Mangaluru: Renowned theatre artiste, Gamaka poet and writer Bendaravadi Subrahmanya Sharma (84) passed away in Mangaluru on Saturday , September 22nd. He was the father of journalist Poornachandra.
Bendaravadi Subrahmanya Sharma was born on 11thApril 1934, was an accomplished litterateur, having devoted his lifetime to literary, artistic and intellectual pursuits.
Mr Sharma was a seasoned theatre artiste, singer and scholar and had given more than 16,000 programmes over the last 60 years. Many of his programmes were held at various schools, colleges and educational institutions where he earned the love of innumerable children, who fondly called him ‘Subbajja’.
Subbajja’s father was Srikanta Sharma, a renowned astrologer-scholar (Jyothishya vidwan) in the royal court of Mysore palace. His mother was Srimathi Parvathamma. After the demise of his parents he took to theatre and joined a drama accompany to perform as an actor and singer. For the next 13 years, he served as a playwright, actor, singer, director and even the owner of a drama company.
He received training under the tutelage of drama companies of renowned theatre personalities like Gubbi Veeranna and Subbayya Naidu. His gained more experience through his fruitful interactions with Dr Rajkumar and P. Kalinga Rao. Thus he became well versed in various possibilities of theatre and music (sugam sangeeth).
Life in Puttur DK
Mr Sharma eventually settled at Puttur in Dakshina Kannada (DK) district. He continuously strived to provide voice to Kannada literature by visiting numerous schools of various districts of Karnataka for over 50 years, singing songs penned by the doyens of Kannada literature, such as Kailasam, Rajaratnam, Kuvempu and Bendre.
Back then, without the benefit of anyone’s backing and without the advantage of loudspeakers, he had an amazing ability to enthrall and be clearly heard by hundreds of audiences. The strength of his voice was indeed unique and extraordinary.
‘A’ Grade radio artiste
Bendaravadi Subrahmanya Sharma was an ‘A’ Grade radio artiste too. He had a great fan following for his programmes. Though he donated over 13,000 books from his personal collection to schools, colleges and educational institutions, he shunned any form of publicity.
Although he preferred to stay away from all formal recognitions and awards, many honours came his way and Bendaravadi Subrahmanya Sharma was felicitated with prestigious recognitions like Deraje Award and Alike Balakrishna Shetty Memorial literature Award. He also had the honour of being nominated as the President of Second Children’s Literature Conference of Puttur taluk.