BALU-AN ACTOR BY INCLINATION:

In 1929, one fine day, lady luck smiled at fortuitous Balu when a stage performer for the play “Shree Rama Pattabhisheka” absented without any prior intimation to the organisers. The desperate and confused proprietor Mr.Giri Gowda was hell-bent to rope in someone to manage that particular show, that was when Balu’s presence was realized and he was unanimously offered the opportunity to enact as “Hanuman!, which was indeed an imperative opportunity for over excited Balu to endeavour his dream for stage plays. To the astonishment of Mr.Giri Gowda, Balu was prepared with absolute memorized dialogues and without being nervous he was soon on stage. The hilarious part of his first day participation was that, he could not locate Hanuman’s tail for the act, with no time left he appeared on stage without tail. His lean body, mannerism, body language and his unique style of dialogue delivery, all together brought rainbow of laughters, but, his bravura on stage with self confidence and also ignoring the laughter’s of audience did ultimately bring showers of applause, which in turn – impressed the proprietor. Thus began Balu’s luminous journey, a beginning as a stage performer which was his most nurtured dream. But yes, short of hearing disability did not hinder him from excelling in the theatre performances. In the aftermath of his first performance, he earned recognition in Mr.Giri Gowda’s Camp, being a diligent boy he was taken into confidence and consideration for all tasks. He also gradually became prone to reading and acquired great knowledge in Kannada language and was henceforth regarded as most soughted and reliable boy. He managed to earn for his livelihood at his early teens. During off peak show periods, he would return home to be accused by his fretful mother. Initially, she was reluctant to pardon him but as the adage says “Everyday mourning is never possible”, so Balu’s acts, his constant absence at home, and his wanderings, all did turn to be a non-contentious one.

Henceforth, Balu’s passion for theatre and his constant absence at home did further soil his relationship with his mother, which sooner catapulted him to lead an independent life.  He rented a room in his home town Arasikere in Hassan district and strived hard to make a living for himself.  Since he possessed artistic skills, he engrossed himself in umpteen tasks including painting bill boards, assisted in painting backdrops of theatre and gradually he also penned lyrics, dialects for plays too.  As and when he earned extra income he never failed to visit his mother, carrying with him either medicine or household essentials.  He had that in born contentment to bring joy to her and he rejoiced exhibiting his gratitude and love for her.  Balu relied on fierce determination to beat adversity and never say die attitude.  Though destiny robbed him of his sensitivity to sound, it did not leave him in the lurch, in fact, it never stood as an obstacle in his path to success.  Over the years he travelled extensively to various towns and districts either to participate as a performer or lend his support to other art oriented jobs.  He was henceforth inducted into the then most reputed theatre company-Mr.K.Hirannanya co., during his camp there he penned additional stanzas for Mr.Hirananya’s written verses, which explained to describe all religion as one single faith and expressed his view that Hindu and Muslims union belonged to a single ray of light, the light which shone for peace. His most prominent lyrics were attributed to plays – “Saahukaara”, “Bedara Kannappa”, “Raamayana”, “Akkamahadevi”, (in the play of “Akkamahadevi”, the character he portrayed was of an old lady).

The prominent and popular theatre companies which he staged include, M/s.Sri.Gubbi Veeranna Company, M/s.Harmonium Master Giri Gowda Co., M/s.Sri Gowri Shankar Naataka Mandazhli, Bharath Naataka Sabha and Chamundeshwari Naataka Mandazhli. His bravura on stage did conquer the hearts of audiences for his innate flair as a comedian which were glorified and thus he became one of the most soughted theatre actor.  Earlier he chased opportunities but eventually offers went in search of him, he was finally riding the crest.

Passion, hard work, determination, devotion and dedication to his profession did play a guiding force for him to scale the height of success.  He was offered substantive character roles including that of a woman portrayal.  Though Balu became an household name in theatre fraternity, he never hiked his remuneration nor was he anxious to demand an hike, but his vision remained steady as ever, only and only to perform but never ever craved for money.

A MESSAGE:– There is space for each and everyone on this earth, one should work to establish them.  Passion, determination, hard work and devotion for the profession shall attract the magnet of success for sure.

1ST INNING IN FILM ARENA

In 1943, during his camp for the popular play “Krishnaleela”, his acting talent did impress the then most eminent and first female film producer and actress Mrs.M.V.Rajamma who was invited for the show and who was too impressed by Balu’s performance. Later on after the show she preordained to offer Balu a most promising character role in her later film. Though she moved on to her other film related commitments, Balu did persistently pursued and visited her in Chennai (Tamil Nadu) with undeterred confidence to remind her of her assurance to offer him a role in her film. Nothing deterred him to take up the challenging profession. The first film opportunity was offered by Mrs.M.V.Rajamma for the film “Raadharamana”. There were no bounds to Balu’s excitements and happiness. He thus carved a niche for himself by making an entry into the Kannada film industry which provided him a prominent break as the film went on to be a successful one. After that film there was a lapse in offers for him for a couple of years which though did not dilute his devotion for theatre activities nor did his faith sink, but instead, he resolved to work and work to pursue his dreams and that kept his confidence flying high. In the meantime he engaged himself in his usual theatre activities.

A MESSAGE:– Success never happen overnight but one has to work for it to happen.  Knock all the doors and one shall ultimately open.