How I evolved from shy boy to actor in Kannada films

The Kavaludaari hero is all set tomarry Swathi on Nov 10. Family support is important to realise your dreams, he says in a special article

I am a 1990s kid with a craze for music and films. Audio cassettes of the choicest of Hindi and Kannada songs were equal to my toys.

I grew up in a world of my own. I was a very shy kid and mostly an introvert. But I loved spending time in front of the camera, which included posing for pictures at school and in college. I realised that introverts find a friend in the camera, in front of which they feel more comfortable. They express themselves freely because there is no right or wrong in front of the camera. 

 I completed my civil engineering degree from Mysuru. But somehow my interest and inclination was towards the arts and cinema. Just like a painter has a canvas, an actor has the freedom to play different characters and be different people. I was working in a regular job when I told my parents that I wanted to try my luck in acting.

They were quite supportive and encouraged me to chase my passion. I moved to Bengaluru with the dream of making it big in the film industry.  

Before getting into the film industry, I was apprehensive about the fact that I was not a star kid and didn’t have any connections in the industry. I come from an upper middle-class
family. My father, K C Nagaraju, worked as a senior bank manager and my mother, Anala Nagaraj, is a homemaker. My sister Netra is a popular RJ.

Though I didn’t know if I would be able to establish myself in the industry, my parents and sister stood by me like a rock. I made my debut in the Kannada film industry with ‘Operation Alamelamma’. The film did well and the appreciation that I received from it made me more humble. Validation of your work empowers you to do better. The acceptance and love that I got from people boosted my confidence to perform better. 

My second film ‘Kavaludaari’ changed things for the better. I was thrilled that I had got to work with some talented people. Many had wondered if I was a one-film wonder but I proved them wrong with my second film. The challenge now is to continue doing good work and maintain consistency.

Ready for the next step in life

I think it is important to have strong family support because it helps you strike a great work-life balance. If you don’t have your loved ones next to you, you don’t have a stable life. After my career took off, I realised that I was ready for the next big step in my life — marriage. 

I have found a best friend and life partner in Swathi Parasuraman. She was born in Japan and later moved to Chennai. She completed her education in Chennai and Hyderabad. She did her masters in engineering but chose to be a creative content writer for corporate companies. She has a creative inclination towards exploring new stories and generating new content. And she is a voracious reader.

I think the desire to chase our respective passions is the strongest common point between us. We first met at a play and began talking. The conversations got longer and longer. We both have a sense of curiosity and an eagerness to explore the new and unknown.

Building a strong relationship

Swathi and I are getting married on November 10. As we take this big step in our lives, I think it is important to respect each other’s perspectives and accept each rather than imposing our beliefs on each other. No two people are the same. Nothing is right or wrong in this world.

A lot of things may not move according to our liking. But the willingness to adjust and make the effort to strengthen a relationship is what will work.

Actor Rishi

 

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