Life Sketch of V. Chandrasekharam

 

     ‘Fun Doctor’ Vydula Chandrasekharam entire a multi-faceted personality who devoted his life for stage. He was born in a middle class Maharashtra Brahmin family at Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on 10th November 1904. His fore father migrated to Nellore long long ago. He is the second son of Sri.  Subba Rao and Smt. Seetha Bai. He evinced keen interest in acting even from his school days. He and his friends used to play small skits at the backgrounds of their houses for the benefit of their family friends.

     His first stage performance was in 1924 acting in a Telugu powranic play by a local amateur troupe. Between 1925 -1929 he has portrayed many female lead roles in Shakespearean plays like King Lear, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth and Othello. His perfect diction in English plays were used many who later came to know that he was just an S.S.L.C.

     

     He established a Drama Academy in 1936 to help amateur  groups in selection of plays, makeup, costumes and stage arrangements.(Later changed as Sri Sakuntala Drama Academy). He had successfully switched over to mono-acting which minimized his dependence on others.  His expertise in quick - change makeup earned live appendence and laurels. He has given hundreds of performances throughout India, even in the remotest villages.

     He has perfected the act of quick change makeup. He has successfully portrayed  more than 90 prominent personalities like Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Jesus Christ, Einstein,  Abraham Lincoln, Lenin, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Indira Gandhi, Paramacharya, Chandra sekhara Saraswathi, Mother Teresa.

     During his mono – acting performances, he used to change 5 to 6 characters by quick change makeup in just 3 minutes. He started a one-act play repertory in 1940 and staged short skits and play lets in Telugu. Organizing a simple travelling theatre, gave many performances in villages, industrial and mining areas between 1944 to 1954.  

     As a playwright he has penned many short humorous skits. He has also written books on portrait makeup simple travelling Theatre in Andhra, Art of mono Acting, playacting and Self realization. He moved to Chennai in 1957 with his family. He began experimenting in portrait makeup, without any support or encouragement fron either government or private bodies.

     In 1972 he established a publication namely ‘Ranga Jyothi Books’ and brought out a bi -lingual  monthly ‘Ranga Jyothi ‘ exclusively intended for performance acts. He has also published more than 25 books in Telugu and English. He has continued his mission with zeal and dedication till he breathed his last on 29th May 1996. He visited china in 1953 and Russia in 1967 as a cultural delegate representing India.


     He was felicitated by both Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh Governments along with a long list of private cultural bodies, prominent among them are the Tamilnadu sangeet natak academy, AP Government ugadi samskruthika utsvalu (Hyderabad) and Sri Jayendra saraswathi of kanchi kamakshi peetam. His portrait makeups were exhibited in many towns and cities. Some institutions have performed his makeups portrait photos in their Art Galleries. He lived like a saint expecting nothing from others excepting only appreciation. He always used to feel sad that no Government body has taken genuine interest in developing and promoting this great form of art. His greatest assert was his wife Smt Sakuntala Bai, who gave him all the support and encouragement in all his endeavors. She passed away in 1988 after completeing 60 years of married life with him leaving behind four sons and two daughters.

     His eldest daughter-in-law is SMt S. Janaki, the wellknown playback singer who has alsowon many laurels accross the country. His third son, Sri V. Nagaraja Rao is a Drama Artist who has also enacted Telugu films.