For the household name in Karnataka mimicry artist Dayanand it is bed of roses so far in his life. He has toiled for years in his life straining his vocal chords but what he got is not satisfactory for him.
‘Duniya se hum bahut le liya, Ab hum duniya to kuch dena hai… Johny Lever of Karnataka the top mimicry artiste – Dayanand on the release of his latest comedy audio cassette in Kannada‘Haasya Apaharana’narrates a tale of his life mixed with sorrow, happiness and anguish.
I am using ‘Mimicry as a weapon’ to cheer the audience all over Karnataka says Dayanand in an interview.
Can you make a quick recap of your earlier days?
My parents were pressing me to engage in education based activities but I was hell bent on repeating the voices of hero’s of Kannada cinema. The voice that haunted me was Dr.Rajkumar. At this point the family support was zero. Till today I am working in the State owned Handicrafts. I would say they are keeping me there.
When did you begin in public performances?
I began my career in Smt.Kasturi Shanker orchestra troupe and later shined in Manjula Gururaj Sound of Music, Mohan Jimpets orchestra troupes. The applaud was very good right from my beginning days. I got good encouragement from top artistes like Ambarish and Jaijagdeesh. Nearly 500 orchestra programmes I attended they used to have fillers with artists like me. So far I can handle with nearly 30 artistes voices.
You also played paltry roles in films?
So far I did acting in around 60 films and that did not helped me. I would say there was my mistake also in continuously accepting such roles.
What’s all about your latest comedy audio – Haasya Apaharana?
Like in all my earlier ones I have worked hard on creating jokes to adjust to the circumstances. This ‘Haasya Apaharana’ is based on the abduction of Dr.Rajkumar by brigand Veerappan. I have not worked on the script. Gururaj (of Sound of Music orchestra troupe and husband of well known playback singer Manjula) and myself went straight for recording room. Whatever I had in my mind with regard to abduction of Dr.Rajkumar poured out from my mind. What was 83 minutes later became 53, 40 and stopped at 37 minutes. When I did the portion of Dr.Rajkumar I cried. I could not control the emotions to myself. As the situation is not very easy I applied some yardsticks.
What is that yardstick?
Firstly I thought that I should not use any bad words. Secondly it should have the sentiments and comedy. I did some fresh attempts in this ‘Haasya Apaharana’. For the first time I converted my voice to suit the voice of Karnataka Home Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and actor and Udaya TV Srinath. As for as possible I did not hurt anyone. I have included a message and a pertinent one. A drunkard gives a lecture in the end and that is really thought provoking. Anand Audio gave me a free hand and such freedom is always important for artists to create something new.
Have you met Johny Lever and brought to his notice your attempts?
Yes. I repeated what he did in Hindi to my capacity in Karnataka. He had done keeping Cricket match in his mind. With a Malayali accent I did in one of seven individual cassettes. I sent it to him in Mumbai. He expressed his satisfaction and sent words that I should meet him one day. In my earlier days I used to mimicry the voice of Hindi artistes like Dilipkumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrugna Sinha and others.
Any sweet and sour experiences you possess?
I have two unforgettable incidents. It was at Hassan. The occasion was presentation of Karnataka State Film awards. I did the Dr.Rajkumar portion prior to his speech. Then Dr.Rajkumar told the audience that whatever I wanted to say Dayanand had already told. In another incident at Basavanagudi National College a person came near to me and told that I should not mimicry the voice of Dr.Rajkumar. I got shivered. I did all popular artists voices on that day except that of Dr.Rajkumar. I explained the warning given to me. He called that person and took him to task. ‘Art is no one’s property nobody should object here after’ told Dr.Rajkumar to the person who warned me.
How was your first US trip?
I went with others like Manjula, Gururaj, Puttur Narasimha Naik in 1996. The American Kannada Kootas looked after us like how they take care for their little children. All of us made good money also by selling our audio cassettes. American Kannada Koota Association is definitely not like how singer and composer C.Ashwath has highlighted. Even a single paisa we used to spend came back to us. We were all filled with joy throughout for the affectionate care they had taken for us.
You have some ambition?
I want to grow individually. I have formed a troupe under the umbrella of ‘Ganavahini Hasya Kalavidara Thanda’. I intend to do comedy artists Sammelan all over Karnataka.