A legend lives on: Celebrating the 68th birth anniversary of famed actor Shankar Nag
On the 68th birth anniversary of famed actor Shankar Nag, close friend and fellow actor Ramesh Bhat remembers Nag and what made their friendship tick
Published: 09th November 2022 03:41 AM | Last Updated: 09th November 2022 03:47 PM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: When Shankar Nag’s co-star and close friend Ramesh Bhat is asked to describe Nag in a single word, he pauses for a moment. “I have two. And they would be workaholics and passionate.” On Shankar Nag’s 68th birth anniversary, Bhat, who worked with him in multiple movies like Minchina Ota, Geetha, including the classic series Malgudi Days, recalls their friendship of 13 years. “We were friends from 1977-1978, when I first met him when he came to Bengaluru to join theatre. It was my privilege that we remained friends throughout, until his last day,” says Bhat.
Having been part of many milestones in Nag’s life, Bhat reveals that Nag hardly liked celebrating his birthday. “No birthday celebrations or anniversary celebrations...his only focus was work and he loved it. He used to finish lunch in less than 10 minutes to get back to work. Whatever spare time he had from shooting, he would discuss what he would do 20 or 30 years down the line,” says Bhat, adding that Nag was a visionary of his times.
Being part of many Nag-starrer movies and even theatre projects, Bhat preferred his work more as a director. “He was an excellent storyteller and knew which part of the story should be given importance. He was equally good in both mass and class movies. For example, Auto Raja was a completely mass movie and to this day, hundreds of autos still have Shankar Nag’s image,” says Bhat, adding that it has been 32 years since he passed away but his memories still linger. “As an actor, all his movies were fresh and are relevant to this day,” says the 76-year-old actor.
Among other qualities of Nag, Bhat says he was a voracious reader. “In those days we would have only Sundays off and he would work till Saturday midnight. Despite his work schedule, he would manage to finish an 800-page book in three days,” says Bhat.