Some more on Gaddar

Nasy Sankagiri (
Wed, 5 Mar 1997 11:53:16 -0500 (EST)

Having attended REC Warangal, the seat of RSU activities in those days, we
were treated to some watered down (& pretty pathetic, if I may say so)
productions of prajA nATya maNDali programs. Since that was the only
contact I had with the maNDali's art, I had a poor opinion of it. I revised
my opinion after reading about the many talented people (writers, actors,
singers, et al.) who were involved with the maNDali and who brought it
close to people while maintaining high standards of their respective art
forms. It was only then I realized that what I experienced at REC was not
the real thing, but...anyway, I digress.

While at REC, I was told by my seniors the following story: Once there was
a student cul.fest. going on, and a music band was invited from Hyderabad
to provide entertainment at the concluding ceremonies. A lot of people
gathered, but in stead of the band expected, a troup of prajA nATya maNDali
artists (including Gaddar) arrived, took over the stage, and gave a three
hour performance of songs, plays and skits. Not one soul from the audience
stirred! This could be due to the rivetting entertainment or may be due
to...well, even this is not the main story.

Gaddar also appeared in another movie around that time, 'rangula kala'
produced and directed by Narsinga Rao. He and his troup sing (I think his
own) 'bhadram koDukO'. This song was not as famous as the 'naijAmu
sarkarODa', but there is some great power in that man. Is it in his
commitment to the cause, or in his strong beliefs, or in his simplicity (he
wears just a loin cloth and a gongaLi)? I don't know. But I know this -
even on the screen, he radiates that power, it's a kind of fire. I can't
imagine what effect he'd have in person. Since then I regretted missing
that opportunity related in my seniors' story.

If anyone had the opportunity to meet him, I request them to share the
experience with us.