The audio books, which capture the lives of the renowned film personalities, get voice-overs from director Ragu Shivamogga and National Award winning actor Sanchari Vijay
Kannada actor/politician Ambareesh (1952-2018), popularly known as the “Rebel star” captured the hearts of people on and off screen. His biography, titled Ambareesh, (Sawanna Prakashana) by journalist-turned scriptwriter, Shanaru Hullur, won the State Award in 2018 in the Best Book on Cinema category.
Also Read | Get ‘First Day First Show’, our weekly newsletter from the world of cinema, in your inbox. You can subscribe for free here
The book was released as an audiobook on Storytel on May 29 to mark the actor’s birth anniversary. Director and actor Ragu Shivamogga, who has read the book, says, “It is an honour for me to narrate the story of a legendary actor. Hulluru is a renowned writer with many books of prose and poetry to his credit. When I was approached to read the book, I was thrilled as this was another experience I could add to my creative journey.
Narrating the book was a breeze, Ragu says thanks to his theatre background. Ragu is currently working on a script that he plans to direct as soon as the lockdown lifts. “We will take time to set up the shoot, which will be in Shivamogga. We will wait a bit longer as we need to be responsible and do not want to become carriers of the virus.”
Besides that, he is awaiting the release of his Pentagon, which is part of an anthology. He has also acted in Bhaskar’s Saddu Vicharane Nadiyuthide.
Playwright, director and actor Giris (1938-2019) autobiography, is also out in audiobook form. It is narrated by the National award winning actor (Naanu Avanalla…Avalu fame) Sanchari Vijay. This version, like Ambareesha will be available on Storytel.
Describing narrating the book as a unique experience, Vijay says, “The book has interesting anecdotes about Karnad. What I loved about the book is that he wrote it in his 70s. The memoir reveals that he achieved a lot at a young age. His mother, Krishnabai, was married at a young age and soon widowed. Instead of being overwhelmed by circumstances, the young mother travelled from Pune to Dharwad, worked in a hospital and married a doctor. Karnad is the son born of this union. The book captures many emotional nuances.”
Vijay says, Karnad is a brilliant writer and reading his work is a treat in itself. “His achievements are known worldwide, though he was born in a small town in Karnataka.”
Reading for the audiobook happened by chance says Vijay. “I was talking with a theatre friend, Kiran Naik. He was promoting books written by theatre personalities from Karnataka. I causally told him that I would love to narrate a book for an audio version and I was pleasantly surprised when he approached me to read Karnad’s autobiography. What a memorable experience it has been.”
The 350-page book is gripping from the get go, Vijay says and captures Karnad’s association with well-known people such as director Girish Kasaravalli, writer director Lankesh and Shivaram Karanth. “I was unable to put it down. While reading for the audiobook, I had to bring in the right pause and emotion. The book is so beautifully written that every page was like learning a new word or a phrase. The language and writing are impeccable. He used so many dialects in the same book! If he used Marathi Kannada in one chapter, in another, he used Dharwad Kannada, and elsewhere Sirsi Kannada (Dakshina Kannada) or Bengaluru Kannada, showing his versatility in these dialects. I had to google the meanings of some words or refer to the Kannada dictionary.”