Sunday, June 9, 2019

Homage to Girish Karnad

    A passionate writer,a probing playwright,a dedicated theatrical celebrity and a poignant actor that Girish Raghunath Karnad was,it is very painful to accept his death,though death comes to all with or without giving notice.I still cherish my happy moments,teaching one of his wonderful creations 'Hayavadana' to a couple of batches of Arts and Science students in the college where I worked and retired from.I would rate him as an actor of awesome academic mould with a very high and critically challenging creative potential.I have watched almost all the Tamil films he acted and I am sure they would all celebrate his memory in the decades to come.
  What was special about this cutely urbanized actor,was his aristocratic demeanour that would naturally fix him in any elite role such as the Black dog Security Service Officer {Kadhal Mannan} and a haughty,scheming,status conscious,greedy,tax evading industrialist cum business magnate {Naan Adimai Illai,Kadhalan,Minsaara Kanavu,Ratchagan,and Chellame}. Mysskin's Mugamoodi was the last Tamil film that Karnad acted,as the grandfather of the hero. {played by Jeeva}He also worked with Kamalahasan in Hey Ram.
  The way Karnad would churn out the intricacies of his character delineation was a special treat to watch.His eyes would deliberate his manipulations more than his tongue.The arrogance of wealth was the most notable trait that he would felicitously portray through his body language and his distinct style of acting.On the Tamil screen,he was ever a self conscious promoter of foul accumulation and proud display of wealth,through characters evolved with an extraordinary care for the Machiavellian touch.It would perhaps look that in his death,the world of cinema stands impoverished,because it has lost one of its fabulous faces of the guilt and grandeur of wealth.
  So suave and refined were his looks that only actors like {late}S.V.Renga Rao and Pran of the last millennium could be equated with him in exhibiting the value and vile of the highest rung of the aristocratic ladder.Late Raghuvaran was a perfect match to his negative role play and perhaps that was why they both were brought together,in sharing the venom of villainy in films like Kaadalan and Ratchagan.The winning streak of these two actors,was based on their innate grasp of playing crude villainy with a mask of refinement,that would enable them to ruin their rivals through their soft dozes of devilishness.
   Karnad's main focus was on Kannada cinema followed by his contribution to Hindi and Tamil films.He has also acted in a couple of Malayalam films{Neela Kurinji Poothapol and The Prince}.Beyond his enrichment of Indian cinema was his exhaustive contribution to Kannada literature and no doubt it was his creative versatility that earned him the most coveted  Jnanpith Award from the government of India,for his significant literary achievements.Today Tamil cinema is as much deprived of one of its most dynamic actors as the Kannada region has every reason to mourn the death of one of its most illustrious sons.The Tamil soil is certainly indebted to this great Indian,for adding pep and flavour to its celluloid glory.

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