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Of theatre and cinema

Theatre personality and actor `Delhi' Ganesh has seen it all


HE HAS carved a niche for himself in Kollywood. From poignant portrayals to comic roles, he has essayed them all with ease.`Delhi' Ganesh, who donned the greasepaint a decade after his debut in theatre is still passionate about his first love. He speaks about his early days in theatre, cinema and small screen. "I started my career in theatre with Dakshina Bharata Nadaga Sabha, Delhi." (That's when he got the `Delhi' tag on to his name.)

The trip down South landed him in Kathadi Ramamurthy's troupe. After a few years he decided to start a troupe on his own. However, the going was not all that easy. "When I was a drama artiste, it was smooth sailing as I had no responsibilities," he states. "I broke down in the make-up room when the heroine failed to turn up for my drama in time. Some even commented that I should not have started a troupe at all," he recalls.

Ganesh attributes his big screen success to the experience that he had in theatre. "I earned a lot of fame and money in drama. Because of my theatre background I got offers in cinema," he says.

Has TV opened new vistas for drama artistes? "TV has had a big impact on theatre. At least two dramas used to be staged those days. Now you cannot even think of staging so many plays."

Ganesh, who has acted in quite a few serials, says that there is a problem of plenty on the small screen as it fetches a regular income. "TV, no doubt has provided a lot of opportunities for artistes. But the flip side is that people who do not have any background have managed to enter the field. As a result, the quality has suffered. Some do not even know how to deliver the dialogue properly," he rues. How was it possible for him to play serious and comedy roles with equal panache?

"I have a good sense of humour. That's something in-built. Humour is something that has to come from within. If you do not have it in you, it will not be possible to do such roles," he remarks.

Ganesh, however, feels that a revival is still possible in theatre.

"Cine artistes, especially popular stars, have to spend some time in theatre. Only then is a revival possible. And all those who have a background in theatre should lead from the front."

M. ALLIRAJAN

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