Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ashwini Nachappa

Ashwini Nachappa is an Olympian Athlete,Film actress,Educationist and Social worker from Karnataka State.She was a popular athlete during the 80's and 90's and during the 90's she has acted as female lead of five Telugu films opposite top actors.She got accolades and much popularity when she outran the sprint queen P.T.Usha on two occasions.P.T.Usha finished behind her at the open Nationals, New Delhi and after two weeks in the International Invitational Permit Meet in 1991.
Ashwini Nachappa was born on 21st October 1967 and during her childhood the family shifted to Bangalore and received training in the vast  Kanteerava stadium ground near their residence by Mahender Singh Gill.
She earned fame when she became first and received Gold medal for her state in the All India Open Nationals at Mangalore.In the Mangalore Nationals she was the fastest woman and Anand Shetty fastest man.She was called as Flo Jo (Florence Griffith Joyner) of India.
She was one of the most  glamorous girl of Indian athletics during that period.
She participated in  the 1988 Seoul Olympics but due to injury she was forced out of the trials for the Barcelona Olympics.
She won four Gold medals in 100 m ,200 m, 400 m and the 4x100 relay at the Calcutta Nationals in 1992.
She represented India in three South Asian Federation Games,1984 in Nepal and won two silver medals,1986 at Bangladesh and won two silver medals,1988 in Pakistan and won three gold medals.She participated in two Asian Games one in 1986 in South Korea and another in 1990 in Beijing-China.She represented India in 1987 World Championship at Rome and another in 1991 at Tokyo.
She received the prestigious Arjuna Award in 1990.
Ashwini's popularity and glamour queen image earned her many film proposals at that time and she accepted some of them and acted as heroine of five Telugu films 
'Inspector Ashwini'(92) directed by Mouli was one of her films which was a big success in which Anandh Babu,Ashwini Nachappa,Brahmanandam,Babu Mohan etc acted.
In the film 'Andaru Andare' (1995) Vindod Kumar,Ashwini Nachappa,Shubhasree,Krishnam etc acted.
Other films are 'Ashwini (91),Aarambham (93),and Miss 420 (95).
She got Best New comer award from Andhra Pradesh  State Government for films and Tamil Cine Film Critics Award also.
She is currently  running an ICSE School in the name of her husband Datta Karaumbiah at Gonnikoppa, a small town in  Coorg as Karaumbiah's Academy for Learning and Sports.In the school premises Ashwini's sports school is functioning which gives training in athletics,hockey,swimming,tennis and badminton.The ICSE shool has classes from Kindergarten to Class XII.
She is involved in many social activities and is  also a founding member of 'Clean Sports India'.She is also currently the President of the Bangalore Urban District Athlete Association.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Papukutty Bhagavathar

Papukutty Bhagavather is a Celebrated, Centenarian Singer and actor who was born on March 25, 1913 at Vaipin in Kochi, Kerala to parents Michael and Anna.He created history by singing a playback song  for the Malayalam film 'Marykkundoru Kunjadu' at the age of 97 in the year 2010.He is an accomplished Stage actor,Film actor,Playback singer,Carnatic Musician and teacher,Kathaprasangam artiste etc.
He debuted in films in the year 1950 and acted and sang a song also for the film 'Prasanna' in that year.
He got on a stage at the age of seven when he was a second standard student and acted in a drama named 'Vedamani' staged by the residents of his native place 'Thekke Malippuram' at Vaipin.He was appreciated by the audience for his acting talents.
His father Michael used to act in Christian dramatic art form 'Chavittu Natakam' and was a good singer.So the flair for singing was inherited to Pappukutty Bhagavathar who was trained in Carnatic Classical music from the age of twelve.For three years he was trained in music by Krishnankutty Bhagavathar and later by Chandradasa Kamath.
Thikkurissi and Papukutty Bhagavathar
At the age of 16 he  joined the drama troupe of artist P.J.Cheriyan along with his friend Augustine Joseph (Father of Playback singer K.J.Yesudas).Pappukutty Bhagavathar portrayed the role of 'Mary Magdalene' in the play 'Misiha Charithram'  a successful play with that troupe which performed all over the state.Then he worked with many other troupes and earned name and fame as a skilled,talented actor as well as singer.In those days songs were an essential part of stage plays and even the dialogues in some plays were rendered as songs.So only people trained in Carnatic classical music could portray main roles.Since amplifier were not in use those days the actors need to speak and sing louder to reach the back rows of the audience.Travelling was another problem and mostly they had to travel by boats since buses were limited and confined in certain routes only.The troupe members had to waste much time waiting for boats and buses in those periods.
Director K.G.George
In the early years of his career as a stage actor itself he received accolades as an excellent singer and actor.He earned the title as 'Kerala Saigal' because of his proficiency in singing.He sang nicely K.L.Saigal's popular songs like "So Ja Rajakumari So Ja' to entertain the audience  before the play  as per their requests and popular Carnatic songs like "Pakkala" which he sings extremely well.
He proved competent enough to act and sing as the accomplished Tamil actor/singer S.V.Subbaiah Bhagavathar  of

