The Real Chandrasekharam

( Published in a souvenir broughtout on the occation of a felicitation function held at Hyderabad on 16-06-1984 )   

 Call at No. 96, IV Street, Abhiramapuram, Madras, and if you enquire a tall man of eighty with a broad smile, hanging eye-brows and a majestic voice will welcome you into his crowded room with books, paper clippings, tape-recorder, type-writer, files and basic furniture and makeup materials and wigs. It is the man with myriad faces. Dr. Chandrasekharam. On entering his room you will realise that he is alone, perhaps talking to himself or play-acting, wondering at the innocence of the masses, raging at the exploiting arrogance of the men in power, confronting the powers that would be, pitying for the helpless condition of creative artists like him, appealing to God Almighty to set things right so that the righteous shall not suffer. Chandrasekharam who is disturbed out of his introspective word will not feel sorry at your presence. On the other hand, if he discovers that you are his "wanted man" for he is always in search of such people as those to whom he can ventilate his thoughts and feelings-he will take you into his confidence and continue his introversion in your presence. You travel through the realms of his imagination and creative thinking. You soon find that the mask of laughter drops and there stands a grave person before you, a man many many times more serious than a seriously disposed man can be he is the Real Chandrasekharam. He is the driving force that has been keeping the humorist in him active and alive, and making him go from pillar to post to entertain the over-worked labourers and, factory-men, the suffering patients in the hospitals as well as the down-trodden, the lowly and the lost. They are made to smile forgetting their sufferings. He mixes with ministers and administrators and does not mince matters. He does not spare any one.

     Generally, people who see Chandrasekharam performing a programme, mistake him to be a professional entertainer whose ambition will be to earn money by making them laugh at their follies. Such men know only Chandrasekharam the man, who is to be seen often in a jubba and pyjama. They do not realise that they have missed another man, the 'Real Chandrasekharam.

 

       It is only a few who are intimate with him and who have tried to understand him that know that Chandra­sekharam has grown beyond the physical form he sports. He is a man who has been trying to annihilate the self in him at the altar of the stage- His NATAKA BHAGAVAD GEETA is an artistic evidence of his philosophical excellence. He is a person who is capable of becoming the prince, the pauper and the priest for the sake of art. He is the maker and the made, the entertainer and the entertained all in one. He throws open the book of life for himself and for others. He can fathom the depths and scale the heights of creation with his artististic faculties. He is a person who can hold the mirror up to nature and explain to us what man has made of man. Through his action he can make us hear "the sweet sad music of humanity."

        There cannot be two opinions about the fact that Dr. Chandrasekharam is one of the greatest actor-enter­tainers of the world. One need not vouch for the fact that he is the only quick change expert in India. Doubtless he is the Father of Portrait Make-up. But how many of us know that he is a great practical philosopher? Do we know that he is one of the very few successful creative thinkers of the world? Today India has need of him. In these days of confused thinking, our clear stream of reason has lost its way. The manners, virtue and power he has given us through his thought and art have to inspire us. It is nothing but our weakness that stands in the way of our confessing that we have not been able to grow up to his expectation. We have to sincerely pray to God to bestow on us sufficient moral strength to own him. Let us try to know him the REAL CHANDRASEKHARAM on the happy occasion of his 80th birthday-1O-11-1984. Let all of us wish him happy returns of the day!