A 'little' wonder in Tulu theatre

In real life: In real life: Shekar - Shashikala couple, who got married recently at the Arya Samaj in Mangalore.

Do not go by his height because it is with this height that Chandrashekar Siddakatte (32), a theatre actor has paved his way to the hearts of his audience. He has acted in 25 tulu dramas in prominent roles and bagged huge appreciation for himself.

Chandrashekar Siddakatte, a resident of Arambodi in Bantwal taluk is the son of B Susheela Bangera - Venkamma couple. Despite being a dwarf, he never let it pose impediment to the flight of his dreams. He felt he was cut out to be an actor and following his heart he went ahead to take up acting boldly. Since then there has been no looking back.

At the of 11, as a fifth standard student of Government Primary School Hokkadigoli, he started acting in dramas and with the response from his audience he knew that he was on the right path.

Speaking to City Herald, Chandrashekara, who has been christened by his friends as Shekar, said that he could present his talent before the public through his first play named ‘Kaveri’ in school.

“I was essentially a part of all the plays and skits during the school days. I bagged many prizes in events like mono-act, skit, fancy dress and other competitions in school and those awards and appreciation came as an inspiration for me and helped me see where I belonged to clearly. I joined Kalasangama troupe of eminent Tulu theatre director Vijay Kumar Kodialbail in 1999,” he said. In most of the dramas Shekar plays comedy roles. His appearance, fluency in Tulu and dialogue delivery makes him a perfect actor in all respect.
‘Oriyadori asal’, ‘mamugonji mami’, ‘akle lekka yenklu attu’, ‘kusalda parabe’, ‘boje budiyerege’, ‘viddu’, ‘kode-ini-elle’, ‘kutumba’, ‘Seetha teacher’, ‘Manikanta mahime’, ‘Devu Poonja’ and ‘madime’ are some of the prominent dramas that Shekar has acted in.

Shekara acted in films including ‘oriyadori asal’, ‘kadala mage’ and ‘baravuda bandashale’. He also acted in serials including ‘sankalpa’ and ‘gottanaga portandu’. When asked to talk about one special role that is close to his heart, without sparing even a second, Shekar replies ‘madime’.

“My role in Madime is very close to my heart because it is my own experience that has been played on stage by me. I play the role of a rich man, who is ridiculed by the society for being a dwarf. A beautiful girl keeps calling the rich man. The rich man falls in love with the girl only to realise that the girl was playing prank on him, to make fun of his unchanging reality,” he says adding that the play has seen more than 300 stages in India and abroad.

Vijay Kumar Kodialbail, mentor of Shekar said that he is an actor who conveys the message of the playwrite effectively through his excellence in acting. “Shekar is talented enough to portray even unconventional and complicated characters,” Kodialbail said.
Shekar says that he has faced several unsavoury incidents in his life because he is a dwarf.

“I have had many bitter experiences in life and one that I can never forget is the day when a circus company management came to my parents to purchase me for Rs 25,000. My parents did not sell me. I also remember a day when a little child started crying seeing me,” he says, with a smile on his face.

With so many odds, nothing could stop Shekar’s flight as an actor. He continues to show the world that ‘good things truly come in small packages’

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