that period who acted along with Papukutty Bhagavathar in the play 'Suhrithu'.The play 'Suhruthu' was staged by the professional drama troupe of Changanacherry Madhavan Pillai.Both of them appeared together in many scenes and proved their skills at their best which received good response and accolades.
Papukutty Bhagavathar acted in Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nairs plays like 'Maya,Paradesi and Sthree'.
He also acted in several films like 'Muthalali,Vila Kuranja Manushyar,Bharyamar Sookshikuka,Aamaram' etc.
He tried his hand at Kathaprasangam and narrated Muttathu Varkey's story 'Padatha Painkili' in around 300 stages.
He also performed numerous Carnatic Classical music Concerts with accompaniments by legends like 'Mavelikkara Krishnan Kutty Nair,Mavelikkara Velukutty Nair,S.R.Raju' etc.He also used to teach Carnatic music to several aspirant students.
He is recipient of Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademy Fellowship and several other awards.His Centenary celebration was held at Ernakulam on 4rh April 2012 in which the legendary singer K.J.Yesudas also participated.Papukutty Bhagavathar sang songs during that function also.
The famous playback singer Selma George (Wife of Film Director K.G.George), and Film actor Mohan Jose are Papukutty Bhagavathar's Children.
He sang songs in films 'Prasanna,Karutha Kai,Aasha Chakram and Marykundoru Kunjadu'.
He acted in films such as 'Prasanna,Sthree Hridayam,Oral Koody Kallanayi,Sree Guruvayoorappan,Syamalachechi,Muthalali,Viruthan Sanku,Anchu Sundarikal,Kattu Kuangu,Padicha Kallan,Vila Kuranja Manushar and Vice Chancellor. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


P.T.Usha (Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha) is one of the greatest Indian athlete and is famous as 'Queen of Indian Track and Field'.During her career she earned thirty International Awards for her excellence in athletics.
She may the most popular female Indian athlete all over the world.She hails from Kerala State and she has earned so much pride and prestige for her Motherland India and also for Kerala People.
She was born on 27th June 1964 at Payyoli, a place 35 km from Kozhikode.Hence when she became a popular athlete she was also lovingly called as 'Payyoli Express'.
She set a National School record at the State athletic meet at Kottayam in 1977.
O.M.Nambiar became  impressed by her abilities and skill when he spotted her at the 1979 National School games and was  her coach  later on.
She was only 16 and was the youngest sprinter to participate in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
She participated in the 1980 Moscow Olympics,1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and 1988 Seoul Olympics.
She won 4 Gold and 1 Silver in the 1986 Seoul Asian Games and received the title 'Asia's Sprint Queen'.
She received Best Athlete in Asia Award in 1984,85,86,87 and 89.

In the Asian athletic meet in 1985 she received 'Greatest Indian athlete award'.
She won Gold in 200 metres ,400 metres ,Gold for 400 metres hurdles and Gold for 4 x 400 metres relay in 1986 Seoul Asian Games.She got silver in 100 metres  also in that meet.
She received Adidas Golden shoe Award for Best athlete for 1986 Seoul Asian Games.
She received World trophy for Best Athlete in 1985 and 86.
She received medals in Asian Games at,New Delhi, Beijing, Hiroshima also.
She never felt pride about her achievements or reciprocated  emotionally provocative when some of her fans turned against her and humiliated when she lost the Bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics.She finished first in the semi finals but in the finals she lost the medal by 1/100th of a second in the photo finish.She had tried her level best in all the sports events in her career.
She is recipient of Arjuna Award and 'Padma Shree' Award  from Government
of India.
She is an Officer of Southern Railway and presently also runs 'Usha School of Athletics' at Koyilandy in Kerala to train young sports aspirants.
Usha has been inspirational to several boys and girls who possessed skill to enter the world of athletics in India.
She got married to V.Sreenivasan in 1991 and they have a son.