3, ఏప్రిల్ 2010, శనివారం

IN CONVERSATION WITH SHRI SHANKAR

SHRI SHANKAR DRAWING A PICTURE (PHOTO COURTESY SHRI RAJU)





When we were children, in our house Grand Father or Grand Mom or other Elders were narrating the stories from mythologies, to the extent they knew, But, the characters that come in the stories told by them like Rama, Krishna, Sita, Ravana or Sakuni, how they look, do we know? We could only try to imagine their features from the story heard from the elders.


However, children that grew up reading Chandamama never had any difficulty. The moment we read the story, we knew all the details of the characters about whom we just read. In pure and easy language, Chandamama presented all the epics in our mythologies like Ramayana, Maha Bharata, Bhagavata and not only these, but Devi Bhagavata, Veer Hanuman etc. to the Children. But in those mythological stories how Rama looked, Krishna dressed was wonderfully depicted bringing those great men before our eyes only one person. He is none other than our own Shri Shankar.

MAHARSHI AGASTYA FROM THE HANDS OF SRI SHANKAR
There is not a single character in the mythologies that Shankar did not draw. Every character in the epics was introduced through him several generations of Children. It was our wish to meet such great Artist and seek his blessings. I read my first Chandamama in June, 1966 and the picture of Maharshi Agastya in that issue greatly attracted me. How such poweful Maharshi would look like. It was possible to see how Agastya looked like through our Shankar only. The yearning to see this wonderful artist and to converse with him has been fulfilled at last now. On 21st March 2010 myself and our Chandamama Raju ji went to the residence of Shri Shankar in Chennai. We met him and his family members. We could not reach his house at the appointed time and immediately we received a phone call from him and very anxiously Shri Shankar was inquiring where we were or were we lost our way and in difficulties . We explained the reason for the delay and then only he was satisfied. He is of the view that his fans should not put to difficulties because of him and moreover if anything is to be done at an appointed time, it should happen punctually We learnt the time sense from him. The hearty welcome and the treatment given by his family members, we can never forget in our life time. This 85 year old "lad" has been pleasing his fellow children with his great pictures. Growing up seeing his excellent pictures, after such a longtime, I wrote a Betala Story and Chandamama Editors selected the story. And, Shri Shankar was drawing pictures for my Betala Story. Knowing that I was coming to see him, he kept those pictures with him and when I settled down, shown them to me for my "approval" and asked "Are you Satisfied". You can understand my feelings at that time which I could not explain. I only shed tears of joy.
MYSELF WITH SHRI SHANKAR
Did I ever dream that one day I would meet him and he would draw pictures for the simple story written by me!! Sometimes luck favours us unexpectedly.


Did Shri Shankar made any research to depict the pictures in the mythologies?
CHANDAMAMA RAJUJEE WITH SHRI SHANKAR
Shri Shankar very innocently, speaking Telugu with Tamil accent explained."There was no research at all, since my childhood days I have been listening to many preachings of religious discourses The stories thus heard and all the exceptional descriptions by great men were understood in their true meaning. With that understanding I sit to draw pictures. By God's grace, thoughts come at that time and ultimately, it is Shri Krishna that is making me to draw pictures. In this, my effort is nothing. If we really observe how many are there around us-our rich cultural heritage, statues in the Temples, pictures-all of them are inspiration for me. I went to Mahabalipuram 7-8 times, whenever I went it is as if it is the first time. The Sculptures never cease to evoke wonder and awe in me. I always look at them as it is the first time and I observe a new facet. You can hear these words in his own voice, albeit in Telugu:

Drawing a few lines looking like some picture and seeing them in print a normal person calling himself an Artist, now a days if inquired would give a long winding self centered speech quoting lots of meaning less jargon. Compared to such people with arrogance, what a great man our Shankar Sir who is attributing all his art to the greatness of God. We bowed our heads in respect to him.


