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Pisapati is no more

Tribute Theatre actor Pisapati will be remembered for his exceptional renditions of Srikrishna in Mahabharata.



Talent remembered The late Pisapati

Noted personality of mythological theatre, known specially for playing prime role of Srikrishna in Mahabharata plays and a great Sanskrit scholar himself, Pisapati Narasimha Murthy passed away, on last Friday. He was 88.

Pisapati was born in ‘Vantaram Agraharam’ in Bobbili Taluq of Srikakulam district. His paternal uncle Peddibhotla Ramanadham was a great Vedic scholar of his times, who wielded great influence on Narasimhamurthy, as he lived with him after he lost his parents as a child. Pisapati shaped himself up into a Vedic scholar at a young age and first served as a temple priest. His excellent musical sense and his good voice encouraged him to learn Carnatic music and enter theatre in 1938.

Though he played initially in social and historical plays, also loaded with verses, his destination character was Srikrishna in Mahabharata plays penned by Twin poets Tirupati Venkata Kavulu. He stuck to Srikrishna’s role after he won the ‘best performance award’ for his portrayal of that role in 1949, at Guntur, in the very presence of the co-author of Mahabharata play - Chellapilla Venkata Sastry.

Pisapati occupied a special place in Telugu traditional drama. He treaded a different path, altogether, in verse rendition, which has now become what is called Pisapati Bani (style). He never But Pisapati got a blue silk dress stitched close to the skin and wore it, so that his Krishna looked bluish. This became a trend, eventually. Information minister Sri A. Ramanarayana Reddi condoled the death of Pisapati, as great loss to the traditional theatre. The State department of Culture is holding soon a meeting to condole the death of this veteran.

G.S.

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