bedara Kannappa was very much appreciated by the people. He acted more than a thousand times in that role.

But the Yedatore Company also had a sad end. Again Narasimharaju became unemployed. The Hiranniah Mitra Mandali offered him a job. He was given female roles. Hiranniah very much liked Narasimharaju's acting. He went to the extent of asking him to play the role of Najookiah, which was being played by Hiranniah himself. But Narasimhaiah declined, saying that he could never equal his master.

A rolling stone:
But artistes rarely stick to one place. Narasimharaju left Hiranniah’s company and joined Karnataka Nataka Sabha and then he went to Nataraja Natya Mandali and later to Belur Gandajois' company. Finally came the call from Gubbi Veeranna, who admired him for his acting. Narasimharaju's acting in the dramas Sahukara and Addadari made even Veeranna burst into peals of laughter.

Lord of humour:
Veeranna was then interested in producing movies. In Bedara Kannappa, Rajkumar played the leading role while Narasimharaju was Kashi. It was a great success. Narasimharaju had become the lord of humour. He acted in more than a hundred movies. Like the famous humorous writer Stephen Leacock, he had faith in dame luck. If you work hard, dame luck will woo you, he would say.

Unlike many of his fellow actors who had achieved successes in the world of movies, he did not neglect the stage. He was always a source of succour to his erstwhile comrades. He played in dramas also. His humour was of a very high order.

Courtesy: Star of Mysore

Click here if you would like to Contribute or send a feedback.
Click here for Columns from columnist Sri. HSK.

Click here for one more Column from Star of Mysore/Mysore Mithra Group "iN"
Click here for Columns from Editor of Star of Mysore Sri. K.B.Ganapathy.
Click here to go to the main page of Star of Mysore/Mysore Mithra.


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