Hirannaiah’s initial footsteps in theatre

Master Hirannaiah

Born to the legendary K Hirannaiah and Sharadamma couple in Mysuru as Narasimhamurthy, Hirannaiah was brought up in Lakshmipuram area in the city. Hirannaiah had close contacts with persons from his theatre fraternity and also from his community in Mysuru, till recently. However, exactly five years ago, in the same month of May, he declared that he will abstain from public appearance, after he was targeted and cornered by supporters of then chief minister Siddaramaiah.

Last public appearance

In his last public function at Nadhabrahma Sangeetha Sabha on JLB Road in the city, on May 11, a Sunday, Hirannaiah criticised Siddaramaiah and also then AICC president Sonia Gandhi, inviting the wrath of a Congress MLA and a few Congress workers. The agitators targeted Hirannaiah and vandalised the venue of the programme, even after Hirannaiah met Siddaramaiah, who was also incidentally in Mysuru on that day, to apologise for his unparliamentary comments.

Hirannaiah, studied from middle school to 10th standard in Bhanumaiah’s School in the city and joined Sarada Vilas College for Intermediate studies. Earlier, his parents were in Chennai, erstwhile Madras, so he joined middle school in Mysuru. He started his theatre activities in his school and college in Mysuru itself, before joining his father’s Hirannaiah Mitra Mandali. In 1948, after a stint in movies and plays as a child artiste, Hirannaiah staged his own play ‘Agraha’, with his friends in Sarada Vilas College.

Newspaper vendor

Hirannaiah used to be a newspaper vendor during his school days. C Maheshwaran, now editor of the century-old Sadhvi newspaper, said, “Once Master Hirannaiah himself recalled the days, when he used to sell ‘Sadhvi’ on the main thoroughfares and also deliver it to households in the city. He always cherished the titles and felicitations conferred by then king Jayachamaraja Wadiyar of the erstwhile Mysuru state, for his achievements and contributions to theatre art.”

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