LOOKING THE COVER PICTURE DRAWN BY HIM
Meanwhile, our Chandama Rajujee took out the Chandamama February, 2010 issue brought with him and said, "Shankarjee, did you see, picture drawn by you has been put on Cover Page". Shankar very eagerly asked,"Let me see, Let me see, I have not seen it". How many such pictures he must have drawn during his long career, still the same enthusiasm and same joy. This is in fact a historic moment because, after 1950s, this is the first time that Chandamama put a picture drawn by Shri Shankar'on the cover page.Almost after six decades a picture drawn by him is again published on the cover page, which is really great. I took the autograph of Shri Shankar on the same cover page and preserved it as precious treasure with me

Did Shri Shankar draw pictures for any other Magazine?
FELICITATION BY RAMAKRISHNA MATH
PICTURES DRAWN BY SHRI SHANKAR IN RAMAKRISHNA MATH PUBLICATION
Shri Shankar revealed with all pridethat since the day he was appointed in 1952 as an Artist, he never drew his pictures anywhere else. Several lucrative opportunities came his way but not inclined losing great working atmosphere and the satisfaction he was getting in Chandamama, he turned down all of them. But, as father-in-law of second son of Shri Nagireddy dragged him into Ramakrishna Math to draw pictures for their magazine. He admitted that he has been drawing pictures for Ramakrishna Math publications in Chennai since 1982 onwards. He also said that he did take the permission of Shri Nagi Reddy. He put it smilingly in a funny way saying that he took passport from Nagi Reddy depicting that Chandamama is one Government and he took permission to work with another Government ie. Ramakrishna Math. You can see some of the pictures drawn by Shri Shankar for Ramakrishna Math publication. These pictures were sent to me by Shri "Surekha" Apparaoji and I thank him for that.


Ramakrishna Math organized a Drawing Competition for Children and awarded prizes for those who drew well. During the function, it was announced suddenly that "now a 85 year old boy would come and take an Award" saying so the Math invited Shri Shankar onto dias and felicitated him with Rs.5000 and a bronze statue of Shri Vivekananda. All this was narrated to us by Shri Shankar in a very enthusiastic manner.


Shankarjee, the mythological characters drawn by you, the ornaments you had depicted on the characters, the edifices etc were all great inspiration to many Movies based on epics. Did you not think of becoming an Art Director during your time. Moreover, Vijaya Pictures and Chandamama were sister concerns!

No, never. I never had any such interest. I was drawing my pictures, doing the work given to me. Chandamama treated me wonderfully with all affection. For all Artists (Myself, Chitra and Kesav-Shri Vaddadi Papaiah came later on) there was an exclusive Peon who should do our work only and nobody else should tell him any work. Nobody should enter our room without our permission. This Peon should come to us at our beck and call. There were arrangements to take a nap in the afternoons after lunch. Good salary. What else is required??

Later, our interest was taken by the Marriage Photo of Shri Shankar, which was transformed into colour by their Son recently and we took a snap of that picture with Shri Shankar's permission.

We asked him a bit naughtily, "Sir Why are you looking so serious on the day of your marriage" and he said....
Haven't I just got married? That's why, saying so he guffawed. " Don't you think that one's responsibilities increase after marriage, thinking about my responsibilities, may be I was serious", he added. Showing his Wife sitting there hearing our conversation, he said, "Behind every successful man there is always a woman and before what all I achieved, active role of my Wife is definitely there. She has always been taking care of my necessities. She never disturbed me when I was drawing a picture. Only because she has been taking good care of me I am able to work well and do good work.






THERE ARE FANS FOR SHRI SHANKAR'S PICTURES WORLD OVER.
ALL THESE FANS WERE ONCE CHILDREN
JUST CLICK ON THE WORLD MAP AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS


THIS ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF MY EARLIER ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED EXCLUSIVELY FOR SHRI SHANKAR AS HE COULD NOT READ TELUGU SCRIPT, ALTHOUGH SPEAKS FLUENTLY

1 వ్యాఖ్య:

  1. Dear Sivaram Garu,
    Thank you very much for accepting my request to translate your telugu article on Sankar garu as he is eagerly want to read all articles our blogers posted on him these days. If we send this english article to him through the email, he will be very much plessed.
    Thank you very much sir,

    ప్రత్యుత్తరంతొలగించు

1. అజ్ఞాత వ్యాఖ్యలు లేదా ప్రొఫైల్ లేకుండా వ్రాసే వ్యాఖ్యలు ప్రచురించబడవు.
2. దయచేసి వ్యాఖ్యలు తెలుగులో కాని ఆంగ్లంలో కాని వ్రాయగలరు
3. ఆంగ్ల లిపిలో వ్రాసిన తెలుగు వ్యాఖ్యలు చదవకుండానే తొలగించబడతాయి.
4. వ్యాఖ్యలు వ్యాసానికి సంబంధించి విశ్లేషణాత్మకంగా వ్రాయాలని వినతి.