CHENNAI: It was a special evening for all the Tamil drama patrons and theatre artists in the city on Tuesday as one of the oldest sabhas celebrated its 116th year. Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha which has been instrumental in the growth of the Tamil theatre in the city was formed in 1900 to foster all aspects of Indian culture.
The sabha celebrated its 116th anniversary by honouring the living doyen, K S Nagarajan and conferring the title ‘Nataka Kala Sarathy’ on his son KSN Sundar. Nagarajan founded the first amateur drama troupe — The Triplicane Fine Arts Club — in Chennai in 1946. It was later renamed as Kala Nilayam in 1968.
M Krishnamurthy, secretary, Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, said, “It’s one of the oldest sabhas and we are happy to be honouring this living legend on this occasion.” The event was presided by K Rosaiah, Governor of Tamil Nadu, and Nalli Kuppusami Chetti, president, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha. Addressing the audience at Narada Gana Sabha, Rosaiah said,“It’s a privilege. It’s also my pleasure to honour K S Nagarajan and his son Sundar. They are the living inspirations for all the budding artists.”
The auditorium was filled with fans of the doyen Nagarajan. “We have always heard from him that age is just a number. And true to his words, he still continues to inspire and entertain us,” said 50-year-old Banumathi.
Agreeing with Banu, Sarala shared, “He has done over 5,000 shows and has directed so many plays. We literally grew up watching his shows and I think today, we are blessed to be witnessing this.” KSN is known for his realistic family dramas and has directed classic plays such as Jeeva Bhoomi, Devan’s Works, Marina’s Thani Kudithanam, Oor Vambu and Kaal Kattu.
As the father-son duo were honoured by the Governor, Sundar stepped on the dais and said, “My father is a perfectionist. I think that’s what has made him what he is today and I am blessed to be honoured with the title Nataka Kala Sarathy in the presence of my father, who is also my mentor. It is indeed a special moment for me,” he smiled.